Children do not come with instruction manuals. They arrive painfully into this very complex world. Growing up is even more painful.
The joys of growing up and bringing up children seem to blur at times , in the mesh and maze of everyday struggles .
Today’s child – a very interesting being-lives amidst an explosion of information overload; is overprotected, over expected of and burdened with schedules and activities; spends increasing amount of time conversing with technology ; has less time and more to do.
The child must learn to sing, play the guitar, drums, keyboard,tabla,flute ; do the salsa, hip hop and learn some bollywood dancing too.The child must also learn to sketch,paint,sculpt ; maybe even cook ! And off course, how can we forget swimming and tennis for physical fitness ; but at the end of the day , studying darling matters the most !
Well, in such a comical scenario ,where developing “star” personalities of children is the prime focus , it is hard to tell whether being a parent is more difficult or being a child. I was with the child a few years ago, when i first started out as a counsellor and advocated “child-centric” thinking, until I had kids of my own!
The contemporary parents have their set of complexes. They seem aware and conscious of their tasks as a parent ; have access to immense information about children and their upbringing. However they have multiple and demanding roles to perform and people to please; have financial pressures ; personal aspirations, ideals to live up to and dreams for their children.
Peer pressure translated as ‘competitive mothering’ can be very stressful for some of us too. Besides, the mummy herself needs to learn the Zumba!
The contemporary father has his set of pressures at work and deadlines to meet.He probably has the greatest number of people to please per day and the least who smile at him at the end of the day.I repeat , probably.
So , if he hasn’t yet been exposed to the theory of the “hands-on dad” , he may or may not contribute to the family’s day to day chores. Likewise , he may or may not be a part of the child’s routine.Yet his ultimate magic lies in making available the very attractive devices (the tablets and the pads), incase the ‘UNO’ cards have stopped impressing his children.
The irony is that parenting, relentless as an occupation, requires absolutely no qualifications! So, the fate of a “planned child” lies in the hands of a couple, who, to begin with, wanted a child to either ‘improve’ their marital relationship ; or to take the fathers family name ahead ; or to assure themselves and the world that they are biologically fit to have babies or to please a grandparent; Or simply because they were married!After all,that is what is suppose to follow after you are married .
So what we have at the end is an exhausted and exasperated mother, a confused father (I mean what really is expected of him , who knows) and happy grandparents!
And the children? Well, that is for the counsellor to understand and explain.
Rohini Sethi Child Development Consultant https://in.linkedin.com/in/rohini-sethi-32715247