Thursday, April 26, 2012

Parental Responsibilities

Read about the Indian children back from Norway. Don't know who I was feeling more bad for : the parents, the children or the grandparents. The truth shall never be known. This force feeding thing is so prevalent amongst mothers. All of them feel if they feed the child with their own hands, the child will eat better. These mothers assume the child doesn't know his stomach or when he is full. All the mothers feel they can decide the child's appetite. I think that is so unfair. After a point, the child knows he has to eat 4 rotis or whatever has been decided by his overindulgent mother. He may get obesity or a paunch or be lethargic, does anyone care? if anyone interferes, the mother is all protective and says The mother thinks she knows the best for her child. We are talking about a moral dilemma out here. The child almost has no choice in deciding how much to eat.

What to eat? is another question. Here , the mother plays an important role in cultivating healthy food habits. But in today's day with all busy moms, quick meals / packed meals have become the easy answers. Giving your child wafers is easier than giving him a fruit. Especially when one is traveling, the packet food is less messy than oranges , chickoos or bananas. The modern day stress is also the reason for bad meal habits in children as the mother is too fatigued to think. So she gets the child used to one item eg khichdi, omlet, besan chila, idli. Then that becomes the staple food till the baby is five. Then the child is not ready to try new things. I had relatives who made sheera /halwa for their child every single meal. If you don't treat your own child like a thinking human being, the loss is entirely yours.

The mothers and fathers are very aware of what gadgets to buy for the child and what not to give the child. What they are oblivious to is teaching their child personal hygiene, house hygiene, social responsibility. The money talks in their lives. The children have grown up surrounded by servants and do not learn any housework. The kids do not do/know basic things like laying the table, picking up the plates, folding clothes, cleaning cupboards, changing bedsheets, keeping the garbage out, starting the water filter. I mean boys and girls should know all these basics. The cleaning of cupboards and book shelves have to be stressed upon. Parents want to give everything to their children and its mostly the material goods they are referring to. This is not the problem in educated parents but also uneducated and rich ones. Each parent thinks their money will take care of all this.

We need to start by teaching our children these basics,the politicians can wait. If each child learns to do his or her own work and cooking, think how self sufficient and self confident they will be. I have had moms say my child will learn cooking in ten days before he goes abroad for further studies or she after her engagement. There are cooking classes for these varieties of children. My relatives all think I am being narrow minded and feudal when I talk about child learning to keep their rooms and desks clean. We as parents need to really think, how we express our love. If our expression of love is to make a child good for nothing then that's our ego trip. 'I want to give the best for my child' has a lot of connotations. Parents, please choose what is good for your child and for the world. Unnecessary expenses, adding to the world's pollution by buying new things, not having any environmental responsibility does not bring good citizens. We are raising our children to be the citizens of this world and children of mother earth. As parents that's our ultimate responsibility.

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