The impending future and parentry

The fine art of walking the tight rope of holding back enough, or letting go, and letting children do as they wish.  An eternal struggle every parent goes through.  Easy to dictate and lay down the rules right? Not to the present generation, who are born with one hand on the mouse, and another on the smart phone. How often have we been amused by the one year old happily playing a game on mom’s pricey smart phone with the same aplomb of a magician? Is it even possible to lay it on the line to these kids who have information at their fingertips, and know how to get it?

One almost longs for the simpler days when “children were seen but not heard”.  Children pretty much did as they were told.  Any streak of rebellion could be squashed by a stern look. Parenting in the connected world is 70% diplomacy and 100% being a friend, right from the get-go. Earlier parents get into this mode, the better. Having conversations every day, empathizing, and genuinely understanding the world their wards live in goes a long way in crafting a responsible individual who is mature enough to take tough, thoughtful, right decisions.

Instant gratification is the biggest Gordian knot parents have to grapple with today.  To make the kids aware of the lure, and give them enough substance so they will steer clear of unwanted distractions and focus on goals that need concerted effort and time, are what’s essential now.  Going by the asinine posts, and constant “me me me” updates one encounters on the fb wall, parents themselves seem to have succumbed to this addiction. So the going gets tougher for these parents.  Hmm, that would be a good two day course to offer with wine and cheese may be, so they can talk about it on Facebook?  ☺

The best wine takes time, and so is parenting. Savor the moments with your wards and bond over books, hikes, conversations over dinner table. Ban technology while eating, and eat together.  When you look at parenting with this perspective, it becomes as easy as candy crush!

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No time in history humanity was connected so tightly globally. A tweet in US affects the entire world as recent events have proven.  Myriad apps, email, social networks, ensure that we stay connected 24/7. Every device in the house can be connected as well.  Facebook declared 10.2 billion of profits for 2016.

But all we seem to have done with all this technology ‘to stay connected’ is put up walls and masks to hide ourselves; for the fear of being judged. With all this communication enabling devices, we seldom communicate. The need of the hour is to have real conversations and be ourselves showing all our facets without being judged. Do we all have friends to enable such conversations?

Our ‘busy’ life styles with splintered and shortened attention spans have rendered us mute to our inner selves and others.  We might have tears watching an intense movie but what about our own stories? Do we sit down, pause, reflect and talk?  By hiding our true emotions we are suffering from life style diseases and the medicine needed is talking and connecting with someone who will just sit and listen, giving their full attention.

We should consciously develop this valuable trait of listening to someone because that connection is what makes us humans and sets us apart from the devices we use, which cannot register or display any emotion. To open up freely and let it all out is another trait we need to develop. This means consciously seeking and developing people, friend or friends and taking time to really have conversations. A give and take should be consciously developed and nurtured in today’s technological milieu.

Our forefathers did not have technology but they communicated and did not suffer from bottled up emotions. Next time you walk into a coffee shop, do not open the laptop or start looking at your WhatsApp.  Say hello! Or smile and see how many will reciprocate, which can lead to conversations that delves deep into nooks and crannies of our hidden selves.  Anonymity is equally good for healthy conversations!



Fairy Tales

“Remember, you are the one who can fill the world with sunshine”- Snow White

“Let me share this whole new world with you”- Aladdin

These lines from the yester year fairy tales used to bring us hope and happiness.  But what do they mean for today’s modern children? The question that parents are constantly hammered on: “Why is the princess waiting to be rescued? Why can’t she do something to rescue herself?”

Now the fairy tales takes a different turn for parents and a new thought process begins to erupt: “what values are the fairy tales imparting?”  In many of the fairy tales that we come across, the princess/queen is either rescued by a prince/king or waiting for them to appear and rescue. Why is it so?

Our children are beginning to see a narcissistic pattern emerge. When we advocate our children to be self-dependent are we weighing all the pros and cons? Although we might feel that Fairy tales are just stories; can our children, at such an impressionable age, make this distinction? We narrate a fairy tale assuming that our children are mature enough to know that it’s a story. But how far is this true? While growing up didn’t we define things according to their gender? We often experience that it is not so in our children. They are more intuitive and independent. The fairy tales are being transformed by our children. This in turn has made us curious about our own beliefs.

The question of the hour now is: should we change the fairy tales as they are from time immemorial and ‘handle with care’ our children’s belief system or let the fairy tales be and hope the impressionable minds don’t’ absorb the moral as is! How do we plan to handle our own moral compass and that of our children’s!

The sole responsibility as a parent should be to present the realities of life and hope that our little sheroes make the apt choices in time of need or at least wish that this strategy of ours works.