You brought your beautiful child into this world to love, cherish and protect. Sometimes, along the way, maybe you have lost your sense of priority and have got caught up in the rat race of a fast moving life. When I say a fast moving life, I mean that you are too busy working and not having time for your child. Do you know what your child values the most? It is your love and time. They don’t care about the material things that you give them. They want you to come and hug them, to listen to what they have done during their day. To read to them a bed time story. Think. Do you really do any of that? At the end of the day when you come home, you are so tired you just want to have a shower, eat and go to sleep or watch television or read the newspaper. You might be irritated with your child if he or she comes and tries to hug you. You might even push them away.
Remember, you have your child for 18 years only. Before you know it, they would have grown up and left you to go and do higher studies, sometimes abroad. Enjoy these first 18 years of life together to the maximum. Watch how they grow, try to be like you, throw tantrums when you say no. But, do you have time to say no? Or do you always give in to them? Do you leave your child entirely in the hands of the grandparents or house maids? Have you checked whether a healthy meal has been prepared for your child? We have sometimes seen that the same food sent to school today, is in the Tiffin box the next day.
Some of the children wear unclean underwear. p.t.o. One day when you are much older, you might ask them to come and sit with you and speak with you. But that day, they might tell you, “Ammi, Thathi, I am busy, I have work to do” and walk away. You will then realise that you have taken for granted the opportunities you had. Love your child. Give your time. Now. Not later. Do not have any regrets. Pay attention to what the school and society in general advises you. Do not give your child things that are not advised, such as junk food. Do not give your child a computer, or a phone or a tablet. You are giving them a weapon to destroy themselves.
They won’t have time for you when they get used to these technological devices. They will get addicted to these items, and neglect their studies. It should be the other way around. They should enjoy time with you and their studies. Teach them to dress and undress on their own. Tell them not to allow any strangers to touch them. Teach your daughters how to sit properly with legs together. Take them to the beach, the zoo, to the park, on a train ride. Allow them to play with sand and water. Sing to them. Sing with them. Tell them stories which they really love. Allow them time at home to relax and think and get bored. It is then that their creative minds will open to find the wonders of nature and the environment. Teach them right from wrong, and never to be selfish, to share with one another. Don’t allow them to become thoughtless and selfish adults.
Treat them gently but do not coddle. Teach them how to be independent. It is your responsibility to see that you put forth a decent, law-abiding human being into society one day. Have a good family life. If you brought your child into the world, it is your duty to see that both the mother and father are there for them until they become adults. Whatever family disputes you may have with your spouse, remember why you both got together in the first place and decided to have a child. You have a great duty by your child. They are not items which you can hand over to someone else. They are yours. And yours alone. Keep them with you for as long as possible. As I told you earlier, before you know it, they will be gone.
Mrs. Kumari Grero