Critical role of Grandparents
Dwindling joint families, people migrating to other cities/countries for economic reasons only means that our kids get limited and seasonal access to their grandparents- living in the same city helps as that increases the possibility of catching up with the grandparents more often than staying abroad or in far away cities. No such problem for me as I am fortunate enough to stay in a joint family.
What that does to me is that it gives both me and my wife the opportunity to pursue our careers as thankfully my folks are willing to look after my son, catch an occasional movie or dinner, attend some must social do’s and be weekend parents.
Leaving aside the most obvious and selfish reasons outlined above, I think being with my parents is a huge value add for my son. Let me enumerate some examples…
Helps keep the family traditions alive, basic values of respecting the elders, historical stories which we may have forgotten, trivia’s from our growing up years, value added engagement, increased confidence, more knowledgeable, enhanced conversations, more engagement (do we have the energy to do much post returning from work let alone finish the chores of the evening)
Of course all of this comes with a price, not a monetary one but the fact that kids do tend to get super spoilt by them-but here saluting the grandparents-take a bow
ARE WE MAKING OUR KIDS SUPER KIDS
My childhood memories of growing up are vivid to the “t” in terms of how we spent our day: initial years at school, some homework and studies. Evenings went in playing in the colony park with a bunch of other kids some evening TV and the day was over. Weekends was DD churning out Vikram aur Betal, He-Man and Ramayan. Summer holidays were usually spent taking up some vocational training like guitar, typing, music or swimming,
Kids today have a plethora of activities to choose from. Kids as young as three are being sent for extra- curricular activities during the school week itself…(yes I know this is a question of opportunities and the ability to provide for such opportunities and the rub off effect of the super-competitive environment around us)
Not to be left behind I too have enrolled my son in three such activities thereby making 5 out of the 5 weekdays super packed for him…one of my friends has got three extra-curricular activities going on in the week…some of the six year olds possibly have as busy a schedule as the corporate world…so this phenomena is here is to stay for sure. Gated living has made access to multiple possibilities easier with the facilities now walking up to our doorstep. Increase in disposable income has only made making the choices easier.
The rational side of me says this is a better and productive use of the time the kids have…but there is another point of view which forces me to think of the why:
Is it our competitiveness which we are leveraging through our kids…are we pushing them from such an early age to go out there and do more and more…will this really prepare them for a super competitive tomorrow…or is it our convenience which see’s them out of our hair for some time.
Are we pressurizing our kids…or is this the generation of the super kid?
If only my kid would…sigh!!!
Reads familiar doesn’t it…a thought which possible comes and goes at least a couple of times in a day…:)
Isn’t this particularly true for situations when he or she are being obtuse or at the heights of their shenanigans
So what does one do to control the child …gradual increase in the sternness of the voice…threats…ultimatums…bribe…and or finally a couple of whacks across the bottom anatomy of the child.
The last extreme measure of hitting…I think is the worst thing we can do to our kids.
I am sure that there will be many out there with divergent views but I strongly think that this harsh measure should be banned. A little extreme as it may sound but some developed countries have laws to similar effect.
The larger question to debate on is the “why” do we reach a point where the only resort which comes to our aid is a “whack”…and that too at times on the face or on the head.
Do we take a step back and look at what this would eventually do…
It could only go in two directions…frequent use of this methodology is only going to make the kid more obstinate because he or she has gotten habituated with the frequent shouting and hitting and the other possible impact is that we shatter his innocence and create an environment of fear and trauma which only goes to impact the character, confidence and personality of the child.
Can we get away or use this approach in our professional, social or grown up family circle…my guess is no…so why do we resort to such extreme steps with our kids who you know cant retaliate…at least not at this age…
I know patience is a virtue which comes in varying degrees and raising kids will always test our patience…but by hitting…are we using our kids as our punching bags to vent our own frustrations…