Over Parenting – Extension
India is a land which is suffering from both over-parenting and under-parenting. Both of which are not good. We need to attain a balance. Too much of love hurts as much as no love.
#The first and foremost step to solve a problem is to realise that there is a problem and then understanding the reasons behind it.
10 Months, that is the maximum time, you can hold your baby inside your womb, irrespective of however safe the place is for the kid. And after that, you can’t… even if you want, because the baby by then has developed his physical personality. He starts feeling suffocated, suppressed and starts kicking. Irrespective of whether you are a mother or a goddess. I hope you understand what I am trying to convey you.
20 Years is the maximum time you can hold your child under your perspectives, values & norms, and after that you can’t, because the child has already developed his personality by then, with his own values. And then if you still forcefully hold him and rub your own ideologies on to him, he will feel suffocated, suppressed & starts retorting irrespective of whether you are parents or gods.
Relation between Parents & Children:
Children are not just tied up with parents genetically, but even physically, emotionally, ideologically & financially. The journey of any person is all about liberation from such entities through the act of knowledge and wisdom. All of these entities are not broken in a single blow, but it happens gradually. A child first becomes free of physical bond with the parents, once he completes his tenure of 9 months inside the womb. He is then liberated from the ideological bond with the parents, once he completes his tenure of 18 years and grows into an adult. He is then set free from the financial bond with the parents, once he gains the eligibility to earn his own living. He is then set free from the emotional bond with the parents, once he stops breathing. A child loves their parents in the similar manner how parents love their children. Just like a mom holds everything inside and cries sitting in a corner, a child does the same as well.
Parenting is all about liberating your child. If any of the bond is not liberated at the right time, it creates a real twinging turbulence over the parent-children bond, leading to a broken relationship. So it is very important that parents liberate their children at least in the 3 major decisions of their lives which we discussed in the earlier post. (Career, Marriage & Children).
But why do they usually involve themselves? Where did it start and why didn’t it stop? Let us get into the history of it.
Ages ago, parents were the only source of knowledge to the children. When it comes to career, there were no options apart from learning what the parents have taught them. When there are no options, there is nothing to root for or develop interest towards apart from the only career they have. And parent’s involvement was considered appropriate.
When it comes to marriage, oh! sorry “child marriage”, parents involvement was a must as they conducted a marriage to the child who was not an adult yet, who didn’t develop his personality yet. And thus, it was a hardcore responsibility of every parent to get their child married.
When it comes to making children, the only major motive of any human being until few centuries back was to populate this planet with as many humans as possible. And thus parents involved in persuading children, to make as many kids as possible.
This was apt when the days were as such,
When there were no career options apart from choosing what parents taught,
when the idea of child marriage was prevailing,
when humans were less in count on this planet.
But today, the days have changed. We have developed a market with wide range of career opportunities. Jobs that were not even imagined a decade ago are in existence now. Who would have thought a century ago that people would be working to make stories and movies, who would have thought ages ago that we will be sitting in front of computers and write codes to ease our work, who would have thought that we will be working to design aircrafts or automobiles to ease our travel. People have wide options to choose what they want to love or love what they want. We have developed ourselves from doing what we have, to the standard of life during Industrial Age, to the Quality of life during the Information Age. This is development. Here we are!
We are no more living in the age where child marriages are considered to be legal. People are pursuing their career and marriage after turning adults unlike the earlier days where they used to pursue it during their teenage. Yes, providing a career and marriage to the children was a hardcore primary responsibility of every parent because of the ongoing trend at that time, when your child was not an adult. But inertia of such responsibilities is still haunting us. Today, parents have forgotten to notice that days around them have changed and are still carrying their age old illogical responsibilities even when the problem is no more prevailing. And the saddest part is that they see it as a pride. They feel they are carrying the legacy, tradition, giving knowledge to the future generations and what not… But what they are giving to the future generations is nothing but pain, depression and many more psychological issues. They are working towards illness than wellness.
And god knows about populating this planet with humans. We are 7 billion now and the world definitely needs more population isn’t it? Why are we still stuck? Why do we live in the past and glorify it when the present is so beautiful and worth living?
Safety & F.E.A.R:
If Pride / status / reputation / honour is one of the major reason for parents to stop their kids from doing what they love, the other major reason is utter safety to make sure they don’t fail.
Is being safe that important that you sacrifice doing what you love? Is being alive that important that you give up on the entities that matter to you the most? What is the purpose of being safe or being alive then? Isn’t it similar to dying everyday?
