Have you heard someone saying things like:
“Humne to tumhari umr mei naukri bhi shuru kar di thi” or may be “tumhari umr mei main poore ghar ki zimmedaari sambhaalti thi” ?
I’m sure each one of us has, sometime or the other, been on at least one side of this comparison Many people must have been fortunate enough to have seen both the sides of the coin i.e. being compared with one’s parents by the parents, and comparing oneself to his/her children.
Sometimes, the children have heard their parents’ childhood stories from their grandparents. In this case, they refuse to be compared at all. Even if our children are not aware of it, at least we ourselves know the truth- we know how the times have changed- more in the past 30-40 years than ever before.
Before telling our children how they should be like the kids we ‘were’; should we not tell ourselves to be what our parents ‘were’?
We should also try and compare ourselves as parents today and our parents as they were when we were children.
Did they make any sacrifices for us?
A father foregoing a job or a promotion in his job, or a mother eating only left-over practically everyday… was no sacrifice at all.
These days we can very easily find a mother telling her child that she herself has cooked lunch instead of waiting for the maid, so that the lunch could be served on time.
Equally common is a man telling his wife or children that he actually went to the shop and bought them a gift, instead of just ordering it online. Now, these are what we call “sacrifices”. The lady ordering a pizza from pizza hut or the man shopping online were easy choices which they avoided.
Can we remember our mother telling us that she has cooked lunch for us !!! or our father telling us that he actually went to the shop to get us a gift !!! Yes, they did all this, but never felt the need to tell us the same. Whatever they did, came so naturally to them that they never felt they were ‘doing’ something for us; they were simply living their life.
But when we do something for our spouse or kids, we feel we are ‘sacrificing our life’ for them and want to get their appreciation (not only acknowledgment) for the same.
It is true beyond any doubt that these days kids are exposed to more gadgets and that is the reason they have more to demand. Materialistic things are something that they want, whereas what they actually ‘need’ is our time and undivided attention. Our honest introspection will tell us that we are constantly, though sometimes unknowingly, trying to compensate for our lack of time with some’thing’ the child has asked for.
This ‘compensation’ of what they need by what they want is the root cause of most of the problems youth is facing these days.
Let us not compensate for ‘what our children rightfully need from us’ with ‘something they may not even know of’. This is nothing but a desperate attempt to reduce our guilt of not being able to give them our quality time.
Let’s give it a thought.