my child –not only in this life but in the life after as well. I believe that
our children make us better humans. Since the day I became a mom, I have become
more observant of my actions, of my words, of my habits and above all of my
general conduct with people. I don’t know if I stress too much by trying too
hard or maybe I should. Its just that I cannot live with the thought that I
didn't do all to make my daughter the person who is a good, happy, lovable and
in peace with herself person. Who is compassionate and is in line with the
reality of life – yes even at this age. Last generation of parents might not
agree, in their opinion they never stressed like this with their children and
they all turned out just fine. My argument is simple. Times have changed. With increasing technological pressures, incessant media exposure, plethora of choices and altered lifestyles– it is important to adopt and adjust our
perceptions and also realize that what may have been the right way of upbringing few decades ago is not true for this generation. At its simplest these children are way too alert and smarter then what we were at their age. Reason - exposure to too much radiation may be. Well there could be a million reasons but the implication is only one – filter what they are exposed to and set limits. And I mean the media and the technology. I do not deny the benefits of these but the de merits are many as well.
When we were growing up we did not have the luxury of watching tv twenty four seven, I remember waiting for 4 o clock smurfs show every day or when STN became a reality 7 o clock thunder cats or ninja turtles. Even our cartoons were simple and innocent! Our mothers were mostly at home with us, concept of a working mom was more or less a taboo. Those were simpler times and yes there wasn’t much to be filtered from. Most children were just like us, most
schools did not pick the elite but only the ones who were competent enough. Yes we did not have one million options for summer classes, we relied on hot summery afternoons on the roof or in my case on the stairs of my apartments which me and my sister would decorate us our home/office etc. We were imaginative and creative. We had free time to enjoy our childhood, our time was not distributed in tuitions and piano classes and play dates and dance classes and what not. Not that anything is wrong with these, all i am saying is that those were simpler times indeed.
So coming back to my earlier point, how I have become much more aware of my own self since I became a mom and to tell you the truth I think it’s a good thing in many ways. As we grow older we lose sight of ourselves. We become
too engrossed with what we need to get done and generally forget the how. The morals that must make basis of each action often get sidelined in an attempt of achieving. Things that I have and am in the process of amending are healthy
eating habits - I don’t think I have had any carbonated drink in quite some time because I know the harmfuleffects that they will have on my child’s bones, weight, teeth etc. Similarly, I have cut down my TV viewing to almost nonexistent, I try to read more or do physical activities more with her like painting, coloring, going in the garden, going for a walk etc. Also I am more aware of the words I use, the tone I use because she replicates EVERY thing I do or say – EVERYTHING. I do scream at her when she tests my patience only to have that same screaming session done to me or one of her toys at some other random point. But well, I didn’t say I was perfect. I am getting to know about my own self by her and its simply amazing. Things we wouldn’t do for ourselves, we’d actually do for them.
For example we keep our houses clean and teach our children to not litter around the house but when it comes to outdoors we don’t put that much thought in the action. The other day I tossed a candy wrapper out the car window
out of habit or cheer negligence, and was shortly followed by my baby replicating the same. And when she did it, made me focus on how wrong that act was. Hence I am in conscious process of not doing that anymore. Same goes for the incessant use of cell phones and laptops in our lives. Even when we are physically with our children we are mentally absent. So now I try my best to only use these when she’s asleep, at school or busy otherwise.
I owe my attempt to streamline my praying to my baby too. One day she heard Azan and asked me what it was. So I told her that it was Allah mian asking us to pray. Guess what her second question was? Why aren’t you praying then! And
that was it. I was guilty and I knew, wrong as it may sound, I will have to be punctual with my prayers so she knows that its not optional but mandatory.
I read somewhere that children will seldom do what they are told or asked to, but will ALWAYS do what they see. Couldn’t agree more.
This whole concept very simple, its exactly like the thought process of the one who smokes. You know its wrong and harmful but you would still do it. But when it comes to your children you think otherwise. And children observe, at
some point in time they will turn around and say ‘but u do it too’. Many people would actually defend their acts by trying to tell them that certain things adults can do but I sincerely feel it makes the act much more appealing than
Hence, we need to do these things from the very beginning. I have come across number of parents with older kids complaining that our children don’t say their namaz or don’t do a certain act in a particular way as we wish them to.
The problem in my opinion is that they never did those things themselves when they were young and when their children were growing up. They realized these things late in life and by that time their children had already become what they
were. Because I staunchly believe that at the end of the day we all are 60% to 70% WHO we spent most of our first ten years of life with.
My humble request to all the parents out there, try to alter yourself in what you wish to see your children become. Also, invest time in those precious first years by giving them quality time and right values else you’ll just become bystanders in your own children’s lives.