Try as much as I can, just cannot get the thought out of my mind.
Have we been good parents to our kids? Or, have we been strict autocratic disciplinarians? This question keeps popping unbidden into my mind.
Our elder child is 20 plus and studying graphic design in the third year, while the younger has just finished he 10th and started arts.
Last night just before falling asleep, an earth shattering thought occurred to me – earth shattering at least from my point of view – why aren’t there any exams or some questionnaire or even a license one should procure before procreating? For every single profession one has to show that one is qualified before being allowed to proceed with the desired profession. Be it a doctor, lawyer, cook, driver or an engineer. Even to get married one requires a license.
But! To produce children, to add to the population of this world, children who will grow up to either be an asset to the world and be warm loving, generous and caring individual to all the lives they touch or be the cause for worry and concern for the parents and the people around them?
Coming back to the original question which sometimes haunts me, it does, because I do love my children. I do want my children to grow up into confident, loving, intelligent humans with their heart in their right place and a sensible head on their shoulders.
I think every parent wants this for their child.
My wife and I actually talked it over; we realized some time back, that children will do as we do, not as we say. If as adults we instruct the child not to lie, but we resort to what we term as “white lies”, or caution the child not to litter but we throw the wrappings of snacks from the car onto the road, there are countless other occasions where we instruct the child this way and do the opposite.
This creates confusion in the mind of the child, it creates a dissonance, the child thinks, my parents are instructing me not to do this but they are actually going ahead and doing it. My father tells me not to litter but he is throwing wrappers on the road. Mom is saying I should eat healthy but shes loading up on junk food and aerated sugary drinks. Which do I follow? What I was instructed to do? Or what I can see them doing? Needless to say that the child, in most cases if not all, follows and learns to do what it sees. We decided that whatever qualities we want our child to acquire we will follow those qualities, in words and in action. The question which keeps me awake is whether we have been good role models for our children?, at all times. Did we slip up? Are we still good role models?
I take heart from what my elder child related to us, “OMG mama I’m becoming like you, I’m eating healthy, I’m exercising regularly and to top it all, I’m stopping my college mates from unhealthy habits”.
I guess only time will tell. Till then I will continue striving to be a good role model, because I love my children, as I’m sure, you love yours.