Monday, April 1, 2013

How about leaving better children for this planet?


Dear Cheeky ke Mom and Daddy,

Let me start by congratulating you for creating a miracle – your baby. Even though I don’t see your child with the same pair of rose-tinted eyes, I can assure you s/he is almost as adorable as you think. Her smile can turn the articulate to gibberish. Her beautiful eyes can light up even the darkest heart. She is cute as a button, till she opens her mouth to express her displeasure.

She wanted boo boo and you couldn’t get it for her. So, she’s doing what she does best. Scream. And why not - your Princess is not used to being disobeyed!
Courtesy - Google images


Her high pitched scream makes your hear palpitate with terror. You are even willing to swing upside down to stop that horrible noise. So, you do what you do best, fetch boo boo for her to make her shut up.

God forbid, if you are in a mood to be brave and decide to ignore, she will promptly raise her decibel levels and give you a migraine attack. Suddenly you start feeling the heat of at least a dozen pair of eyes boring into your back and accusing you silently for having created this monster.

If looks could kill, you would have died a thousand deaths.

Sorry, it’s all your fault. In your earnestness to be a good parent, you turned yourself into her personal genie. You wanted to be her superhero, moved mountains, jumped ditches and danced like a clown to fulfil her demands. And now she has you wrapped around her little finger. She knows the power she has over you and uses it to her fullest.


A generation of parents has forgotten how to say no to their kids. Born after much deliberation and planning, the apple of their eyes is treated like royalty. Buying the best the money can buy, lavishing their kids with everything that they were denied as children, new-age parenting leaves no stone unturned to keep their progeny happy.

Don’t worry, it will become worse as she grows older. You will place your little darling on a pedestal, applaud her every little achievement and tire everyone with your bragging. Most of you are under the impression, that by heaping praise, you are building your child’s confidence and sense of self. On the contrary, too much praise can backfire. It makes your kid afraid to try new things for fear of letting you down.

You are unknowingly conveying to her that she has to get your approval all the time and constantly look at you for validation.

You will worry incessantly on her behalf, do your best to keep her away from danger, won’t let her out on her own, fight her battles on her behalf, cry with her… Fair enough! But you must know, paranoid parents raise paranoid kids.

In other words, you are raising a generation of wimps and narcissists and passing your fear of risk to them.

If you don’t let her skin her knees, let her fall and fail, face her darkest fears alone, how do you expect her to face the world on her own? Outside your cocoon of love, she will face a harsh world and you cannot be always around to protect her. Raise her to be a fighter and not a delicate Barbie.If you love her, listen patiently to her arguments rather than dismissing it as rebellion, value her opinions and most importantly treat her with as much respect as you expect from her. Only when you treat her like a responsible adult will she behave like one.

Start with learning how to say no to her. Don’t let her manipulate and negotiate till she gets her way. You ask her to switch off the TV and she makes a puppy face and says- please Ma, 10 more minutes? Reason with her, tell her with a firm tone why she can’t watch Cartoon Network all the time. If she throws a tantrum, don’t get upset and never negotiate. It’s very important to set a clear, firm limit. If she sulks and throws a fit, let her know her behaviour isn’t going to get her what she wants.

Saying yes is always the easier way out, but not putting up with her nonsense will always pay rich dividends in the future. Do you want your child to grow up to be a tantrummy woman, used to getting her own way by manipulating others? Show your love by teaching her that best things in life are never handed on a platter, you have to earn them.

Love has many manifestations, but pampering her and bending backwards to accommodate her unreasonable demands is certainly not one of them. Praise her efforts and not the outcome. If she toiled nights on a project and still didn’t walk away with the award – don’t console her, laud her for the hard work! Teach her to be happy and not how to make you happy with her accomplishments.

We talk about leaving a better planet for our children that we forget about leaving better children for this planet. Educate your children. Say no to them every once in a while.


97 comments:

  1. Very nice and well written...absolutely agree to the point...parents should know the dividing line between love and pampering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love often makes us blind, especially when it's our own flesh and blood.

      Delete
  2. Absolutely true, we the parents have totally forgotten that NO is a 2 letter word and needs to be used without fear. Really good line leaving better children for the planet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ironically, kids have scant respect for parents who bend backwards to accommodate their demands.

