Guest Article #40: For the Joy of Sharing

Being A Parent

By Kajal Kataria
Home maker, Bangalore

Foreword by Venkat
Independence, Inter-dependence and dependence are three levers on which our lives run. All need to work in tandem for good balance in experience and harmony. In the quest for one, the other two may get neglected and that is when the needs of others or the self begin to get neglected as well. The effort and intention towards a balance of the three remains a continuous duty as well as a struggle at every age in every person. And this applies to every relationship with humans as well as nature. Kajal’s article stands out on the same for the parent-child relationship on how much to care and how much to control. In fact at the core lies the fundamental principle of “when to let go and when to never give up”. In her simple yet beautiful persuasive style, Kajal urges us to think on deeper questions of dependence, inter-dependence and independence in a parent-child relationship. How much to control to allow independence and yet help realize the inter-dependence (empathy) and dependence (for e.g. on education and skills).

This is a wonderfully thought provoking article and evokes the appropriate emotion to reflect and see if we care or care so much to lose time for other precious moments of life .

About Kajal Kataria

As a stay at home mom, I realized I was passionate about creating value for my children and developing their seeking spirit. Then any subject you take up, it becomes interesting. Hence, I realized talking with people, with children, and talking and reading to them not only encourages them, but makes us aware of how creative the young minds can be if given the right environment. I hope to continue in this pursuit of making my kids always be inspired with this journey of life.

Being A Parent

Probably the toughest job in the world is being a parent. First of all, the returns are not even tangible. And we see results of our “job” many years later. The constant guilt of a working parent and a non-working parent eats us up completely. Because we question ourselves at every step.

My mom keeps telling me that sometimes our generation has over-complicated things. And I would feel what does she know. I have more information, the INTERNET. And I am guilty of being a google doctor, google mom. So having had this conversation with my mother, I started rethinking a lot of my parenting styles.
And I realized, I did over think many things. Even a simple meal is over thought. Will my child get the nutrition, diet, etc. But then its not like our parents didn’t think of these things. The only difference was the availability of things. We have too much choice, too much variety, too much INFORMATION. What I (I cannot generalize this for others) lack in is, the correct wisdom to use this information.

My child should never be bored, my child should eat the best, and the list is endless. But then I paused and thought, am I making my child so dependent on everything that he / she will not have time to actually think on his/her own? I am reminded here of the beautiful poem “Leisure” by W.H Davies.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare

I get goosebumps just reading this poem. While I love the fact there is so much beautiful science behind parenting nowadays, we have forgotten the simplicity of being a parent. Isn’t it ok for a child to get bored? Because then this child will come up with some game or some idea to challenge themselves and maybe come up with ways to entertain herself / himself.

I have been guilty of this. I also wanted my kids to share every single thing with their friends. And then I realized, its ok if once in a while they don’t want to share their toy. We need to allow them to voice their thoughts and opinions rather than shove our opinions on them. How do we expect them to stand up for themselves later on in life, if we ask them to be perfect (as per our dictionary) now? Of course, this is a long learning curve for me, and I definitely have a lot to learn.

But what I am learning as a parent is, that parenting is tough and as parents we do a lot for our kids. So, it is ok once in a while to rest up, give ourselves a pat on our backs and say we are trying the best we can. And while it is a very complicated process, we can still enjoy the simple hugs and kisses from our precious kids. And maybe we can stop once in a while and “stand and stare without any care”.

By Kajal Kataria

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