In earlier days, children who were slightly open with their parents were the odd ones out. It was not very common to see a girl chatting openly with her father or a boy sharing the story of his first crush with his mother and most of the time, parents behaved just the way they were traditionally supposed to behave and thereby taking the gender and identity roles a tad bit too seriously. I remember my maternal grandmother once told me about how her father’s word was the law in the house and that she and her sisters avoided too much frank interaction (esp publicly) and behaved like typically ‘good and well mannered girls’. However, now the things are changing faster than we can understand and ponder about the change. Children are no more protégés of their parents or a platform where they can make their unfulfilled wishes come true again. It is a fact that school going children of this age have more extensive knowledge than their predecessors. I have seen so many children teaching their tech-illiterate parents to work on the Internet and handling sites like Youtube and Instagram. Hence, we can provide best parenting and a happy childhood to our children only when these two eras combine and move ahead with the sweeping and rushing change that gets hold of us each passing day.
I would like to present a very common example here that every one of us must be acquainted with. I noticed how this small bonding experience helped to bridge a sort of communication gap between one of my young cousins and his somewhat introvert father. The gap started when my uncle won a smart-phone in some lucky-draw in his office. However, he stuck to his ancient mobile handset and that smart-phone remained untouched for a few weeks. One day (I was also there) my cousin, who studies in class seventh, patiently taught his father to handle the smart-phone, to download the apps and watch videos and take pictures. Even though my uncle was slightly reluctant and apprehensive, he gave in and took a long tutorial from his young son gladly. Those 40 minutes or so were real bonding moments and it was really adorable and rather a proud moment for a father to notice the ‘tech- depth’ of his child. This way, my uncle was also made to open a Facebook account. My cousin, who is yet to enter his teenage, is a complete tech savvy kid and has full knowledge of almost every gadget. His father now keeps posting on his FB account and this way can also keep a tab on his growing son’s friends and other habits as well as whereabouts.
In another incident, I fondly remember, how a child forced her mother to chuck saris and wear jeans and T-shirts! She wanted her mother to look as ‘modern’ as other parents of her classmates. The mother-daughter duo bonded over this little demand and this way, I think the child remains assured of the support, importance and acceptance from her parents’ side.
We cannot expect children to obey us without asking anything nor can we behave like ringmasters and expect their love. Even child psychiatrists opine that for parents to enter the world of kids and to mingle with them is an absolute necessity. This way, children will be free of a suppressed childhood and parents will be able to know their children far deeply and in a much better manner. To learn is life and these little bonds, when clubbed together create what we learn from our homes and parents. To make sure your child smiles when recalling these moments, be his/her buddy, for there is no other way to conquer a child’s heart and to make him learn things and yes, you will also learn a lot. So, bond with them instead of binding!
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