      Delete
  3. Can't agree more. As the spending power of parents increase, the word "No" is almost seen as an equivalent to bad parenting. Children should definitely hear Nos from their parents when they cross their boundaries.

    Another fabulous post.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susan.

      I feel we are becoming too soft on our kids. It's a tough world out there and we need to teach them how to survive on their own.

      Delete
  4. The consequences of saying YES or NO to their children is very well known to parents.A very tricky situation to face but comes with apt handling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And some tactful advice from parents.

      Delete
  5. That last line was wonderful and a fitting climax to a great post, Purba - 'leaving better children for the planet'!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, the line is not mine. Had read it long time back :-)

      Delete
  6. ahhh..a seamless read :)

    "If looks could kill, I would have killed a thousand lives !"

    ReplyDelete
  7. Agree, agree, agree. Frankly there are occasions when we are scared to say No. But we shouldn't be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We make too big a deal about failures!

      Delete
  8. very well said and written too. Today's children are impatient and need their wishes fulfilled at an instant. Needs to be changed. Nice article :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yeah. Totally agree. I m trying to do it since long. Hope to do it more.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah. Totally agree. I m trying to do it since long. Hope to do it more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. Our children deserve the best of us.

      Delete
  11. Kids, you will have to be a kid to beat them at their own game. Don't give up until they do. :) Nice read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes! Most of them are master manipulators :-)

      Delete
  12. My God, I had no idea you personally knew that demon child next door from us!
    You have articulated all that I have in my mind about this (me being SINK - Single Income No Kids). The last line (and the title) especially.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rickie! I wanted to advocate spanking. Meri taraf se do jhapad to your nightmare next door.

      Delete
  13. I wonder what prompted this post :p you are right though .. Kids must get used to hearing No from their parents once in a while. We are leaving brats for our planet these days !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah! the annoying brats unleashed on us from time to time, while the parents conveniently look the other way.

      Delete
  14. Wonderful post. Totally agree :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I want to clap clap clap on reading this. How I so agree to every word of yours. I don't boast to be a perfect parent and that my kids are the most disciplined ones in the world. But how true it is, what you have said. I have seen my own friends do the same that you have mentioned. I don't know where this pampering leads to! I keep getting from my son, you are the only one who doesn't give me junk food..you are the only one that...this...bull shit...etc..the more only ones I get, I think now the better I should feel :) OMG!! my lil devil daughter is going to come back from a one yr stay in India, have to articulate new tricks to tame her..She's a handful!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once your son grows up, he will appreciate you for who you are.

      Mother-daughter reunion? How delightful!

      Delete
  16. You have no idea that you have touched the soft spot of many young mothers :)
    Just curious how many kids do you have and how old are they?
    If they are in the age group of 0-5 .. I bow to you... however, if they are in their teens or above, then I would just say, sorry mam you just don't know.
    Ofcourse, you have experience, and you have been there done that.. so you have every right to write or advice.
    As for people who don't have kids, I think they should not say anything on this...again cos they don't know what it's all about.
    Times have changed, so has the society and so have the children.
    Sometimes, there is a sort of helplessness attached when it comes to this discipline.
    Eg.1. one of my friend's 3 years old son, he starts throwing up if cries/screams a lot. She has to sometimes give in cos she can't let him cry because he has this tendency. How can she do it when she is out..if he will start throwing up in a mall or some other such place?
    Eg. 2 there are children who suffer from various allergies , runny nose, coughing which ultimately leads to wheezing...nd so on. If their children cry too much they may start to have all that...again a runny nose...and the cycle.
    I am not saying there is anything wrong in what you have written..totally agree. Just wanted to tell the point of view of some of the parents..who get helpless...
    A mother wants her little ones to be healthy..and if they are not..all the other things go for a toss...if you are a mother you will understand as for people who don't have children yet..you can never understand..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An opinion will always have counter-opinions. And I respect yours. However, I feel for your child to toughen up, it's you who has to be tough. Yes, it might break your heart, you will feel guilty but caving in to unreasonable demands doesn't help much.

