Happy Children’s Day By Vanisha Uppal
Grown up people are full of complaints against their own children. All moral lectures are for them. They are blamed for mistreating and having non-caring attitude towards their parents. Is this the whole truth or are we unaware about how it happened?
Bringing up a child is a 24 hours job and a great responsibility. The emotional need of a child is most important for first thirteen years. That has to be taken care of, by both the parents, equally. It is not at all the sole responsibility of one of the spouse only. Here we are talking about people leading a comfortable life. Problems are part of life, but how to manage and deal with it, a child learns from his or her parents.
Let us take a flash back.
Ritu and Neeraj get married; both are doing well in their careers and want to attain more. But after 3 years of marriage, they are being continuously pressurised by their family and friends, to have a baby. Neeraj and Ritu decide to have a child and get rid of every day’s nagging. Ritu delivers a healthy baby girl, Banni.
Neeraj: “Why don’t you take a break for a few years from your job, become a house wife and a full time mom. You also need to take care of your own health too.”
Ritu agrees. Few years later she feels the whole world around her is growing except her. Whereas she is engaged in a thankless and unpaid job, everyone takes her for granted. This frustrates her. She expects attention and few words of appreciation from her husband, whereas, she is been used as a punching bag by others. Neeraj does not know how to handle a demanding job, a wife and the child simultaneously. Unconsciously, the frustration of both the parents gets transferred directly or indirectly to the child.
An innocent child’s mind, subconsciously learns, that only with more money can one win the respect from others. Whereas, people doing a house job, having a simple and soft nature are often taken for granted.
Ritu: “In this fast changing technology. I will be left far behind in my career. My parents have equally invested in me and I have put the same amount of hard work as you. I cannot afford to leave my job at the peak of my career.”
Neeraj “Whatever is mine, is yours too, and besides, who will take care of Banni?”
Ritu: “later on in life, you will not hesitate to tell me to leave your home in small fights and arguments. Then suddenly your money would not belong to me. And why is Banni only my responsibility?”
Neeraj “That’s your ego”
Ritu: “You may use the word ‘ego’ for me, but in similar situation you would be using ‘Self-respect’ and ‘job satisfaction’ for yourself. But the truth is that we all have desires as human beings. You too want that your work should be recognised in the world. Also you want more money, big car, expensive phone and attention from your boss etc. And, for that you are totally focused to achieve it, which I completely understand. But why are my desires and longings are not understandable to you?”
Neeraj agrees with her after few arguments. They decide to take help from their parents and to hire a full time house helper.
Neeraj’s parents are with them now, but all the time they kept reminding Ritu about her duties as a mother and a wife.
Neeraj’s Mother: “I had two children and I have sacrificed everything for them. I have brought them up in the best way, by being at home all the time.”
Ritu did not dare to say anything to her, but she thought to herself “you did not have any other option. You had nothing to sacrifice; also you were not professionally qualified either.”
After being pissed off by the constant nagging of Neeraj’s parents, she finally decides to take help of her own parents instead. They happily agreed and took care of everything but they had to go back home after a year. The couple tried many full time maids.
Banni is fed by the maid most of the time,
Banni watches T.V. most of the time for entertainment.
Banni plays, and is with her maid most of the time.
Neeraj and Ritu are back in the evening, very tired. After spending one hour with Banni, they get back to their laptop, phones, WhatsApp, conferences, shopping etc. Sometimes, when Banni becomes more demanding, Neeraj hands over the phone to her, to placate her.
A few months later, taking the advantage of the situation, the maid demands more money yet there is the security issues and many other concerns. They decide to send Banni to a playschool. A two year old child feels lost there. Crying on top of her voice – but no one cares or understands. Banni is standing alone at one corner of the playschool, not eating or playing. She only cries for her parents and waits for them to come and pick her up in their arms.
School teacher says Banni is not yet settled, it is normal for kids to cry for a week. After 4 days the innocent child surrenders. Papa and Mama are not going to come anyway before the evening. Banni subconsciously is introduced with fear, unreasonable scolding from teachers and maids who are managing many kids at the same time. Banni is not allowed to express her likes and dislikes, playfulness, excitement and joy. Everyone expects her to be perfect and behave like grownups. An innocent mind learns to manipulate and to tell a lie in a most convincing way.
But, at home she shouts, screams and be naughty because this is the place she thinks belongs to her. She vents her frustration and anger (what she had accumulated from school) but parents don’t understand why she behaves in such a way. They discuss her behaviour with every second person. People sympathise fully with the parents and give all kinds of strange suggestion. Banni feels all this quietly and does not know what to say and whom to say it to? What Banni goes through, remains in her heart forever. She finds that T.V and iPhone are the best friends, because here no one judges the child and she can distract her mind.
Then why do the parents, later expect unconditional love, acceptance and understanding from the child who has never received it? An innocent child does not know how and when the bitterness, selfishness became part of her nature. The child has not seen reasonability and sensitivity shown to her. She has not learnt how to deal with anger, anxiety and restlessness. She has not seen anyone managing the relationship with love, politeness and patience. Rather, the world teaches her how to dominate and control others. And then children are made to feel guilty! Why?
We all are children. Our parents were also children of our grandparents. And we got almost everything in our personality from our parents. But someone has to stop inheriting the duality and take charge of his or her own life. This can be done by an adult only. That needs lots of effort and awareness.
Children don’t need to meditate; they are innocent, free from all pre conceived notions and therefore receptive. Whatever they observe they learn. If you want to teach them something, just do it yourself and the child will sooner or later adopt it. Children are your mirror image and they are just reciprocating the behaviour of the parents and teachers. It is we as parents and teachers who have to be more aware and conscious, so that we don’t transfer restlessness, anxiety, anger and fear in the child.
We can’t push kids to cultivate habits of reading whereas we ourselves are only occupied with television serials and phones. We can’t make the child meditate where as we never do it ourselves. We can’t expect them to be calm, whereas we are occupied in too many activities.
Parents need to have some saturation of material desires, and then only can they focus on the child’s needs. Love and respect between the parents is the most important element. Let the child grow in a combination of unconditional love and strength. Kids observe us all the time, don’t manipulate them and justify yourself. Let them learn through your action- how you handle a situation and relationships in your life. This process might be slow but eventually they would follow us. Every child is precious and parenting is a great responsibility.
Children are like buds in a garden and they should be carefully and lovingly nurtured
– Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.