A senior scientist in my earlier office once told me, “An aircraft is most safer on the ground, but it was never meant for that. It was meant to fly… even at the risk of failing or falling. If it was left on the ground for its safety & fear of losing it, it would have rusted and fallen earlier than it could have flied.”
Dear Parents of the elder generation,
Are you able to understand what you are doing? Aircraft is a thing and your child is not a thing. If an aircraft can get rusted, then what about your child? Keeping your adult child in a shell, to see them in front of your eyes by forcing them to sacrifice what they love is not love, but is a brutal crime on a pure selfish motive. Death comes only one time but in order to keep them safe from failures, you give them a cold death every day. Is this what you want?
Image Courtesy: Vimal Chandran
An Interesting Story of Hiroo Onada:
You might have heard of Hiroo Onada, Second Lieutenant of the Japanese Imperial Army who was deployed to small island in Philippines during Second World War on 26th December, 1944. His orders were to slow down the United States as much as possible, to stand and fight at all costs, and to never SURRENDER.
In February 1945, the Americans arrived on Lubang and took the island with overwhelming force. Within days, most of the Japanese soldiers had either surrendered or been killed, but Onada & three of his men managed to hide in the jungle. From there, they began a guerrilla warfare campaign against the U.S. forces & the local population.
That August, half a year later, the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. Japan then surrendered and the deadliest war in human history came to its dramatic conclusion. But Onada who was hiding in the jungle, unaware that the war was over, continued to fight & pillage as before. The U.S. military in conjunction with Japanese government, dropped thousands of leaflets throughout the pacific region announcing that the war was over and it is time for everyone to go home. Onada and his men found & read those leaflets, but unlike most of the others, Onada decided they were fake, a trap set by the American forces to get the guerrilla forces to show themselves, Onada burned the leaflets and with his men stayed hidden and continued to fight.
Five years went by. The leaflets had stopped, and most of the American forces had long since gone home. The local population attempted to return to their normal lives of farming & fishing. Yet there was Hiroo Onada and his men, still shooting at the farmers, burning their crops, stealing their livestock, & murdering locals who wandered too far into the jungle.
The Philippines government took to new flyers & spreading them across the jungle, “Come out!” They said. “The war is over. You lost!” But Onada ignored those attempts as well as ambush by the Americans. In 1952, the Japanese government made one final effort to draw the last remaining soldiers out of hiding throughout the Pacific. This time letters & pictures from the missing soldiers’ families were air-dropped, along with a personal note from emperor itself. Once again Onada refused to believe that the information was real. Once again, he believed the airdrop to be a trick by Americans. Once again he and his men stood and continued to fight. Onada, having now spend more half of his life in the jungles of Lubang, was all alone, still waging war against the local population a full quarter-century after the end of World War II.
Courtesy: Wikipedia & Book:The subtle art of not giving a f*ck
This is the story of Hiroo Onada. We are all in a similar state now. All the parents are Onadas’. The days of following those traditions & responsibilities are finished long ago, but they are still following them in a false belief that they will do good to them. I don’t know whether to pity them for not realising it, or leave them for enforcing those illogical ideas onto us which are no more useful on a present day.
The real problem here, on this day is that parents know when to start parenting, but failed to understand when to stop. Dear Parents, here’s something for you. Get this into your mind. Parenting is a blessing. It is a 20 year project. Whatever you want to do as parents to guard them, that needs to be done within that time. The perspective or the ideology you want to give, the values that you want to teach, the traditions and norms that you want to install, that must be done before he grows into an adult. After that, he develops his own personalty and starts seeing the world with his own view and develops his own personality with his own values & perspectives. Your job of parenting ends right when your child turns into an adult irrespective of their marriage status. Their career choice is not your responsibility anymore, their choice of person towards marriage is not your responsibility anymore. All you can do is support them as parents towards their endeavours if you can. And if you cannot, let them go ahead, fall, fail and rise again. That is the experience of life. Your indulgence into their life there after will be appreciated but the persuasion to make them to do what you want them to do is illegal and will only create depression as they feel their life is being controlled by someone else. They feel utter suppression on them which eventually leads to the birth of rebels. And one or the other day, you will see your own kid going against you.
“We don’t feel depressed or sad when we fail. We don’t! We feel depressed or sad when we feel that we are not in-charge of our own situation. That’s it! When you don’t feel incharge of your own situation, whether it is a success or a failure, when you don’t feel that you are in the driver’s seat of your life, that is when you feel disconnected with yourself. And you end up feeling sad or depressed.
When you feel like an incharge, even when you fail, you are more often than not thinking about the next steps, about what you can do next, what you can innovate next, about what you can make happen next rather than worrying about what has already passed. But when you don’t feel like an incharge, you feel helpless, that’s when you are thinking you have lost the game.