      Delete
  17. Some good advice of bringing up children.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a coincidence, Purba to read this post on a day when I read an article on one of the richest billionaire, Warren Buffet, who still lives in a 58 years old house with just 5 rooms and has donatred 30 billion USD in charities! The noveau rich like to flaunt and pamper their children who actually need spanking sometimes rather than gross indulgence!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry to say, but Indian parenting leaves a lot to be desired. We tend to mollycoddle our kids.

      Delete
  19. Completely agree. I know a person, who kept her son of two years inside the house from November onwards until mid February because it was winter and cold outside. She dint want her son to catch cold. I have a son of the same age who looks for every opportunity to go out. Because children like to play outside. This child in question, once came to my house and his mother faked calls to her mobile and lied that his Daddy called and was waiting outside so that the son would agree to go with her. Otherwise this child, if he learns that it is time to leave is terrified because he had been in the same living room of his house for months. Winter, it seems. What kind of parents are these? I hope that woman reads this post !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doesn't she know, she's doing him more harm than good! Protecting him from allergies, extreme weather conditions will only bring his immunity down.

      Delete
    2. By the way she was a nurse and now a housewife ;-)

      Delete
  20. I had a cousin once whose son used to bang his head against the wall if he didn't get his way! She used to give in each time. Then, one day, just as he had started it, her mom firmly took her by her hand and led her out of the room. After some time, the banging stopped because the audience had disappeared! And, gradually these tantrums ceased as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'I had a cousin once'?! Um....she's still there! Oof!!!

      Delete
    2. These tantrums are staged for attention!

      Thank God, her Mom finally intervened.

      Delete
  21. Hm.. Nice sensible article. Like the article but for a moment I was confused if I was on your blog or Rachna's blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol! I am allowed to give parenting advice, no?

      Delete
  22. People aren't raising flesh and blood kids nowadays Purba. They are raising hot- house plant which would wither away by a single no. I have seen kids who throw terrible tantrums- which parents give in to..! Twice I have seen (different) kids just lie down in the floor of the mall and begin screaming. Once I saw a child run out of the car and lie down in the middle of the road.

    I feel sorry for such children. Their parents should be shot and then hung for good measure. To give no structure to a child..! To turn a beautiful child into a vile creature! Bad parenting should be a punishable offense..!

    Oh don't mind me! I hate to see waste. And to see a human potential wasted is more than I can bear!

    LOVED this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember reading somewhere, a child's behaviour is simply a reflection of his parent's attitude.

      It becomes a catch-22 situation - the more you pander to his whims, the more demanding he becomes!

      Delete
  23. wow! i did not know parents have changed so much these days.
    I cannot say anything here as I do not have any kids yet. But I think I agree with you.
    1) Children should be loved and not pampered (little pampering is good but should know where to draw lines).
    2) Children should be applauded for their good works and achievements (in my case, my mother suppresed whatever i did by saying 'we should not think about our acheivements too much as our acheivements should be applauded by others and not by ourselves.' Even today, whenever I get applauds from my husbands and others, I say, 'nothing big deal really' nad become sombre. But I cant help. My state is exact opposite to being narssicist.
    3) Children should learn the value of money which is very important. Send them to get some summer jobs.
    4) Should let go of them. Mollycoddling will only result in weak hearts and cowards.
    Ok, so lets see how i will handle my kid, if i have one :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a strict upbringing and resented my mother's critical attitude towards me. But now that I have grown up, it has made me realize how much it shaped my personality. I don't get easily carried away by praise. I always question the motive.

      Delete
  24. i agree completely with you..even though i am yet to have my own..the kids these days are so undisciplined and parents are totally not inclined to say No to them!!

    btw, why is the kid referred to here is SHE?? :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "She" is symbolic. It is tough to write he/she sentences, so I preferred sticking to one gender :-)

      Delete
  25. Great pointers for my future... and an amazing blog, btw... I read some of the posts from the archives and such engaging contents you have there, I can relate so much to them.
    Brilliant !! *claps*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeez! this is embarrassing. High praise always leaves me fumbling for words. Will a simple thank you suffice?

