It’s festival time. Christmas is around the corner, followed by the New Year. There is gaiety and glee all around; it’s the time to celebrate with family and friends. But the festive season has begun to be identified with food, fiesta and shopping. And our teens surely shall have a long list of things they would so very much like to have!
And we would like the very best for them. Each child is so very special to his or her parent. We want them to have everything — the best food, the latest fashions, the most sought-after gadgets… all the fun and all that they dream of. We want their dreams to come true. We want the smiles on their faces to never fade, right?
- Do you agree with the above?
- Are you a parent who is working too hard to give a bright future to your kid?
- Do you carefully take out time and save money so that he/she can learn piano and karate and tennis and swimming?
- Does your teen have plenty of clothes and gadgets? And you still want him/her to have the newest and the best ones in the future, too?
Our kids indeed deserve nothing but the ‘best’. However, what is really the best for them? On so many occasions, there are very difficult choices to make. What is really good for them? What should be our take on this behaviour of theirs and on that action of theirs? Is it alright for them to demand things? Or is it not a big deal if they can have their wishes fulfilled and they keep smiling?
Should we not think and reflect about where we are going and what we are doing with our teens? You may just be the perfect parent and of course, each parent knows how to handle his or her child the best… but a little thought, a little reflection won’t hurt anyone.
- Do you find your teens a little restless? A little aggressive? Do they sometimes retreat into their shells?
- Can they sit relaxed even when there is nothing to do? If there is no gadget and no TV and no friend for a day, how would that day of theirs be?
- Are they able to effortlessly and casually accept anyone (a relative or a family friend they may not have seen earlier) almost immediately? Or do they shy away enormously? Or perhaps, behave differently in order to attract attention?
- Do they sometimes throw a fit if they do not get their way? Do they feel a little envious and sometimes a little insecure too?
- Does it ever hurt you that despite all your efforts and attempts, your child is still dissatisfied?
Well, if one looks at it philosophically, then there is no one really who is perfect. Our behaviours too have a lot to be desired. However, what hurts is that we spend a lifetime, or at least a major part of it, tending to our kids as one would do, as tender and dainty flowers. And then, if there is no fragrance or bright colours but dissatisfaction or despair, it indeed hurts. It is not about whether we feel happy or contented or not as parents. It is important whether they feel relaxed and at ease and secure after all that you do. Theirs is the life which is yet to bloom.
Dr Navniit Gandhi is an academic, author, and a trainer/counsellor based in Kuwait. She has authored nine books and has written more than 300 feature articles till date, and is presently on the editorial board of The Teenager Today.