PARENTING FROM VARIOUS PERSPECTIVES- with the onus of imparting values to children.
As I see it this article throws up many issues than one from a larger perspective.
1. When we become parents we notice and observe more deeply and keenly, involve in everything with greater commitment, think profoundly, turn more possessive, act carefully and more importantly become too conscious of the chronology of our life etc. In a way we grow into a new human being mostly for the better. So, in a way parenting is one of the great metamorphoses of human life. [A]
2. We teach many things to children as moral correctness and morally wrong as if they are static and everlasting axiomatic certitudes. We fail to realize that morality is mostly, and rightly so, contextual rather than a set of static rules written down by scriptures, religions, cultures, society etc. There are no perennial taboos or trends. [B]
3. Any relationship and the most important aspect of life itself is spontaneous psychological reciprocation or reaction. Deal with children with love and they will reciprocate with love and love a universal and reusable syringe through which one can inject any good value or many nice values for life. [C]
4. Parenting is an opportunity to enjoy life with a new relationship by making a matured and pleasant journey with a less aged and less matured person understanding, adjusting to his/her whims and fancies with all the parental concerns and pampering and also assuaging his/her unhappy moments without preventing him/her from realizing that unhappiness is also an inevitable part of life, do our best to minimize it by many means but at the same time not totally masking a factual situation or stark reality with our overbearing emotional or sentimental affection, sometimes at the cost of inconvenience to others. [D]
5. Parenting never stops in the mind of the parent: - initially it is an obsessive occupation with a combination of irritations and interesting things, and then it becomes a routine responsibility, slowly recedes into receptive spectatorship but always remains a relationship working with renewed vigor at every juncture. [E]
6. All good values like kindness, humaneness, sharing and caring etc must be made to percolate through our actions and interactions with others because the first best means of learning for any child either verbal or action is through imitation and not through preaching or teaching, though they can be used later on. I think practicing these values are more important than exposing children to any religion or ritual because living requires good qualities and values which contribute to good natural habits not necessarily socially accepted practices. This is both psychological process and sociological outcome as very well explained in Micromotives and Macrobehavior by THOMAS C. SCHELLING. He explains how most adults and the whole society actually make imitation into an almost a collective behavior.
“That kind of analysis explores the relation between the behavior characteristics of the individuals who comprise some social aggregate, and the characteristics of the aggregate…. This analysis sometimes uses what is known about individual intentions to predict the aggregates:…. People are responding to an environment that consists of other people responding to their environment, which consists of people responding to an environment of people's responses……. To make that connection we usually have to look at the system of interaction between individuals and their environment, that is, between individuals and other individuals or between individuals and the collectivity.”
7. Very often parental expectations, enthusiasm, emotions etc coupled with social pressures, approvals and appreciations may end up parents not noticing the inherent attributes i.e. strengths and weaknesses of children and therefore not doing anything to promote or prevent them from manifesting as they ought to in natural course.
8. Of course, no parent would like to promote or parade a child’s weakness; they may at best minimize or mitigate it. If it is physical attend to it medically and if it is psychological or emotional then at least one parent must spend time and communicate verbally/emotionally/psychologically etc with the child to gradually improve its attitude to minimize such weaknesses. For strengths expose the child to the opportunities that a parent can afford.
So knowing the innate attributes and keying in the important attitudes are vital aspects of parenthood.
9. Values of life are initially imitated then gradually get inculcated and remain inside the self and it is better that way rather than through indoctrination injected to keep intact any specific cultural, social or religious identity. Ultimately the values that are inherited through imitation initially manifest in or as habits in later years rather than whatever one learns through instruction. As Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina states, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”. I would like to state that:- All nice parents have children with nice habits; every child with a nasty habit has a nasty parent invariably.
10.As they grow into adults, of course, if personal responsibility, independence, confidence, clarity of perception etc have also been aspects of value system that as parents we have followed they would know, learn or at least struggle and strive to learn to lead a life.
So as adults our children emerge hatched once again with capabilities to lead a life and also live a life. [F]
Most parents are keener on equipping and therefore preoccupied with the child to lead a good life in terms of the survival aspect of life, they hardly pay attention to the living aspect of living a life happily.