Friday, July 25, 2008

PARENTS AS TEACHERS

Unlike the confused parents of today, my parents and probably their peers, during their years of parenting, have been quite bold, relaxed, and confident. Or so it seems to me. Parenting did not seem as challenging as it is now. This is not in any way undermining parenting ways of any generation. It is only in a way, putting a pointer on the slight change that is noticeable at the present time. Child rearing has become more complicated over a period of time. Along with the whole gamut of stresses that parents need to cope with, tackling children takes a back seat. Stress related with work, social and family responsibilities, allow little time to parents to enjoy parenthood. Distractions offered to both children and adults are too many, to add to it all.

SO, when we hear the old saying that parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers, where does it leave us? With less time on hand, parents’ talk of quality time, to give to their children as there is no other way. Several times they turn a blind eye, and let their children grow whichever way they are.

Now this is not a rampant problem, but it is there. There isn’t a manual for child-rearing; it is specific to each household. But some general rules do apply. Those parents well conversant with them know that it prepares their child for the years ahead. Educating children about simple ethics, help in developing a sound personality. Teaching the child basics of school curriculum also helps them to cope better at school, strengthening their foundation. In fact once the child gets enrolled in a school, the parents can proactively get involved. Schools can have programs on parenting practices. They may need to know about the developmental stages of children, the vulnerable periods of their lives; maybe delays in growth also need to be told to parents. Talks on health issues could enlighten parents. Schools should these days, take special note of stressing on internet safety, for children, encouraging parents to keep a closer look on what their children are up to.

Having said all this I would like to write about my parents, who have been very involved parents, trying their best to do the right things. My mother, a Bachelor of Arts, and very well conversant with three languages, English, Hindi and Punjabi, taught us at home all what was needed. She took special lessons in Math to teach us when she realized that the stuff being taught to us was different from what she had done. This taught us to be resourceful and diligent. She is an excellent seamstress, result being that we were dressed in the best of clothes, totally uncommon, something that was not available off the shelf in any of the shops. To give her ideas, she subscribed to the Women’s Weekly magazine. So whether it was summer or winter clothes, ours were different, and fashionable. She experimented with our hairstyles, on a regular basis and came to a conclusion whose she could style, and whose hair needed to be left as it is. This taught us the art of good presentation, of working upon looking good, and presentable. My mother always helped her husband in his work. She is a regular at his office, and the first half of the day she has for years now been given to the family business, started by my father. The result being that they never could take many holidays, and have found pleasure in their work. This taught us to put duty and work before pleasure.

Just another note about my mother, a busy lady that she is, you will always find the house well done up. The flower decorations. worth seeing, always in place. The home that she has nurtured is still the coziest place to be in. So lots to learn, for the very busy moms out there. Besides you will till date never find her deter from entertaining people. It seems an effortless job for her. She is so happy to have people over...Father is a strong support, always involved with all thats happening in the home front.

Both parents have been very helpful to people around them. My father has at some point of time or the other funded many a child’s education, or helped people monetarily. My father, a contented, happy man, never gave in to any negative feelings that may have at any point of time troubled him. He in a way is a very POSITIVE person. He sees something good in all that has been bestowed upon him by the almighty, whether good or not very good. This taught us never to be spiteful, be happy at all times, or rather, know that times that we encounter maybe good or bad, but see good in everything. Fear only God, and take each day as it comes.

By Gods grace they have done very well for themselves, and through their hard work have managed to take their work to great heights. It may not always have been a smooth ride for them in their initial years, and they must have had to struggle, but we as children were never given to feel deprived. This taught us to be happy with whatever we have.

They maintained a group of friends, who we meet till today, whereby our social scene was complete, with lots of picnics and parties. They were like-minded, and the stress of trying to be one up was not there, so it was a relaxed and fun time we children and the adults had, whenever we got together. This taught us the value of making good friends. On a daily basis, life was fun, and I can confidently say that it still continues to be fun. I have consciously or unconsciously emulated all of these values and more. Parenting for me is not so much of a worry. Though times have changed, and the dynamics are a little different. So what? With the strong foundation we are based on, I am sure children of our house will do well.

This personal experience was the best way to tell that being good role models for our children helps.

In how many ways can we thank our parents? Do we? Many people do, in their own ways. We as parents tread with unsure steps, not knowing whether what we do, and the hows of it all..are right or wrong. As long as we as parents keep trying, its well worth it. A link to a song by Bono ..

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=cf0I5c1gmO4

3 comments:

Varnika said...

This is what a dear friend had to say about this post, and my parents..
.He sent it as a mail.I felt I must express it here.
I was deeply moved by the piece you wrote on your parents - agree that they are true gems.-Darius Ghandhi.

Shuchi Grover said...

What can I say? Such a simple, yet beautiful piece. Your genuine love and appreciation shines through. You have outdone yourself....take a bow, Varni.

Varnika said...

Thanks Shuchi! I'm honoured, especially when it comes from you..