Old Dog, New Tricks

Sometimes adversity is the best thing that can happen to a person. It shakes up their world view and forces them to see things in a different light. They realise good things in bad situations and that’s how many of us expand our minds. No one, who is comfortable with their lot in life and their own little space does any growing.

The problem for me enters when there’s a desperate need for that realisation. That people are different. Your kids wont like what you like/liked. They will not behave in the way you expect them to JUST BECAUSE you said so. Life does not work that way people!

The “I said so” thing works till about age 8 and then your kids start to grow resentful.

You see parents doing this kind of thing to their kids till they leave the family home. The worst part is when the parents feel lost or pointless because their kids don’t do as they are told. To assign your entire identity to the antics of your children is damaging to both parties, the kids and the parents alike!

The thing I hate most about parental expectations is the inability to see the social construct of the children themselves.

Why do  I need to be a robot? Most kids don’t understand why simple incidents become serious issues of obedience and disrespect.

The other thing that boggles the mind is the way children are taught. Take dawats** for example.There are NO kids that I know that want to go to these things. Parents for some reason INSIST on bringing their kids. If they’re boys that can be left home alone, its 100% certain that they won’t be forced to attend. If these boys have a sister she may get off the hook as well, in most cases she doesn’t. Sucks being her, trust me.

A lot of parents say they bring their kids along to teach them about their culture. Since they live in a country where their parents emigrated to, the cultural aspects of their origins must be maintained.

The thing that comes unstuck is: What is it that you’re trying to show/teach these kids? What do you think they’re learning from this experience? You take them there, they sit in a corner, NO ONE talks to them, there is limited to no interaction and then you come home. Have you stopped to wonder the hell that kid’s going through? Have you stopped to think what that translates to in their mind? Do you think they’re developing an appreciation for their “culture” or do you think they’re building a strong case to hate their parents for the rest of their lives?

It’s ok to say these sentiments are extreme. They probably are. What I fail to grasp is when parents do THE SAME THING over and over but expect different results each time. Do you talk to your kids about culture and right v wrong? Do you even engage with your children at an intellectual level? NO YOU DON’T! You take them to these places where women make idiotic comments about how a naughty girl should just have been born a boy and men parody each other’s political views.

Seriously?

If you’re worried about your kids losing their culture, why don’t you engage them constructively?

OH THAT’S RIGHT – You don’t actually know how!

This is the problem! There is nothing that you know of engagement or connecting with your kids. You can’t even come up with different WAYS of communicating the same message. Is it because you don’t have a real message? If you ever poke around this idea, you’ll find that parents get very very defensive and irritated by what they feel is a questioning of their smarts. This sort of thinking only works when your kids are very very young because the kids don’t have a way to tell you otherwise. Left unchecked it becomes corrosively detrimental and eats away at what should be a very strong bond between parent and child.

I just wish I never stop growing and changing and learning new things and appreciating different points of view. I hope I don’t become so stuck in my ways that any other way sounds pretty much blasphemous to me. I hope above all that I can engage with my kids at a level that works for both of us, in the short AND the long run and I hope that my kids will respect me for it.

 

**family outings where one’s entire family is invited to someone’s house for dinner/lunch

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4 thoughts on “Old Dog, New Tricks

  1. I think it is unwise to expect people to learn from YOUR mistakes, because reality is people only learn from their own mistakes. So parents telling you to not do something or stay away from certain things doesn’t really work unless you fully agree with it. Also, I think dawats growing up were not so bad, but now that I’m older for some reason it always ends up being random auntys approaching my mom to offer wedding proposals. If I wanted to search for a match for myself, I’d sign up for a dating/wedding service! :S

  2. my point here is just that there are many ways of getting your ONE point across
    stophaving a one size fits all approach
    i feel saddened by the fact that my parent’s generation just can’t grasp this concept. even the ones after my parents… its this blind “just obey” principle i dont get.

    • 😦 There’s not much you can do about it but to create your own example. Hopefully we will not get bogged down by the common trends and adopt a more creative approach to pass on to the next generation.

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