      Delete
    2. I was thinking of a Maach-bhaat treat but.. "thank you" will do for now :v

      Delete
  26. I hope my parents never read this! Now I feel I was on a verge of being a brat! :D

    Informative piece for youngsters like me and a reality check for the older generation :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only son syndrome? But you've turned out fine :-)

      Delete
    2. Ha Ha thanks! Now, I want them to read your comment :)

      Delete
  27. Yes , it is very irritating to see children brought up like this. We used to have a very good Punjabi couple, who had two very naughty kids. Whenever we used to get a whiff of them coming to our house we used to quickly hide all the breakable things from their sight. Once, we were unprepared for their visit, and the elder one of two, named aptly "Happy", was very happy to get hold of one of our clocks, and broke it to pieces, and to this the mother says, "Chota hai abhi todaga, but hokay engineer banke jodhaka", so I suppose we have to wait till he grows up and repairs our unrepairable clock. Her logic was pretty funny. However, those naughty boys did grow up to become intelligent boys who topped in their chosen field and have become responsible parents and great innovators. That is something isn't it?
    Not all pampered children grow up to be lacking in self confidence etc.
    But somehow we were never brought like that, though we have not had success like them.
    I somehow feel that let these pampered children behave as they want in their own homes, but when they come out they better behave themselves or stay at home.
    I have two grown up kids they were always well behaved, but whether they would follow the same pattern when they have their own kids I cannot guarantee.
    Recently i visited my married daughter in Mumbai,who started giving me a lecture on many things: I need to improve myself, and be the person I always wanted to be, and not to expect things to fall magically on my lap, and so on, I listened to her with rapt attention, and agreed to each and every advise given by her, as if she was my mother, and said , that I will try to do the things so rightly pointed out by her.
    I feel it doesn't matter where the advise comes from, if it is good one must take it in the right spirit. I also felt happy that I had brought my children with good values. BTW, even now when i hear some naughty children of friends and relatives are visiting , I hide everything, for I just cannot think of letting them break all my precious collectibles.
    Nice write up Purba.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's beautiful philosophy to follow - "I feel it doesn't matter where the advise comes from, if it is good one must take it in the right spirit". I hope everyone reads this.

      Delete
    2. I agree with Purba on this :-)

      Delete
  28. So True. I dont understand why parents unnecessarily yield in to their children's demands. They think they are pampering them, but in reality they are spoiling them. Kids should be taught how to deal with 'No' for an answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since they have to hear a lot of No's in the future, might as well start preparing them early!

      Delete
  29. A lovely post !. I think it the toughest task in the world, bringing up disciplined kids.The parents need to be disciplined first. The first three years are trying, and only patience and immense love for the child's future can help parents.

    Most of our young parents are sadly lacking in these qualities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Parenthood is no cakewalk and comes with no instruction manual. We learnt by trial and error and listening to sane advice.

      Delete
  30. Why isn't this post on parentous.com? I need to send this to one dozen friends! I have noticed that many kids despite such bad parenting grow up fine. So we have some hope for the planet :-|

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let the flicker of hope keep burning!

      Delete
  31. Loved your post Purba.
    Yeah-shield,cuddle cosset & pamper for all you are worth;till the outside world throws a spanner in this beautiful dream.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If only they would take time out and listen to what the world has to say to them. Not all criticism is bad.

      Delete
  32. Very true Purba. Loved the last line most "leaving better children for this planet."

    ReplyDelete
  33. Purba, I am a confused mom currently. The way I was brought up and my social conditioning taught me that kids should be spanked and brought up; But my rebellion against the strict way I was bought up made me decide that I would never do that to my kid.
    I read your post and cannot argue with it.
    I read this post http://sandradodd.com/spoiled and could not argue with it either.
    So I understand it depends on a parent's ability to judgment when we should say 'yes' and when to say 'no'. It's a really tough job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True...really..."it depends on a parent's ability to judgment when we should say 'yes' and when to say 'no'". Every child is different...
      Thanks for the link

      Nidhi

      Delete
    2. Your child is like sand. Hold him too tight or too loose and he will slip out of your hands.

