I was waiting outside the Principal's office to get my child's tranofer certificate signed by her . We were shifting to another city thanks to my husband's trasferable job. I happened to sit next to the door of the student counsellor's room. Some parent was having a session with the counsellar and I unintentionally overheard some comments which spilled out of the room carried away by emotions . Seemingly a mother was in utter frustration unable to understand her son's behaviour.I could piece up just one comment from her heartfelt outburst,''How can he be so uncaring and ungrateful after what we have done for him? I had planned this week off so much in advance so that I would be there with him for his exams but what the hell! He does'nt want me . He says he would prefer studying on his own.''
I could visualise the loving but helpless mother who was at a loss in understanding her child. My heart went out to her but I could do nothing . The peon called me ...handed me the signed certificate and I returned home . The helpless mother's words kept coming back to me again and again.I was thinking that she was feeling bad because she could not reach out to her son and so judged him, labelled him as uncaring and ungrateful . But what hit me was the last clause ..''..after what all we have done for him.''...I was puzzled ...did she do what all she had done to make the child feel grateful? I hear this comment very commonly used by parents...what I do not understand is how can they utter such a thing....why do they ever say this ? think this? may be out of fear of the child's future....expressing our fear for them ...but these words? what all we have done for them? ? I find it very very sad.
We parents bring our children on this earth by our pleasure but why do we bring them up with our fear? We do not understand them or reach out to them inspite of our love for them should we not ponder to see if we can find someother way to understand them. They are so precious to us ...they are our parts ...we need to understand them but what we keep trying is making them understand us. When we try doing so the children also replicate us by wanting us to understand them ..we stick to our guns they learn to stick to their's and one of the most beautiful and satisfying relationship takes on ugly shapes hurting all...both the parent as well as the child. If we try to explain things out to them gently ,patiently there is no reason for them not to understand ...but all of this requires endless unconditional patience and transparency of thoughts ...all of which probably not very easy for us adults...we choose the easy way out...start telling them rather showing them ...making their decisions for them rather than allowing them to experiment.....Parenting even falls prey to our double standards. we may have done anything in the past the children are supposed to be perfect because that gives us pleasure ...pride.. why would they do so? They would probably be honest when they see honesty in us ...not the honesty of convenience that most of us practise...They would learn when they see us learn from our experiences ...what happens is that we continue teaching with the plea that no changes can be incorporated in our own lives....they learn to do the same ...spend their lives trying to reach out to their children ,unsuccessfully.
When ever I come to Mumbai airport my eyes automatically goes up to the beautiful words written by Mahatma Gandhi painted in big letters;
Be The Change That You Want To See.........