I was watching the movie, Helicopter Eela, with my son today and this song at the climax has somehow stuck in my head.
Yeh dil hai mera ya hai,
Ikk yaadon ki almari.
Iss almari mein rakkhi hai maine,
Apni ye duniya saari!
As parents, our lives are so much around our kids. Isn’t it? So much so, that we end up Helicopter Parenting sometimes. I have been a dreamer all my life. When I was young, I secretly wanted to train as a professional Kathak dancer. May be, my dreams weren’t strong enough for me to become what I aspired to. And then I got into a trap. I wanted my kids to fulfil our incomplete dreams. Same dreams, different individuals. “Unfair!!” you may yell! Even I realise it as I glance back. But, it’s one of the most organic traps that parents keep falling into. I recall my dream of what my child would become kept changing with my experiences. When I was a software engineer with Bharat Electronics, there would be men in uniform who would sometimes visit to see the software we wrote. I so wanted my son to be an Air Force officer someday. While I changed gears and got into recruitment, The Big 4s were offering plump packages to Chartered Accountants. That’s when I thought how cool it would be if my son also becomes a CA when he grows up. We mollycoddle them so much that after a while all this care seems suffocating for them. And when reality sets in, as a parent, my expectations aren’t about a decorated uniform or glamorous job titles any more.. This is what I have learnt in my 11 years parenting journey. Now when I look at my son who thinks “Dad understands him better than mom, because they both are boys” or my little daughter who would start schooling from next April and is “Papa’s Princess” I want both of the do achieve these dreams in their life as an adult.
Have a healthy lifestyle
Everything has a right age, the metabolic rate, stamina, digestion power everything changes with time. I want my kids to understand it sooner and adapt a healthy lifestyle. It’s not that they should restrict themselves from occasional partying and binge eating, but exercise, meditation and good eating habits should make up for most of their life. It is unlikely with our routine driven life that they will ever get 6 pack abs. Honestly, my definition of good health has never been that. But someday, when the elevator is broken, there should be readiness to climb up those 13 floors by stairs. They should be able to ascend Mata Vaishno Devi shrine without wanting a need of Pithhu or Palki.
- It is okay to be bored sometimes!
‘Life is an adventure.’ ‘Keep your brain busy all the time.’ ‘An empty mind is Devil’s workshop!’ We have been bombarded by such theories since the day that we are born. Creativity culminates when the mind has been on a break. It is okay to pull over the vehicle and admire the sunset. Nobody is going to acknowledge the personal record of driving quickest from Agra to Noida. There is something known as ‘joy of doing nothing’. Lie down on the grass. Stare at the sky. See the birds fly past. And let the time pass. That’s when the brain actually takes a break.
- Always be empathetic
Empathy is not a trait. Unlike Intelligence. Empathy is a virtue. I would always want my kids to be empathetic towards people and animals. Value relationships and humans more than materialistic things. This reminds me of an unlikely story of a 3-year-old girl who scratched her dad’s brand new car that sent her father in mad fury. Only a closer look revealed that she had drawn a heart with ‘I love you Dad’ scribbled inside it! There is no point fussing over something that can be repaired and of course, there is no point at all in fussing over unrepairable thing as well, so rather than things, people should matter.
Believe in gratitude
Gratitude is the way to live life, the more thankful we are for what we have, God gives us more reasons to Thank again, is my and my husband’s motto of life and I surely want my kids to follow the same. The more we give is more we get, is applicable with gratitude also. My husband’s regular lines to my son are, ‘Ever tried to live a day in life of a child beggar?’. This almost everytime ends with a value lesson that we should be thankful for the gifts that we have, rather than feeling sorry about those that we don’t! Every day might not be the best day but there is always one good thing in every day, is what I want my kids to understand and acknowledge. Be Thankful for what you have.
- Have Vision to Dream and Power to make them reality
To have specific goals or dreams need lot of self-confidence, and fulfil them goes lot of hard work, sacrifice, planning and numerous skills like leadership, alliance, management.
As a parent we must give freedom to kids to plan small activities for themselves like planning to complete their own school projects, do small banking chores, manage money, understand and handle pressure with friends and peers, they won’t be self-reliant.
Find True Love
Love has immense power, love can make us fly, give strength to wings, give us confidence of achieving dreams, helps us stand even in adverse conditions. Without true love life is nothing. True love happens only when one or both the people are ready to take the story ahead. I urge to my kids to never be wary of taking the story ahead. Take the next step. I wish they both find their soulmate with whom they can share their lives. The way I have found their dad. Love makes life beautiful.
I know they won’t do most of these things suddenly one morning, we as a parent have to lead by example. And we are on the right path, that gives us confidence as parents that the dreams we have for our kids will be fulfilled by God’s Grace, if they practice and fulfill these dreams, as parents we are sure they might or might not be rich with money but they surely will be happy and good human beings!!!!!
I have come across a great blog on How parents can contribute to overall development of kids, you can check this too.