So make sure you feel like an incharge whether it is a failure or success and keep winning your life…”
—- Karthik Madugula (Psychologist)
The most important thing that we need to understand here is that, parents are not criminals, until they take any violent steps towards their children. They are innocent, who are not trained in the art of balanced parenting. Their ignorance towards this is the major cause of troubles faced by children.
What can be done:
It is high time we understand that what we follow as traditions were nothing but solutions or precautions to certain problems. So don’t just teach traditions to your kids, but make them understand the why of it by explaining them the problem. Without the knowledge of the problem, the value for the solution is zero.
Stop following traditions / norms that you don’t understand. If you are addicted to them and can’t stop following, then don’t impose them onto others or your children.
A huge campaign & promotion to make parents understand that the war is over. Parents don’t need to involve in their children’s decision making once they are adults. Those days are gone. The war is over Onadas’.
Wide awareness must be bought in parents about the problems faced by the children in today’s age.
Events must be conducted to teach the art of parenting.
It must be made a rule for every parent to go through a parenting course and only then have a children.
Few great words by SADHGURU:
(elite Indian Yogi & Author)
First thing we need to understand is, children only come through you. They don’t come from you. They are not your property, to be conducted whichever way you feel fit. Nah! They are not. If you treat them as your property or your future investment, you are committing a certain sacrilege against the creation and the creator, for which they will be a price. Simply that price will come in the form of life or in the form of your children. Yes it will be unfortunate to see that.
I am saying this, A very cruel thing to say to any parent, but I am saying this because, it is a very cruel thing to PARENT a CHILD. The child doesn’t need that. You see, in so many ways, you are doing everything possible, to see that he remains dependent on you in some way or the other. You are not thinking of liberating him. So the moment you start working, you want your children to be ATTACHED to you. Isn’t it? Well you yourself open Bhagwad Gita and read and say you should not be attached, I should not be attached, you tell your wife, see don’t be attached to me. But your children, you want them attached to you.
So before you choose to have children, you must think about these things. But if it already has happened, now at least you must think about it properly and seriously.
One thing is, if you want to produce something little better than yourself to the world. It is important right? If you produce a child, it must be at least one step better than you? Isn’t it? The same non-sense is going to happen once again, then what’s the point? So something better than you must happen.
This is something very hard for most parents because that’s the only place where they get to boss around. They have a committed audience in their children. Wherever else they speak, no one will ever listen to them.
Stop parenting your kids. what they need is a friend, some good company, they don’t need a bloody father & mother walking around the house like a bloody boss. That job is already done. Fathering somebody or mothering somebody means biologically delivering them. That’s been done. Now the children are trying to become a life by themselves. What they need is a friend. The only qualification you have against them or over them is, you came a few years earlier than them. That’s all you have, what else you have I am asking? Are you sure you are more intelligent than your child?
All you have done is, you have landed here few years earlier, beyond that you have no other qualification to tell your grown-up child what to do and what not to do.
Start treating them as one more person, not as “my child! My child!” It is not yours. I am telling you. At the most you have given some genetic substance to create a body but not life. You cannot create a life. Don’t have such grandiose ideas about yourself. So understanding that the child is not your making, is a privilege. They have come through you. Enjoy the privilege, cherish the privilege, Respect the privilege. But do not abuse the privilege that’s been given to you. It is very important.”
In the words of Kahlil Gibran:
(Writer, poet, visual artist & Philosopher)
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself…
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”
Note to the Parents:
Every child is born very curious and with his own observation, he starts learning under the guidance of parents. With his teeny-tiny legs, he starts walking… You know why? To stand on his own legs. To explore and experience the life that he has been given with the help of the genetic substance you have provided them. With million dreams and billion hopes, he starts running. But what’s the point if you feel that he is moving away from you? Feel happy that he is gaining the capability to lead his own life. Don’t make them your weakness or become their weakness. Be their strength. Because every child loves you like you have never ever imagined. #Parents are every child’s first love.
Liberate them! Set them free! before they are lost! Before they slip away. Where ever they are, whatever they might be doing, they will always be grateful to you and look after you. Just set them free and see the beautiful smiles that widen up around this world.
Note to the Kids of every parent:
To all the grown-ups, Remember this. We live when we do what we love, we die the moment we give up on what we love.
———Sai Nikhil Etikyala (Exploracer)
A SONG TO YOU ALL PARENTS:
A SONG TO YOU ALL KIDS & YOUNGSTERS: