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Archive for August, 2011

I read a short story by Mary Gordon titled Separation and that triggered volumes of thoughts.. The story is about a single mom and her son aged 5 and the unique relationship they share. It portrays beautifully the emotions running in the minds of the duo; the mother who doesn’t want to let go of her son and the son who though wants to be with other kids, still understands his mom perfectly and tries to ruin his every new  friendship to make his mom happy. Whenever the duo gets too much criticism, they just end up moving to another US state and start all over again there.

I believe letting go of kids is quite difficult and is the root cause of many relationship issues. I read this quote in a friend’s wall(FB), the first half of the life is ruined by parents and the other half by children. How true that is. The first half of life, our parents control us and ‘ruin’ our lives and in the second half, we become the parents exercising control over our kids and when our kids respond the same way we did to our parents, we end up being ‘ruined’ by children! 🙂 Anyway this is my interpretation and as always what goes around comes around right!

The parents think they OWN the kids because they made them, yeah that is right but does that give the parents ultimate authority all through the kid’s life? If God owned up all his creations in a similar fashion where would that leave all of us! Jokes  apart, most parents hover over their kids even when the ‘kids’ are in their adulthood.. The parents think their kid is old enough to get married but not old enough to manage their affairs! 🙂 How can that be fair? There is no isolation between in-laws and parents here. One’s parent is another’s in-law right! So no matter who, the sense of control they would like to have in their ‘kid’ is impossible. My worst nightmare is turning out to be one myself! My hubby and I have a pact that if either one shows the symptoms, the other one should snap that person out of it! 🙂 And I am talking not about the later stage, even now as parents, we have admitted to ourselves that we wont exercise much control over S and A. In fact we were laughed at, when we refused to switch S to another daycare closer to our home, citing the reason that the switch did not appeal to her.S was 18 months then. We wanted to respect her feelings and waited for another 6 months and then shifter her. Even at that age, we did not want to force our decision on her.

Again, letting go starts right from the day your kid starts kindergarten, we don’t believe our kid is ready to face the world yet, but most of us are surprised at how easily they fit into their new routine. Also the quality time as parents perceive to be spent with kids are no longer FUN for the kids. They would rather spend their time with kids their age. Parents are just  to provide for and be available in case of  temper tantrums.I remember finding that fact a little difficult to digest when S was at that stage! But looked at that as a positive and resumed my other interests!

Later as they move from childhood to pre-teens, it would be difficult to let go of the kids to explore and figure out the whole wide world themselves. It will be hard to remain poker faced when you know your kid is lying to you about group study, after all we had our share of group studies right! 😉 Of course the most difficult stage is to try saving the kids from heartbreaks!! As with every teen, the heartthrob will always be the unattainable, right? How can we not spot the blush in our kid’s face when they talk about that ‘close’ friend, showing the infatuation! We will try to discourage the kid and try to educate about being wrong or that they should wait a little longer to get involved! But we obviously know that hormones wont help them to get older without this funny butterfly feeling in the tummy when interacting with an attractive opposite gender ‘pal’!! 🙂 There we try to master alienating our own kid and that just gets worse in the later days…

Now with career choice, and later  better-half choice, parents have this lost fight with the kids about being clairvoyant, knowing  what is best for them and question them about how the kids can be blind to those  facts. As a parent,I do agree it will be hard to let go of the kids and let them make their choices. But only consolation to the parents should be how can we handle it if we end up screwing their career or personal life by choosing the wrong path or the wrong life partner! Instead of living with the guilt about wrong choices, it is better to let the kids decide for themselves and then magnanimously support them when they end up getting hurt! That would be the way to go..

Anyway parenting is a very evolving practice unique to every household in fact unique to every child you may have and we need to figure out the approach that works best! My only point is as we tend to evolve correct parenting techniques, we should always be equally aware of ‘letting go’ techniques too, to retain our dignity as parents!!

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