Parenting does not merely mean giving birth and rearing the child from birth till adulthood nor does it mean providing all the needs (physical) of the child without any hesitation. Many parents feel that their responsibility ends once the physical needs are met the child grows on its own.
Parenting starts even before the couple get married. Even the animals have sex and give birth to offsprings. They take care of the physical needs and also protect the offsprings from external dangers till certain period and then leave them to themselves. Human beings are not like that. God has given us brain and the power of thinking and differentiating between what is good and what is not and then acting. How many are doing this?
The main problem is awareness. Many are unaware what to do and when to do what? As I said earlier Parenting starts much before getting married assuming that one decides to get children after marriage!!
When one gets married lot of adjustments are to be made physically, emotionally, financially, socially and psychologically too. Initially it may be physical attraction or infatuation, later many more things come to light which may result in disappointment and frustration for both. Even if it is a love marriage, because, while courting, normally one will present the best side of self and the other person may not know the actual situation. The realities crop up in due course of time only. These are the reasons that most of the marriages now a days are resulting in breakups. In the olden days it was taught and practiced that whatever be the situation one should adjust and stick to the partner under any circumstances. Now that situation and mental make up has disappeared.
To avoid all these problems, it is advisable that the couple give some time for both to settle down, understand each other as well as each other’s financial position, social status, family and personal commitments etc very well before deciding to have a child. Major portion of the child development depends on the family atmosphere. If there is friction, tension, misunderstandings among parents, financial strain, and frustration etc. it will definitely impair the fair and healthy growth of the little one. Why deprive the innocent child the basic requirement of healthy family atmosphere? Instead, avoid the little one from coming into this world! or try to postpone since there are many acceptable and safe methods available now.
One should be aware of one’s habits and health history before deciding to have a child. Unwanted habits like smoking, drinking liquor excessively, consuming drugs, having some serious illness in the family which has the chance and threat of being transmitted to the little one should be assessed before hand to either take precaution or to avoid with a reputed doctor. Because all these or any of these can have a very bad and irreparable effect on the child. Why take risk and then regret over it through out the life? One should opt for quality of life rather than quantity, which is the problem and available in plenty in India!!
Parenting is the responsibility of both the father and the mother. There is a notion in most of the families that parenting is the whole and sole responsibility of the mother alone, which is totally wrong and unorthodox.
Parenting is beautiful but requires lot of sacrifice, adjustments, and understanding and realize that it is many times non-rewarding. One should realize the truth and the reality and should not get disappointment. One should realize that we have the responsibility to give the best to our children, to take care of them since it was we who have decided to bring them into this world and not their choice!! One should always opt, wish and hope for a better life socially, materialistically, and psychologically for the children than what the parents had. In order to achieve this goal or to realize this ambition, one has to make many sacrifices. First one should assess whether one is really and wholly ready for this. One should always aim to give the best rather than an ordinary or a below ordinary life to one’s child.
First and the foremost is the financial sacrifice. When a guest comes to the house and stays for a couple of days, one sees the difference in the expenditure and a short fall in the budget. A child’s arrival will make a great difference. One should assess this aspect before deciding to become a parent.
The financial burden will be a never ending and ever mounting process. The medical and the educational expenditure in the present days are so high that one person’s earnings are in no way sufficient to give a decent education and comfortable living to our children. Medical expenditure is unpredictable. Any thing may happen at any time. “Are we prepared for it”, should be the first question. At every stage there will be different types and patterns of expenditure. One should be prepared, plan and should have the capacity to arrange. No use in blaming or regretting later on.
Then is the time management. A child will take a great amount of the time of the parent. Both should think and estimate how much time they can spend with and for the child. Then they should assess whether that time is sufficient or not. If not, will they be able to allot more or how they propose to manage. There is no point in blaming each other later on. Both should give equal importance to each other’s time, ability, professional ambitions etc before deciding to have a child.
They should plan how they propose to manage their respective professions. It is always felt that the mother should sacrifice her carrier to take care of the child. Why? Why can’t the father adjust? All these aspects are to be discussed and decided about, much before deciding to become a parent. One should have the decency, courage, ability and capacity to manage by themselves without depending on others. To become a parent was the decision taken by them not by others and forced on them by others.
The parents will have to forgo many comforts in life which they might have been enjoying before the arrival of the little one. This discomfort or the disturbance should not be complained about or regretted about later on. Socially there may be changes in the attitude of oneself as well as from others around. This should be anticipated and accepted by both.
One should realize that the child is a growing entity in all aspects such as physically, mentally, psychologically, socially and emotionally too. At every stage it will show different reactions. The parents should realize this and be prepared to accept the child as it is and not as they want or like it to behave. Such an attitude alone will result in happiness, satisfaction and disappointment free living.
Parenting is a continuous process and does not stop at a given point of time. It also is a learning process for the parents concerned. One should show balanced emotions and reactions towards the child immaterial of what reaction the child shows. After the childhood days adolescence and then adulthood sets in the child’s life. The parent should be well aware of how to handle at each given point of time. Interfering with their lives, emotions, activities, actions etc will lead to friction and misunderstandings only. One should learn to guide them, advice them and watch. Learn never to insist. The children should be treated like friends and one should earn respect rather than demand it.
After a period time they become an independent individual and the parents become strangers. They may or may not disclose all their emotions, problems etc with the parents. This is a natural reaction and the parent should feel that they have given the right background to their children instead of feeling left out or neglected. At this stage one should learn to involve in the activities of the children rather than talking about themselves and about the past. This will create a bond between the two which is a healthy sign for both. The parents should realize that they have lived their lives, done their duties to the maximum possible limits and have brought their children to a certain level and their job is done. The parents should develop the habit of good hearing and minimal talking!
These are certain observations and experiences that I have come across and experienced in my life and felt that they will be useful if expressed on paper. Certain points may sound little strange but they are expressed by keeping the Indian parents in mind.P
There is an old saying “one is company, two is crowd”. We can modify this and say “one is fun, two is crime”!!!
I will consider that my attempt is successful if at least one person feels that the article is useful and beneficial.