Points of View
A space to share your feedback. Over to you.
When an article has a rhetorical question like 'Can You Ever Be a Perfect Parent?' (Jun 10) as its title, you can be rest assured it's going to make for an interesting read. Truth is, as parents, somewhere early down the line, we put our hands up in surrender, realising that perfection is only a myth that the media keeps feeding us. Was the mother of the child responsible for the Harambe incident? Are murderers, bullies and eve-teasers created by their parents? These are debatable topics that would probably rake in millions on the Arnab Goswami show, but will always have diverse opinions attached.
It's true that home is the first school, but societal and peer pressure also play a significant part in determining our psyche from an early age.
I loved that the article drove the point straight home when it spoke about parenting being an on-the-job learning process, with no prior education available. A child's curiosity is inherent. We, as parents, and as a society, need to fuel that creative spark through pretend play, animated storytime and outdoor exploration. With a lot of love and patience, we need to inform our protégé about the repercussions of daily actions on themselves and those around them. Empathy, kindness and good sense are developed through our daily interactions; be it at home, school or social gatherings. There will be times when a parent may not be around 24/7, but where this learning will hold them in good stead. We need to stop worrying that our children don't always listen to us and to realise that they are always watching us as leading examples. Children spell love as 't-i-m-e'.
Let's all strive to be 'present' parents rather than 'perfect' parents and, perhaps, perfection will seem more achievable.
All about the journey
Steve Jobs once famously said, "The journey is the reward." The maxim was conceived as a motivational tool for budding entrepreneurs, but I like to think that this phrase sums up parenting in all its glory (Can You Ever Be A Perfect Parent?, Jun 10). Parenthood seems to revolve around little else but incessant tears and sleepless nights to please bawling tots. Many of us dread this stage and, yet, if you were to ask any parent whether they envy their childless peers, the answer is a resounding no.
I too remember the one time my son had slipped away from my grasp in a popular hypermarket that ironically rhymes with snafu. The memory still makes my hair stand on end. After what felt like eternity (probably the better part of 30 minutes), I was greeted with a relieving sight. There was my son, chatting up an equally interested official (who had graciously treated him to an ice cream), and looking like he'd have happily stayed put till all his milk teeth fell out. Later, he told me that he was a 'big boy now, so there was no need for daddy to worry anymore.' Those words struck home like a bullet. The trick is in knowing when to let our children surmount their problems on their own. Experience is the best teacher... and the journey is the reward.
Tijender Kumar Gupta, Abu Dhabi
The last couple of lines in Can You Ever Be A Perfect Parent? (Jun 10) really got me thinking. Is it true that we have romanticised the idea of being a parent when we do not share our challenges and only talk of the 'wonderful moments'? Nothing prepares us for responsibility like being a parent does. You recognise a new vulnerability in you soon after that warm, living bundle is placed into your hands. What you're unprepared for and rarely talk about is the darker side of your personality that emerges even as you combat your fears, expectations, and disappointments - all while being so in love with them. To answer the question the title asks is easy - it's 'no'. What happened to Harambe is really sad. But being an armchair critic is easy. There will be days when we all make mistakes. What's important is to learn from them and better our tomorrows.
Aswati Abraham, by e-mail
When in Rome...
Rome is a beautiful city that boasts an architectural magnificence like no other (Roman Holiday, Jun 10). My family and I spent a week there last year and had the most wonderful time. The beauty of the city lies in being able to see all of its iconic sights on foot. As we took pictures at the Colosseum, we could picture the Gladiator movie in our heads, marvelling that those events could've happened where we were standing, so many years ago.
A funny incident that took place was when I tried to check out an amazing building called the 'Piazza Tribunali'. I was stopped by the guards, and tried to tell them that I was a tourist and just wanted to look at it inside. He kept refusing in Italian and finally said, "No! Supreme Court!" We had a good laugh.
Aparna J, by email