An African proverb says, “Honor a child and it will honor you”.
We all live in a modern world, and the world around is really fast. Time is far most the scarcest resource in our life. We end up spending all the time in making money and in the scheme of things, family takes a backstage. The relationship between a parent and child is a very special and crucial one in life. Like it is said, you work with the clay when it is wet, similarly a child’s mind and personality gets molded in the way you want. Children are totally dependent on us i.e. parents for existence and hence it’s a completely 168 hours/week job. There are certain attributes that they develop from genetics however the most important things in life comes into them only through experience. And it is this experience that I want to talk about which directly comes from us or the society in total. I will take an example of a very close friend of mine and how he is shaped up with the help of his parents in such modern times. This concept is called as buddy parenting and it is not only new, but the need of the hour.
First things first! The most important thing that you can gift your child is your TIME. Nothing can replace it whatsoever. My friend is a single child and has working parents. Despite their busy schedules, they ensured that he gets ample amount of time with them. Here we need to be very clear that we are not talking about the quantity of time but the quality of the time with the child.
Second is the ability of being a friend. It is not only important but now it has become a mandate for a parent to become the first best friend of their kid. My friend’s parents were superb here and they were the people who would hear it first from him. Be it about an issue in school or be it his new crush! In this process of being a friend, a parent learns so many things in life. Let’s take the technological aspect which is very easy and aptly fits today’s scenario. Most of the parents learn invariably the mobile phone operations from their children who are in the age bracket of 8-15 years. My dad is a carom champ and he taught me the nuances of the game during my childhood. This learning journey in the form of a pal strengthens the bond and brings a lot of comfortability to the relationship. The Raj (ShahRukh Khan) – Pops (Anupam Kher) relationship in Dilwale Dulhaniye Le Jaayenge not only looks good but it fills the gap exactly.
Third is encouraging the special skills in child. I understand and endorse that education is important but skills which are beyond the classrooms are equally important. My friends dad is from the army and involves my friend all the physical training he undergoes like swimming, running, badminton or soccer. My wife is a professional Carnatic vocalist and she involves my daughter in her vocal classes to kindle that interest in her right at a very nascent age. 30 – 40 years ago a career in sport was considered to be stupid idea and parents used to say “khel khana nahi dega” but look at today! Khel khana hi nahi balki aaj bahut kuch deta hai! Every child has a special skill and jt may be in any form. It is the responsibility of the individual parent to foster it and help its growth. Can you imagine what would have happened if Sachin’s parents were not supportive, if Saina’s parents were conventional.
All in all, net-on-net, the modern child and its needs are completely different. Hence it is important that we communicate with them right from breakfast table to bed. This may be difficult, but it is vital. As it is said, today the gadgets have distanced the individuals but here we need to strike a balance and see how we can use the gadgets to bring the family together. Everyday tell them you love them. Everyday give them a hug. Reward them for their efforts. At the end of the day, for the world you are just one person but for one person you are the world!
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