In the ever getting busier world of today, time seems to be the single most critical element that seems to get compromised first. Most individuals have kids at a later age, as they are busy establishing their careers. As a result, the parents have lesser energy and more stress.
Strangely, our parents were several siblings, with lesser material means and comforts – still their parents never stressed about how they were going to bring up a child or how they were going to put them through school or college. They just worked hard, lived with basic means and allowed their lives to just be and take its own course. And their kids turned out just fine and achieved great heights and were very hardworking and diligent.
Today, we have one or two kids, with all material comforts provided to them. A parent’s basic goal is to put their child in the best school and college, decide the child’s career path which would generate maximum income stream (as that seems to be the measure of success in today’s day and age). How is it then that the kids are less focused, not as hardworking and sharp as their previous generations and lazier?
In my opinion, it is the substitution of personal love, time and attention with comforts and material things that is leading to this. We buy them the best toys and more toys each day. The old ones get thrown away, misplaced, broken and no accountability is set up. The children are losing their value for money and things. We think that buying fancy expensive gifts make us better parents. No! Research shows that a child needs emotional nourishing, not material nourishment. They are happy wearing a t-shirt with a hole or living in two pair of jeans. They don’t care about brands or new and old. It’s the parents who do and who then impose it on their children.
If we can dedicate time to our children reading to them, playing outdoor sports with them, cycling with them, playing board games, walking together and discussing the beauty of nature – it will go a great mile in being a good parent. The child will bond more, listen to us more, tell us more about their lives and be more patient.
Try replacing tablet and TV time with playing a board game or doing a fun craft activity. Do a Puzzle with your child and see how engaged you become as a family. Play soccer, basketball, cycling with them and enjoy and dwell in their laughter – for they grow up really fast. If we wait for the time when we think we’ve made it in life and now we will spend the time with them – guess what – they may not need and appreciate our time anymore!
By Nidhi Mehta