This article is strictly for parents, I’m not a parent, but over the time whatever I’ve learnt from my little set of experiences is that parents love exercising control! And it’s important of course, because kids need to know what’s right and what’s wrong. They need a guide and a mentor who can advise and warn them but only till a certain age. Sometimes, the control becomes so freakishly dominating and suffocating, that it leads to development of a negative thinking in the mind of the child towards the controller.
Sometimes, when the child comes of a certain age, it’s important that you let the child be free, wander, travel, and learn on the base of his experiences, instead of sticking your advises on his life. You need to understand and most importantly accept that your child, is a completely different individual than you are. He has his own notion about things, and he has his own opinions. He’s not someone who can fulfill your broken dreams or your wishes and he’s certainly not someone who will always obey your orders! He might want to run away from the home because of that! So, it’s important to understand what he wants, before parents decide his life for him.
Making your child independent is as important as ‘having a child’. Let’s face a bitter truth now – you are not going to be there for your child throughout his life. At some point of time, he has to be mature enough to take his own decisions and not seek someone’s advice. He needs to be independent and have a rational thinking instead of a theoretical one. A theoretical thinking comes from the experiences that the child ‘hears’ about and never has them, or the advises that he follows blindly, but a rational thinking is far stronger and better as it comes from the experiences you have and the tough times you see.
Time is changing. In last one decade we have traveled faster than we did in last fifty years combined! Internet took over the world, now even new-born kids can operate phones and tabs better than their parents, so it’s important to provide them a practical and logical thinking and adequate freedom and experiences too when they’re older, so that they can compete with the world, when you are not there to guide them.
People criticize western rituals that kids leave their homes and stay away from parents, they are spoiled and rotten, but actually it’s not so. A child can never rot by leaving home, when he can be rotten right inside the home, inside your comfort-zone, and inside his bedroom. Leaving home and facing the tough times, makes him better and not rotten. At least he will have memories at the end of his life! You can’t control everything in his life, and you have to accept it. Instead of being a controller, a dominant, try to be your child’s friend. He should see you as the first person to whom he can run to when he’s in trouble, and not someone from whom he should run even farther. He shouldn’t fear you, but love you, like you do. And that love will only come when you will give importance to his opinions, his words, and his decisions. If you will keep on negating everything and stopping him from everything, he will stop sharing things with you and at that point, the intimacy ends.
If you really want your child to be your best-friend, then be frank, open, accepting and forgiving. He’s your child, and he’s newer in the world than you are, so he will make more mistakes than you will. In that case, you shouldn’t scold or beat him, but understand his consequences, try to hear his side of the story before you run to a conclusion, and try to accept his opinions over certain things.
If you think your child is hiding things from you, talk to him, don’t threaten him! Don’t hit him and don’t scold him. He will hide more things from you and will be more closed and feared in future. If you want to instill self-confidence in your child, let him be a free bird. Let him express himself openly, fearlessly and courageously. It’s important that he sees you as a friend and not as a parent.
It’s not the mid-80s or mid-60s that kids have communication gap with their parents, they can’t tell them that they like or love someone, or they can’t tell if they’re in a relationship with someone. That gap can be overcome if parents tend to be soft and accepting. Once again, it all comes down to the parents. The child will never hide things from you if you are accepting, but if not, you should prepare yourself for some grave shocks when your child will reveal to you about his decade long-affair, or his girlfriend since ten years about whom you had no idea at all!
This happens mostly in India, where parents have accepted every form of technology but not the open-minded society and culture. Some of them still think arranged-marriages are the only way to introduce a boy to a girl, and they think that their innocent kid will get an equally innocent partner in today’s time. It’s not so – there’s a high probability that it might NEVER happen! You don’t know about the compatibility that your son is going to have with Verma-ji’s daughter because let’s face it – Verma-ji’s daughter might have a boyfriend or might already be in a relationship when she meets your son for the alliance, or maybe her views don’t match with your son’s and they keep on fighting everyday after marriage! I’m not talking about only girls here, boys can be the same too, but the bottom line is – what’s the point of marriage when you take out peace from it?
It all again comes down on the parents – you need to understand your kid! You need to remove the communication gap and the barrier that sticks between you two, and you need to make him feel comfortable enough that he comes to you, and talks to you about any and every matter, without feeling feared or burdened.
Ultimately, be your child’s best-friend, not only a parent!