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Friday, November 04, 2016

Provide them a stage and watch miracles happen

One of the biggest frustrations for parents is that children do not learn what they are being repeatdely told. What if I told you that they have already learnt it. Yes, you don't see it, but they have learnt it...Read on...

They know it all. They are very smart and razor sharp. They have already learnt it..to perfection. It is just that they are keeping it dormant. And they will keep it like that, until you back away, and let them free. 

Parenting is a very unique responsibility. Create them, nurture them, get close to them - so much so as to get attached to their success and failures as your own, sacrifise for them, give up on your dreams for the fulfilmebnt of theirs, live the best part of your life with the only purpose to get them the best you can.

And then, as they cross teenage - start backing off slowly - see them stand on their own feet, and rise higher - even higher than what you could have imagined. And then continue to stay away - because if you burden them with your own responsibilities - you are just hindering their growth and a potentially awesome future.

When we see them as succesful grown up adults, and think about their childhood days in retrospect, we wonder when did they grow up. So many times, we were worried about their future. How will they learn what we want them to learn? When will they learn? Will they face unnecessary hardships in life, if they do not learn the basic life skills. 

An habit as simple as waking up from bed and getting ready for school on time - can take years and years to inculcate - with rare success...But no, you are not looking at the real picture. You are looking at a masked image - a mask that has been deliberately put on by your children. Why? Simply because they are loving it.

You dont believe me? Well, it is completely upto you whether you believe me or not. But I have had enough experiences that proves the point. By the way, do you really think that kids of today's generation, who are street smart, will take so many years to learn to get out of bed. How long will we be under this illusion that they still need to learn?

Trust me - if you have tried sincerely for a few days - they have already learnt it. Whether it is getting up on time, finishing off their school work without being monitored, eating nutritious food or for that matter, watching less of television.

Great learners that these children are - just that they hide it from you - because they just love the act of you waking them up in the morning - consciously or unconsciously.

And this probable unconcious attempt to hide their acquired skills is not only restricted to waking up on time. It goes much beyond that. Even to the task of taking care of your, or rather, their home, keeping things in place and keeping the house neat and tidy. Trust me, trust them - they know it all.

You want an evidence? Just for a day, you give them the responsibility and back yourself off completely - no interupption - whatever be the result. Try it. I tried it today also.

Sharp 7:10AM, they have to be off from the house in the car so that I can drop them to school on time. Every single day, I have to start pushing and nudging them from around 6:45AM and we usually struggle to be out on time. I was never sure why they did not realise that they must keep a close eye on the watch, why at all did they need reminders for such simple and fundamental things.

The mornings usually ended up in struggle, hurried readiness for school...until one day, when I was not well and kept sleeping. Though not exactly sleeping, I was overhearing the morning chores as they were getting ready for school. I wanted to shout from the bed that they are already getting late, but somehow did not gather enough energy to do that, probably because of the effect of antibiotics. 

I was dead sure that they will be late today..after all - they had so many tasks that required my intervention and timely nudge, in the absence of which they have to face the consequences. But you know what, they were easily ready at 7:03AM, a full 7 minutes early. It had never happened this way in the last 10 years I have been helping them.

Everything went off so peacefully. The fairies came and had a 5 min discussion with me about my health and eased off to their mom's car for a school ride.

Unbelievable fact was that it was not their mom who was leading the show today - it was the elder sister who was making sure that things get done on time. Did she learn it suddenly or was there a divine intervention? No, she had learnt it many years back - though keeping it in a dormant state within her - probably unconsciously. The next day, when I was better and available - the pushes and nudges story was back. Yes, they were back to their unconscious self.

You try this on anything that you have been pursuing with them. They have already learnt it. They just need a stage to express themselves and be counted.

I am telling you this so that when you know that they have already learnt the art, you should be a little less worried about their future. You should be a little more relaxed and comfortable with the undertanding that if you are not there, they know what they need to do. This assurance has been good enough for me to have more peaceful and pleasent mornings with them. This assurance has increased the happiness content of my life.

Not that I do not keep trying still, but whenever I feel frustrated about their not learning any habit, I just back off from the scene and let the play continue. I just watch miracles happen on a stage which, for sure, belongs to them now.


Manoj Arora
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  1. Amazing article! Just loved it and of course absorbed every bit of it as I am sailing in the same boat. Many a times, each day turns into a battle ground but when the day ends, when i see my hard hit teens sleep my heart just melts. Yes you are absolutely right, we need to back off sometimes to make them responsible and accountable. Would look forward to more of such articles. It indeed brought in me a new hope.

  2. Read it..Nice article .will give a try to my kid.

  3. Nice article. I also go through this situation every morning. I will try this approach. Thanks for the guidence.

    1. Be patient and have trust when you try. Wish you luck my friend