Responsible Parenthood- Part I - By Professor A. Lourdusamy

Parents are parents and children are children. Each parent is different from every other parent, likewise children.  How to bring up your child is an exercise that is learnt by years and experience. No bookish knowledge will ever be applied as it is somebody experience or hearsay. We come across a number of books on how to bring up your child. I can’t tell you how you should bring up your child. Most of such books are overseas based and they don’t apply to us. If we try to imitate what others do to their children then we have to be like such parents. My children, as they were growing up, would be sad when I told them that I would be leaving home for a few days. They would get up early in the morning waiting for my arrival as I normally arrived by early morning train. As they were growing up say around more than five years of age they did not show any outward excitement that they exhibited when they were 3 or 4 years. I used to wonder why such change-whether they don’t mind my going out or coming in. External signs of excitement have different stages of showing it, I understood by time.

Every child is to be understood in its own perspective including the home condition and the parental environment. The other day, talking to one of the leading doctors, I enquired as to what his child is doing thinking he should be doing science to be become a doctor. To my surprise the doctor told me that his child wants to be a cricket player as he is interested in the game and really very good at that. Here is a doctor who knows how to bring up his child according to the child’s capabilities.

The first and the most important aspect among the responsibilities of the parents is to find time to be with the children, to hear them, to listen to them, to play with them and to enjoy with them. An eye opening incident that I read through is this. Not a story but a real life incident. Once in the court of law, the judge had to pronounce judgement over a rather bad criminal and the judge was shocked to notice that the criminal was the son of a very popular advocate.  After the court procedure, the judge made sure that the criminal is the son of that famous advocate. He was curious to know how could such a man’s son would turn out to be such a bad fellow. The criminal told the judge:  “It is true my father is very popular, efficient, and scholarly having written seminal books on law but he did not have time to spend with me. I remember many occasions when I approached him for something or other he would say, ‘keep quiet, I  am reading, writing.’ There was no one else at home whom I could turn to. I moved over to my friends and thus I am.”

These days every parent says that they are busy, very tired after a day’s hard work and so on. If your hard work, hard earned money and tireless life is not going to transform your child into a responsible, affectionate, law abiding son/daughter what then is the use of all that you do.

In spite of everything, find some time, some quality time to be with your child/children specially the adolescent ones. Can you recall the last time you sat close to your child, hugged him/her, played a silly game of hide and seek? At the same time you must also be aware of your limits. Don’t treat them like kids. They are adults. Some parents are so intruding into their privacy trying to find out the secret code of their mobiles, checking it when they not at home, calling up their friends to find whether they are there with them or elsewhere, whether they have any boy/girl friends. This spying will not work. Trust your children, believe them and they will trust you and share everything of theirs with you. Mutual trust alone wins the game. Dear parents, please find some quality time to be with your children specially adolescent ones.

- By Professor A. Lourdusamy

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