Parental pressure!!! God!!! My students would say often.
Dad, he would not let me take arts!!!
Mom, she cooks beetroot all the time!!!
It’s not just studies but they just want to decide everything for me. It’s soooo difficult!!!! I thought so too and considering myself liberal often criticized those parents who set unrealistic expectations for their children. What is it for after all??? Why spoil the child’s life ??? Such were my thoughts until I bumped into a parent under pressure, some real pressure.
Well built,tall and agreeably handsome, entering his mid-thirties and sporting a belly of hard earned success and a little bit of complacency , my good friend insisted that I join him for tea. As it happens often, the talk veered from office pressure to home and he shared with astonishment writ large in his eyes, You know what, I took my boy out for shopping in Kerala. We went strolling into a mall and the fellow, all of ten years, walked up to the salesman and said, so don’t you keep Lee Cooper??? I looked at my wife questioningly and she shrugged. We went on to buy him a pair of shoes and the fellow did it again, so do you keep Converse??? Damn!!!
On reaching home , I asked him,so how do you know of Lee Cooper and the boy said, you have that don’t you? I was stumped. It took me 35 years to be able to afford branded clothes and that too because I have to go to office. My mother who stood nearby intervened with her dose of wisdom, there is no use buying branded clothes now because you are still a child and your size will keep changing. We will buy it when you are taller.
And my boy walked into his room with an indifferent shrug, as we stood gaping.
I suggested to my wife jokingly that we should switch to NANO, the boy said, how stupid , switch to some BMW if you want to switch at all!!! As if this was not enough, he told my father that he was going to buy a bigger house in a nearby posh colony as his kids will never feel comfortable in this one. Small house, dinghy roads !!! Well, as the elder son he will have to come over to his parents once in a while!!!
Whew!!! my friend was sweating profusely.Does this mean that his son thinks that he is not doing enough for his family? Is he not proud of his father???
As if he found his own answer,he smiled and added, my son later he thanked me for the Onam gifts. He is sweet,that chap, but quite a handful.
Children’s expectation is often a cause of high BP for parents. The fear of not being able to provide an enviable life style, the fear of not being up to the mark, the fear of being irrelevant to the child… so on and so forth.
It’s definitely difficult to parent a child who knows his mind and speaks it too!!! But the only way out is to sit down with him and hear him out, be a party to his dreams. Ridiculing or belittling his dreams however unrealistic they are would never help.
And don’t rush to knock some sense into him. Perhaps the difference between you and him is that he dares to dream and you did not know what to dream of !
Its those relationships that succeed which invest in each other’s dreams. Share your dreams with those who you love and try to be a part of their dreams. And that should take away some of the pressure that parenting puts you into. Cheers!!!