For what it’s worth

13 Feb

Dear parents,

The following is Just read the damn thing.

Firstly, this world is not ideal. Your child will have to grow up in this world bordering on dystopia and searching for a utopia beyond reach. And unless you have the Philosopher’s Stone.. No? At least unicorn blood? Sorry. News Flash: Apparently, you are not going to be around forever. They need to know they can protect themselves and there is no better teacher than experience. Allow them to set the boundaries, but teach them where to draw the line. Over-protection will destroy imagination and leave them in constant emotional instability, because they will simply lack self-confidence.

You will most definitely tell them what you think (cue broken tape-recorder), but you cannot force them to do what you believe is right. What you believed in may well be .. I am not even sure from which century. As long he/she is not smoking pot, waking up drunk next to somebody of the opposite gender (or, *cue gasp* the same gender) naked, everyday with no recollection of how they got there (Nope, we are not on the sets of 50 first dates) and not causing more harm than good to their body, you are cool. Yes, your life was much harder. We know. We appreciate the effort you have made to get where you are now. We are grateful, but we cannot let you lead our lives for us. End of story.

Encourage them to read. ‘It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.’ – Oscar Wilde

The grass always, always looks greener on the other side. Yes, our peers will be better or worse at a lot of things, but if we are looking at details, did you see if they are happier than your son/daughter. Happiness? *snort* Did you not see his marks? We are not perfect. If you are going to compare us (or draw a table with 3 different highlighters and post-its) to who you think is the best possible person amongst our peers, don’t. If you are going to start with, “When I was your age..”  don’t go there. Pick a side. Either your generation or ours. You are not allowed to pick whichever works for you in that argument.

Abuse- Never condone anybody raising their hand against your child, particularly after puberty. (This includes yourself). Even if it is your spouse, no, not done. Nobody has the right to make your child feel so helpless. Allow the child to believe and have faith you will protect them should the situation ever rise, but also teach them how to do it themselves. Teach your girls to disarm a man (make sure he never reproduces, should he touch you, if you don’t want to be touched) and your sons to respect women. Once this trust is lost, it is seldom gained back.

Religion- This is a whole other blog post. Religion and spirituality are exclusive. EXCLUSIVE. He/She doesn’t have to follow what you believe in to understand and know what they want to about God. It would make it simpler, if they did, but you see, children have a mind of their own. They could be agnostic or even atheists. Have a conversation and not a confrontation. Treat them like an adult. Respect their opinion. They are entitled to their own. Again, you don’t have to be religious to be spiritual.

Marriage- Right. So, gay/lesbian/straight, it doesn’t matter. They like someone? Okay, look at it objectively. It can’t happen, explain why, without the theatrics and heart attacks. Ambulances are just not done. Explanation doesn’t mean, no. I say no, so no. Explanation means explanation. With words strung together logically (and grammatically) which show your side of the argument and not point-blank silences or emotional drama. This just gives rise to the question who is the obstinate five-year old being denied their favourite toy. Honour killing is just. No.

Education- The moment you decide to send them to play school, understand that your child will meet new people, learn things, both good and bad. The point of education is that you make up your own mind. You learn about the world, its people and observe the idiosyncrasies of the human race, grow a conscience and make up their mind about right and wrong. If you want your children to blindly accept what you say, get a time turner and head back to the 16th century. Better yet, don’t reproduce. Condoms are aplenty, my friend.

Friends- You don’t get to decide who he/she is friends with. You can’t force them to compromise on the relationships in their life for your comfort. Trust in yourself that you have taught them well and in their judgement. Don’t feed nonsense about people from the opposite gender being bad options. Not done. Teach them how to gauge people. Don’t judge people for them and don’t make up your mind about their friends before you meet them.

Is “society” more important than your child’s happiness?

If it is, consider yourself an awful parent or an awful prospective parent.

Blow up the below image, cut it out, frame it and read it everyday, from the day you decide to bring in miniature versions of yourself until you don’t need to look at it to remember the principle behind it.

 

Yours sincerely,

Frustrated-as-hell-twenty-something-person

***

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2015; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

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3 Responses to “For what it’s worth”

  1. Laavanya February 16, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    It’s interesting to read – and from a technical perspective, a reader can observe the mountain of emotions that guided you to write this. I say interesting, because it’s just a different style I don’t think I’ve seen in your blog.
    Organic growth is a must – in relationships as well as development, I think.

    Like

  2. savvz February 14, 2015 at 8:57 am #

    I wholly totally agree with you, but it IS extremely difficult to leave ur child to seek his/her own path among unknown adventures. Me being a mom to 5 yr old twins, it was and still IS scary to see them riding a school van on their own. But u put up a brave front before them lest ur fear catches them. I understand the value of freedom and choices for a kid,but i also understand how hard it is for parents to withdraw. Experience and time are best teachers for both kids and parents. Anyway,u touched a raw nerve, 🙂 i always fear how i would turn out as a parent, the khalil gibran quote is surely going to help me

    Like

    • Vintage Ink February 14, 2015 at 9:20 am #

      Hey! I understand. The fear is expected. But, somehow, parents forget that their children are individuals with their own ideas, beliefs and principles. And finding and nurturing that individuality is what is important. Like you said, experience and time 🙂

      The Khalil Gibran quote is one of the best things I have read 🙂
      Thank you for reading.
      Cheers.

      Like

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