Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Making a big deal of parenting. But why?

Michelle Obama won a lot of hearts yesterday. She was all over Facebook and Twitter with her speech which she is quite known for delivering impact-fully. I could hear only a portion of it and what stuck to me was:

When they go low, we go high.

In the context of parenting, there was no better way of putting my thoughts into words- the thoughts that were bothering me for a few days now. As V and N are growing up, the challenges of raising them the way we wish to, are becoming more and more complex. They are obedient boys, attentive listeners, quick learners and so broadly our lives are sorted. Combine this with the fact that I tweak my work schedule around them, hence largely we end up spending a lot of quality time with them, abreast with every big and small thing that may be affecting them. But these times are difficult. These times are those of Whatsapp where even before they come back from school, the mothers of their school friends are discussing the next class test or upcoming special assembly with me on the phone.

As a policy, I keep the class groups on Whatsapp on mute as I trust my sons to tell me what happened in school rather than hearing it from fellow moms. However, unless I start living in a sound proof chamber, there  is no way I can avoid the trickles of competition seep into mine or my kids' lives. Why just them? Aren't we all adults competing mindlessly too? Those of us who have not watched Game Of Thrones are outcasts in the society. If we do not know what is 'Pokemon Go', we are dumb f$%&s who should probably lock ourselves up in our house and hope to rot.

In such a world, what Michelle said had perfect resonance to how I behave with V and N. When I do not watch GOT or play Pokemon just because my peers will judge me, I strictly should keep my sons away from all the myriad things that other kids are doing- just because they ought to! 

Instead of bothering kids with staying at par with others, it is much wiser to let them be. Just let them be. So when the world around them goes low by putting them down because they cannot do A, B or C, be the backbone which makes them say- "I trust myself. I will be fine" :)