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Parenting is a tough job

Parenting

There are all kinds of parents in today’s world — accidental parents, foster parents, parents by design, surrogate parents



Published: Fri 26 Jun 2015, 4:01 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Jul 2015, 4:07 PM

The last issue of wknd. coincided with the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan, which is all about giving, sharing and loving. And what better representative of this than the karmic bond between children and parents (12 Parenting Tips… From the Young Ones, June 19)? The insightful read proved that there is no single answer to the parental conundrum on the best way to raise kids.
When I reminisce about my own childhood and my parents’ struggles — their jobs, daily chores targeted at basic needs and survival, and sacrifices to ensure a safe and healthy future for their kids — I realise that amidst all the chaos, the sensitivity and patience to discuss kids’ concerns was hugely impaired. Times have changed a lot and, today, my kids belong to a generation whose parents (i.e. us) have been blessed with safe and healthy lifestyles, with comparatively fewer struggles for basic needs — courtesy our own parents... Once basic needs are met, it’s easier for kids to acquire a mindset that’s mature and aware. They don’t like to be pushovers; they want their voices to be heard. They are not ‘rebellious’, but firm in the understanding that ‘respect commands respect’.
As parents, we need to accept the fact that learning can happen at any age and from anyone. In fact, the amount of learning that happens consciously or subconsciously from kids is immense. One just needs to have the patience to listen carefully, absorb the cues, and decode what is largely an unstructured form of curriculum coming our way.
We’re certainly blessed to be parents to kids who are giving us the opportunity to be better human beings by teaching us constantly. So let’s listen, act and learn — and spread some love and care this Ramadan. 


 
» Parenting is a tough job
Although reams of papers, books, articles and speeches have been devoted to the art of parenting, the truth is that this is a course of study that has no well-defined curriculum. There are all kinds of parents in today’s world — accidental parents, foster parents, parents by design, surrogate parents — and all of them are just human beings who have anxieties, faults and foibles. No parent can claim to be perfect, or an ideal role model, simply because no human being is perfect. I guess if both parents and children understand this simple truth and are willing to develop a mutual give-and-take attitude, a lot of acrimony and bitterness could be avoided.
It was interesting to read the kids’ take on parenting (12 Parenting Tips… From the Young Ones, June 19). This is the generation that is articulate, aware of rights and privileges, and  uninhibited about voicing its feelings. While we can safely conclude that although circumstances have changed with the passage of time, parenting, then and now, remains a challenge. I do not think there is any parent who would say that it has been smooth sailing.
Kahlil Gibran expresses it so well when he wrote: “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/ You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.”
Krishnan, by email

 
» thanks from down under
I have been reading Khaleej Times daily ever since I landed in Dubai in 1979. I left Dubai in 2011, and now live in Australia. I still read KT online so I can catch up on all that’s happening in the UAE —particularly Dubai — as I feel the place is still a part of me. It’s such a blessed country with great leadership and I ensure that I include the rulers in my daily prayers.
One of my favourite columns in wknd. is Beauty Basics. I have been following Rima Soni’s home remedies for over 30 years now. They’re very effective and I still follow some of the beauty tips I picked up from the column years ago. Thank you, KT. Keep up the good work!
Imani, by email 

 
» Pride Goes Before A Fall
The article Why Is She Such A Control Freak (June 12) gives us a glimpse into what happens when you let pride overwhelm you. Fame tends to tempt and cause the young to stray, catching them unaware. However, veterans such as Rekha learned to expect it and master it. So, it is quite sad when actors like her — one of such prowess — behave this way. One would think Rekha would be the embodiment of the ‘don’t get ahead of yourself’ mantra, and would know better than anyone that time in the limelight is short-lived. Ultimately, it is your mark as a person that really stays etched in people’s memories. Actors need to come to terms with the truth that they are mediators. But the story becomes tainted when they themselves become tawdry and think that the world revolves around them.
Swami Vivekananda famously preached that, often, on reaching the end of the journey, we forget the means by which we achieved our goals. By doing so, neither are we happy, nor are we content. Choosing the path of enjoying every moment of the journey makes every prize coveted. In turn, we develop a natural respect for the process and the result.
Shruthi Vijayan, Abu Dhabi 


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