#MommyTalks – The Parenting Challenge

In an effort to avoid transforming into something we almost always end up becoming it.

 

One of the things I never want to do as a parent is to constantly talk about my daughter with every person I meet. While she’s special to us and everything she does is adorable for us, it would be silly of me to think it is the same for others. It would, in fact, be doltish of me to think everyone else is interested in the things she does as much as we are. And it certainly wouldn’t be fair to expect someone to lend me a patient ear as I go on non-stop about her. It’s not even the decent or polite thing to do. Another trait that I want to avoid as a parent is to force her to dance, recite a poem, basically perform in front of every guest who comes home. She’s not a show monkey, is she? No, it just doesn’t seem normal to me. I don’t want to become like that neighbourhood aunty who used to make her son sing and dance every time she came visiting. No, sir, I don’t.

 

While I am doing quite well at the former, I realised I almost goofed up managing the latter. Here’s why I say so. Last week when a friend came visiting, we began asking M to do the things she had started doing lately. You know, tata and salute, new baby lessons. Of course, M being a baby didn’t do any of the things and in a way, I’m glad she didn’t because just then an alarm went off in my head. I realised we were being one of those people we didn’t want to be like in the first place. We were becoming that aunty only 15 years later.

 

Parenting and raising kids the right was is not easy. Click To Tweet

 

There are so many things one needs to keep in mind to be a good parent. Millions of things actually. And these days it seems even more difficult. I don’t know if it has always been like this but parenting and raising kids seems to be a competition now. And I don’t want it to be like that for me. I’ll tell you why I think so.

 

Just last week a mother asked me if M has started saying Mumma or Papa yet. Well, till that question, it was fine. But when I told her that all M speaks now is basically gibberish, she ended up saying that her son had spoken his first clear words when he was just six months old. Well, good for her and her son but I definitely didn’t like the undertone with what she spoke. But I’m not surprised either. A baby’s first teeth, the first time she crawls and even her weight seems to be a competition to some parents. I’m no expert in parenting but I know this isn’t right. And I absolutely abhor this kind of thought process.

 

My husband and I, we want M to grow at her own pace. Sometimes when we tend to worry or forget this, we pull each other back. But never has it come in our minds to compare M with another child, let alone talk disparagingly about another child with another parent. But not everyone does that these days. Believe me.

 

A baby's first teeth, the first time she crawls and even her weight seems to be a competition to some parents. Click To Tweet

 

A couple of weeks earlier a friend spoke something about parents wanting more homework for kids. I don’t know but I can’t see the logic in that. Shouldn’t we just let kids be kids? And there’s more, someone told me about IIT coaching starting from the 4th standard these days. Really? There are exams for 4 or 5-year-olds – computer , languages and what not as subjects. Where is the time for a child to be a child then?

 

I don’t know if good parenting really is in not letting kids be kids. If it is then I don’t want to be a good parent.

 

A couple of months earlier, a lady tried to sell me course material for M. Apparently, it’s recommended to start teaching kids early. Really? M is just 10 months old now so she must have been 7 or 8 months old then.

 

Won’t kids burn out early if we push and shove them so much? And why complicate lives by comparing kids? I heard somewhere that progress isn’t in being better than or superior to someone else. Progress is being better than your old self. And I want to follow this as I raise M. I also hope she grows up thinking and believing the same. We cannot prosper and progress if we keep running while constantly looking behind.

 

Don’t you think parenting should be about raising a happy child instead of a perfect child as though it’s some kind of a competition?

 

#MondayMusings
Linking to #MondayMusings by EverydayGyaan
microblog_mondays
Linking to #MicroblogMondays by Stirrup Queens

 

Reflections From Me

Also, linking to #mg link up party hosted by Reflections From Me

 

16 thoughts on “#MommyTalks – The Parenting Challenge”

  1. Once you are thrown in the midst of competitive parents, it is so difficult to keep our heads above water and do what we wanted to do all along. We all slip up and I am glad that you actually realized that. Parenting is a constant journey of learning and re-tweaking. I don’t know how or why our generation of parents became this competitive. It is a massive challenge to just let our children be.
    Rachna recently posted…A Harrowing Experience that Turned a Routine Road Journey into a NightmareMy Profile

