'Mattar Nahi Khaunga Main!' is what I hear so often.
Like really? Did you just say that? Ok quick, grab a pen and paper to tick mark very sincerely the points you have done thus far with your child or children.
Have you -
- Been after the poor soul to ‘EAT UP’ the peas from the cottage cheese curry you made every time they said 'Mattar Nahi Khaunga Main!'?
- Menacingly asked your child to finish the milk before he/she runs off to play with friends?
- Told them every single day that he/she needs to study atleast an hour apart from the 'Home Work' time to do well in studies in particular and life in general?
- Without batting an eyelid, suggested your child to finish the summer holiday homework in the first week and not let it lag on till the last day or minute.
- Threateningly snatched the TV remote telling him stories of yore when there was no cable network and how we managed well without it?
- Been stone hearted enough and tried to put a restriction on the child’s exposure to the mobile phone, I-pad, X box, PS4, etc.?
- Made a time table for him or her to utilize the day better? Including defining a fixed sleeping and waking up time?
- Admonished or passed a comment on how the kid could have got even better marks but for the ‘silly mistakes’?
Ha ha...so you did tick quite a few of them. Welcome to the club of "Confused Parents". The only solacing factor is that you are not alone in this.
Ok, then once again pick up that pen and paper and write the truth for each point mentioned below.
- Point 1: Did you love peas/onions /kadhi patta as a kid and more so loved it when your mom almost shoved them down your gullet? How did it feel? Did she manage you to have a lifelong loving relationship with the green legume?
- Point 2: I am sure many of us love milk. But then many of us cannot even stand the smell of boiling milk in the house. Yet, you were made to have it as if that is the only thing in the world that would give us strength. Hope you know, even doctors nowadays suggest milk can be given a miss considering the adulterated milk available in tetra packs or at Dairies because it causes more harm than good.
- Point 3: Oh please! My dearest fellow parents, did you really read that much extra in school? Do you remember sitting a second more beyond finishing your school homework last thing in the night?
- Point 4: I shall touch the holy book and confess, I did my summer holiday homework on the last evening of the 2 month long vacation. Teary eyed and tensed. What about you? Do tell the truth!!!
- Point 5 and 6: True there were less or no gadgets, digital devices or a 24 hour TV broadcast and 500 channels to distract us. But did we not simply step out and play till late after sunset?
- Point 7: Made a time table alright for the kids but look back and see if even you adhered to it. I mean apart from just reproving them for not following it, what have you done? Only increased your blood pressure and spoilt your mood.
- Point 8: Last but surely not the least. A line being handed over from one generation to the other. You could have done better but for your ‘silly mistakes’. So did you like score cent percent in each subject? Every time? From class 1 upto graduation? If you did, then a standing ovation to you. If you did not, then...why, why are you torturing the poor child!!
Why do we do things we did not want our parents to do to us?
Much as many of you would argue with me, that times have changed, competition is tough, only the toppers can survive college admissions, I would still like to argue back and say, we are lucky to be in times when things are also changing. When it is fine if he eventually decides not to pursue biotechnology and ends up as a chef and food vlogger and gets name, fame and money! Just in case you missed it, I did mention he and not a she.
I personally believe, kids whatever be the age are intelligent beings. They gauge our lies almost instantly. “I bet mom used to puke when she was made to have a banana shake. She is simply taking a revenge’.
I have helped my child make a time table 'n' number of times. Truth be told, we did not manage to stick to it. One day it’s a dinner at home. Another day it could be a movie at the hall. And most of the day, it’s a Tom and Jerry game between us. And I know that you know what that means!
Of course, I too am a confused parent. Just like you. And it is a learning experience each day. Most of the days I am completely hassled-tired- irritated that time management is going haywire. Nutritious food isn’t going into my kids system. Sleep might be insufficient.
And then there are days when I step back. Step back to see the entire scenario from a distance.
Just observe. Despite late nights, less number of winks, incomplete homework, missed cent percent marks, your child is doing absolutely fine. He is far less tensed and stressed than we are. The idea is to learn from them and relax a bit. Breathe a little. Ease the strain.
Look back at your fun filled absolutely carefree childhood, the ballistic teenage years and the lets not even talk about the crazy-sensational college days.
We turned out just swell. And that is exactly how our kids would turn out too.
Let’s begin by:
- Not lying to them or to ourselves.
- Not keeping unachievable expectations of them. They kids for heaven’s sake. Let them laugh and play to their hearts content. I meant in the park, not on the I-Pad!!!
- Not stressing our lives out because the child missed a day at school.
Remember they are intelligent beings. They know when we are lying and when fafing!!!All we need to do from time to time is to step back. We all need to. We all should.For the sake of our children’s tension free childhood. And for the sake of our well being too! And as far as your dear peas are concerned. Well, do what many of us do. Camouflage it!!! Camouflage it either in a Pea Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes or in a Green Peas Mashed Potato Pancake and put an end to their 'Mattar Nahi Khaunga Main!'
*The views expressed in this article are wholly solely mine
*I am the mother to a 12 year old happy boy
* No pea was hurt during the writing of this article
C. Pallavi Rao Narvekar, an ex-Radio jockey is presently Group Head- CSR Radio Mirchi. A blogger and a one book author, she is equally passionate about playing with colours on her canvas. Mother to a 12 year old son, she confesses she is as confused a parent like most and shares her funny and not-so-funny anecdotes here. She lives in Delhi with one husband, one son and three Labradors. Also blogs at cpallavirao.com.