Here’s a question for you. What does being a parent mean to you? And no weare not talking about the meaning as defined by the dictionary or society.Society may define this role as that of creating a loving, nurturing and safeenvironment for a child. But this ideal notion is tested as it meets head onwith the realities and practicalities of daily living.
To get a response from the gut, we posed this question to some youngparents. Here’s what some of you had to say:
Sonal Chauhan, a mother of a 5 year old boy: For me being a parentmeans a tight rope walk involving multiple decisions. Everyday I ask myself –am I doing enough or doing too much for my child? With the number of activitiesthat one can engage a child in today, right from tennis, to chess, to ballet tomusic – how do you pick without making it too stressful for your child oryourself. Parenting in that sense can be a high pressure job wherein, thechoices seem aplenty – and the real test lies in knowing how much is too much.
Deepika Kapoor, mother to a 3 year old toddler: Finding the rightbalance has been a constant struggle for me. How can you be there as a parentfor your child, and I mean literally! For example, how would you choose betweenbeing a part of a career boosting sales pitch for your company and going for aschool picnic with your child? Both are important right? I try and juggle thetwo by being totally present at home once I am back from work and making familytime the utmost priority over the weekends.
Renu Manchanda, mother to a 13 year old girl: For me it’s importantto be a friend to my daughter. This for me translates into giving her theindependence to think and decide for her own self. Being there for my childdoes not mean breathing down her neck, like our parents may have done. A childwill experiment and ask questions as is in their nature. The important thing isto help answer these questions with honesty and reason. I have noticed thatwhen this is done, my daughter is more likely to be won over and do the rightthing. And it helps me keep the communication open and honest with her.
Amit Arora, father to a ten year old son: It can be a dailynegotiation. Getting frustrated when they won’t eat fast enough, especiallywhen you have somewhere to go, or being difficult just as you walk into thehouse after a 10 hour long work day, can all take its toll on anyone. It’simportant however to exercise patience in such situations. It’s in everychild’s nature to be defiant, but by dealing with it effectively one canchannelize their energy to help them develop into compassionate andwell-behaved adult. Aggression as a parent in my opinion can only lead to otherbehavior problems.
We are sure you can identify with any one or all these examples. There is nodoubt that parenting entails lots and lots of responsibly and desires for eachone of us to seek creative solutions as we find our feet at every stage of ourchild’s life.
So while there will always be challenges, the silver lining to parenting canperhaps be summed up in the famous saying, “it isn’t about the days in yourlife but the life in your days!” What are your views?