  2. Progress is being better than your old self is the ultimate truth. Parenting is lot about learning from our children and it was good that M did not respond to your nudges giving you a moment to think and check. This will keep happening as she grows. I believe parenting is easy when the parent’s focus is just on the child and not outside because in that case all the energy gets wasted in comparisons, discussions and gossips rather than spending the same on understanding one’s own child.
    Anamika Agnihotri recently posted…Awareness makes parenting easierMy Profile

  3. Well while I agree that babies aren’t performing monkeys, let me tell you that showing off comes naturally to them. Also it is encouraging for them to be appreciated and lastly as children grow up, encouraging them to perform I front of strangers helps build confidence and get rid of stage fright .

  4. Like MG, I’m not a parent too, Naba, but I do watch and observe and feel bad for children. Comparisons abound, as does homework. I do feel that a lot of parents break their children’s spirit due to their own insecurities.

  5. Competitive parents are the worst! Sometimes they don’t even realise that they are preening! I tuned it all out ages ago when I decided to bring up Gy the way I wanted to, allowing her to be who she was and feel comfy in her own skin.

    Knowing you I know M will be brought up just that way. Don’t worry. You’re doing fine 🙂
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…The Mirror doesn’t LieMy Profile

  6. I could not agree more with your post. You and I have very similar feelings when it comes to raising our children. My daughter is almost 10 months and my husband and I were just talking about this. How these kids have to grow up so fast now. Learning materials at 10 months??? Please.
    I had an amazing childhood. My husband did too. I want so much to have that for my daughter and it will be challenging in this world today, but I’m hoping some of it can rub off on her.

  7. So good! I love what you said- “Progress is being better than your old self.” There is just way too much pressure on kids these days to grow up while they are still young. I say, let kids be kids. They have the rest of their lives to be adults. 🙂

  8. Agree with you.. When my kids were growing, I was thinking same thing in my mind. The milestones and timelines are not very important as we know great people like Einstien learned talking very slow. But, I m habituated to keep mum before others who talk about them as a big deal.

  9. Oh God!! Why are people trying to kill childhood. Let a kid be kid. Let them not know stuff, it’s ok. IIT coaching from class IV!! That’s insane. This comptition thingy is getting out of hand. You do whatever you think is right and don’t listen to them 🙂

  10. I get the idea what you’re saying when people boast about their children and their hyperactiveness and early their children did things which usually come a bit late to others. They find so much pride in such statements. Sometimes I wonder, what is it that they are trying to prove? Or who is it that they are trying to prove. If they are doing something right and their child is way ahead than any other child, then they should keep it to themselves! Be happy. Why does that happiness comes after boasting things?

    You enjoy Naba with your child and do things that you feel are right for her. Nothing else matters.

    Cheers
    Geets recently posted…MendMy Profile

  11. Of course we think our own children are wonderful that is natural. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t compare even my own children with each other, sometimes it is hard not to, but in general I remember that despite being siblings they are all different. Aspen walked, well ran at 11 months, April walked at nearly 17 months, Adam at 13 months, they were all different and are still all different now.

    It didn’t concern me though that April was later to walk, she was her own person and still does things at her own pace. I think we have to be led by them and what they are comfortable with. This goes with learning too. Aspen again had a thirst for knowledge and if we were at the shops we had to go to the bookstore, instead of choosing a picture story book at age 3 she was wanting those Math and English books. April I could barely get to read a school reader when she started school. April is 9 now and all she does is read, she is obsessed with any and every book and academically she is outstanding. So I truly think they learn at their own pace and will blossom when they are ready.

    I think kids should be kids and by forcing them we are only causing stress to them and to ourselves. #mg

  12. Asking them to perform in front of others is not bad if the child seems happy about it. Moreover, showing their abilities to our loved ones is adorable. However, comparing them to other Kids is something ridiculous. No single week goes by without a comment from someone ” Kamjor hai”(He is weak) but now, I get used to it and reply smartly saying- He is slim just like me. You don’t worry Naba. You are a supermom.

Comments are closed.