Monday, July 9, 2018

Teaching failure to kids for the best

I remember when I was a kid and I would see a new toy or book or anything else that caught my fancy, and I asked my parents to buy it for me, their answer would almost always be NO. Then maybe on pleading, negotiating, insisting or even throwing a tantrum - I would once in a blue moon get what I wanted. One would think that the parents didn't want to spoil the child or waste money on useless things. But it is soo much deeper than that.

While we're under our parents shade and guidance, we feel confident, positive about life and that nothing can ever go wrong. But when kids start getting exposed to the outside world.. Right from school days, to independently commuting to school/college/tutions/classes and later doing grown up things like getting a job or going for higher education - reality hits.

Life isn't all that easy, people aren't always good or kind. There are obstacles, you won't always get what you want and things may sometimes look bleak. Back then because we were already used to not always getting what we want, we would be alright. Forget or get over it or find a way to earn it. 

But today, we as parents of this generation with most probably a single child, give our kids whatever they want - out of guilt for not spending enough time with them or because of impatience and not wanting them to throw a fit or create a scene or even because we want to give them everything because we can afford it. How wrong are we!

With all the recent (and not so recent) suicides committed by children due to failing an exam or being lonely or not meeting their own expectations I can only try to figure where are we as parents going wrong.

And the answer lies right in front of us. Not spending quality time with the kids (going shopping to the mall or going for movies etc hardly counts). Giving them a gadget too early in life whilst being on another gadget ourself giving excuses to self that it's important work or it's necessary to finish this right now at night.. Not teaching them that failure is as probable as success.. That sometimes you have to settle for not getting what you want. Be it a toy or school of choice or a vocation of choice.

I am guilty of doing this too. Mostly out of being worn out and tired all the time. But every time the news or viral video of another soul ending it's own self comes to my eyes, it's like a bolt of shock. It's like ice cold water hitting my face asking me to finally wake up from whatever deluded world I'm living in where I think it'll all be fine without me doing good much.

Also, if you're a blogger/influencer reading this - we spoil our kids further with all the freebies/special invites and other privileges. We need to be careful and make them feel they have earned the privilege or else later in life reality will hit hard and how!

Next time my toddler asks me for something I'll say No, not today. He'll cry, he'll yell and be angry. I'll let him. I'll calmly try to explain to him that he cannot get every thing he lays his eyes on and has to earn things by doing tasks. It will be difficult. It will be frustrating. I may even want to pull my hair when he shrieks and cries, but I will try to remind myself the greater picture I am trying to create. I'll keep my phone and other gadgets away when I'm home. If he asks for the iPad or phone I'll tell him it's at office. Sorry if I don't reply to your messages people, I'm sorry if I cannot do the work at hand on priority. I'm sure you will understand.

P.S. - I wrote and published this from phone while in commute so please excuse any grammar/spelling mistakes.