This is more like a response post to the Jerry’s post here.
Disclaimer : Random Ramble ahead!
I believe there is a fine line of difference between parenting and policing. A good parent is a guide and a role model. Policing is something when one is forced to do something. The biggest challenge of a parent is to when to draw the line. The line is difficult decision because it can vary for kid to kid, and across the age groups. It is very easy to be overprotective of their kids and shield them from the world as much as possible. But what happens to them when they enter the real world? They crumble, some adapt, others wont. Some will take it by their stride, others will crumble.
I think, a good parent should be a guide , a mentor to life. There is no point in giving a distorted and idealistic reality. Why do that, is it because the world is too cruel for a child to grasp ? Why not show the kid the beauty that lies within this cruel world? aah, thats where the challenge lies, we have a vicious circle going on here. How do you expect the parent to show the beauty of this world when he/she himself/herself does not appreciate it? Mainly, because they too have been spoon fed, taught about the idealistic, fictitious world, then forced into the harsh cruel reality and then forced to survive.
So how do we break out of this endless loop? Well, agreed parents do not think so kindly of this world. But they can let the children taste them first hand and let them decide. What really needs to be done is instil a strong sense of morality in the kid. Allow them to think on their own free will. Suggest, not force them what is right and wrong. Leave the decisions to the child and let him face the consequences (That is if he can handle it… ). Do not blame the kid for the mistakes he did, instead tell him why a mistake is, well, a mistake; let me arrive upon why it is wrong.
Was I raised this way, well, not entirely! I was thrashed for my mistakes. But I always had the nerve to ask em why they thought it was wrong. I remember the time I asked my dad ” Do women have to be married to have kids”. His answer was a very honest “Not necessarily!” ( I was 8 that time.. ) . I cannot forget that, because that was the reality of the world, not some “idealistic” reality. Agreed I did not understand it fully then, but when I did come to know about it, I couldn’t help but admire his honest answer.
But as I got older, they respected my privacy and never interfered with whatever I wanted to do. They warn me if they felt I was not on right track, but never compelled. As a result, I never had a drop of liquor (except wine, that too at home, with my parents 🙂 ) till I started working. Why? Because I felt that doing something like that with my dad’s money is not appropriate. The first drink I had was when I could buy one on my own. I never rebelled with my parents, because I never had to.. They supported in every way they can, even when they never understood the reasons for my actions. I had a gang in college where almost everyone boozed. I used to hang out with em, even go to bars with em.. But I never touched booze then (Thats right, I damn proud bout that) .
The biggest gift they gave me was the freedom to think of my own. They let me decide where to draw the lines, and what should be my morals. They assisted but never dictated. Thus, I drew my own lines, decided my own rules for myself. Did I make mistakes, of course I did. I made some spectacular mistakes. But that was the point, we learn from our mistakes, fully understanding the life and circumstances around you.
Today, just like always, they give me a choice on my life. Did I turn out Ok? Yes I did. Did i become a rich successful man? Nope, not yet. But Im on my way there, I know I’am. Besides, if u were successful right from the start, when will u have all the fun ?? 😉