      I am not advocating that you take the extreme path and start spanking him. Just don't let your love for him make you blind to his follies :-)

      Delete
  34. Usually I don't read non-tech blogs but the headline was little catchy, so came here and found it worthy to read.
    i must say you have very great skills to portray your thoughts in visualized words.
    keep writing and sharing good articles like this.

    promoted at indiblogger :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Much appreciate your kind words.

      Delete
    2. :D. Any time. Sometime you should read my teach blogs too hehehhe

      Delete
  35. My wife's a school teacher...and apparently it's taboo to punish kids these days

    Here's more:-

    a) Kids cant be failed in any exam till grade 9
    b) No rap on the knuckles or harsh admonishment of kids in front of others...no matter how badly they behave
    c) A troublesome boy "probably has issues at home/is a victim of abuse/needs counselling/parents are at fault/is lonely". He/she is definitely not doing it for fun
    d) yada yada

    I'm not saying a) to d) are not valid. I'm only saying complete dependence on them will either create wimps or socially harmful elements.

    There needs to be some balance

    Cheers
    CRD

    Do visit mine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, painfully aware of it. Taught high school kids for over a decade.

      Delete
  36. Too often I have come across parents who give their children everything that money can buy because they themselves had had to do without. That is as bad as forcing one's ambitions on one's children. If one spoils, the other puts incredible pressure on them. I had done a post on how Vikki used to call me 'A bundle of No'es', when he was growing up :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It breaks a mother's heart to say No to her own. But only a strong woman will abide by it because she knows it is for her child's good.

      Delete
  37. This feels so much like my kind of article, Purba :). So many thoughts that I feel and endorse. And I remember sharing this quote about leaving better children for the planet on FB too some time back. Makes so much sense no. Arre, mere bachche toh get spanked right then and there. Discipline is important, and bad children are a reflection on bad parents and parenting. Maa ke laadle se pehle maa baap ko sudharne ki zaroorat hai. Well written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like the "Fool" suggested, my post read like one of yours :D

      Delete
  38. I see this happening with so many kids. At home they are pampered and once they step out of the house they are the ultimate terrors not for the parents alone but for others as well. The child is so used to getting her way at home that she throws a fit when she's at another person's house and insists on possessing something that's not her own. She finds this behavior acceptable because she gets away with it at home! I feel all good lessons should start at home including not doing everything for your kids, making boys do their own chores (this hardly happens which is why they become so lazy and expect the girls to do it for them later in life), teaching girls how to be independent etc. This doesn't mean you spank them whenever they do something wrong. I am dead against that. Ignoring them is the key here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes ignoring works, sometimes you have to explain why such a behaviour is unacceptable, sometimes a time-out" for bad bahaviour....One has to keep changing tactics.

      Delete
  39. I have written so many times about this. The problem is that parents themselves have this illusion of grandeur that they pass them on to their child.
    I go crazy when I see parents turn a cinema hall into a play area. I feel like taking my shoe off and throw on the parents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha...what about grown-up adult having loud conversations inside movie theaters?

      Delete
  40. I am forwarding this post link to whole lot of parents I know. And if they think I am judging them, they are right....I bloody well am. The only problem being, I know this won't dent their enthusiasm. I wish I could just kick them up in the back sides....way easier and effective, me thinks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please do. It's time someone told them how annoying their brat is!

      Delete
  41. There should be a test(in 5 stages) before you decide to become a parent and then a license would be issued that you will need to get renewed every 5 years.
    If you fail the test even once, you will be sterilized.

    ReplyDelete
  42. true..hard hitting and relevant..one more masterpiece..

    P.S.-- and i am not exaggerating

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hmm, made me think Purba. A good balance in everything in life always works best, I agree.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I think if the blaming game starts,grandparents have a greater role,as they still influence their kids(the parents in the case) with how to parent the child!!I am a new mum and recently read a book called How kids think,scientifically speaking to kids the world belongs to them but as they grow up they understnd how to lie,make friends and share!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Good one Purba,

    After reading the post and reading the comments I feel relieved that there are many more parents like me, who are saying NO and being considered strict parents by children.

    Instead of feeling guilty when we say NO, we should always cross check what is good for them, and as long as we are doing right thing as parent no need to feel guilty.

    ReplyDelete

Psst... let me know what you are thinking.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...