Friday, February 15, 2008

Are We Overindulgent Parents?

Life these days is made more easy by means of mechanical gadgets that we use at home. Here in India we also have the luxury of having a maid to help us tho handling a maid is proving to be a more difficult task than managing a company. That is another story altogether. Well the thing is our children are growing in more luxurious circumstances than we grew up in and the same can be said about us compared to our parents and thus the cycle is going on.

But now I feel we indulge our children too much. Unlike earlier where children were admitted into nearby schools more so for the sake of convenience than the standard of the school, we would all walk in a big group and it was lots of fun. Unlike our parents who had to cross small lakes or little hillocks to reach their school we had relatively shorter distances to walk. Now I find in the case of my children it is car to school bus back to car and home. I feel that is some indulgence on my part. Also their taste for high end priced products is getting more evident. Here atleast we try and put our foot down and tell them why we would not like to buy these things though they draw comparisons and tell us that their friends have it so why can't they have it.

Later we tried out a new strategy wherein we told both of them that once in a while they can buy a few things and gave them a budget of Rs.50-100 and it was hilarious to see them scrambling here and there taking things and looking at the price and calculating. Then my little one comes and tells me in exasperation "Mamma there doesn't seem to be any thing available within that amount" much to the amusement of people shopping there. That was the right time to discuss about value of money and now they understand, though since they are still small they get tempted to ask for things. But we see a lot of maturity and I can see them looking at the price and trying to weigh whether it is worth that much.

I remember when I was a kid I had asked for a balloon and my dad refused to buy though I threw a huge tantrum. His philosophy was never buy things immediately when the child asks for it so that they can learn to take a NO. So this I is the principle that we also follow for our children and it really helps them later when they have to face lots of obstacles in life.

When a child is gratified the moment something is asked there will never be any value to it. They think that it is their right to get whatever they ask for. Hence in future they just can't take a simple NO. I remember reading in the newspaper that a boy commited suicide just because his father said no to buy a bike . It is quite shocking.

Many a parent have this thing of since I did not have these things during my childhood let me buy all these things for my children. Children are more happy to play with small items in the kitchen or they are imaginative to take a small box and use it like a car for hours together. They are not worried about branded items.

I still enjoy watching the children in the slum areas or the children of the construction site workers using a lot of creativity and enjoying their time playing with materials lying around. So don't you think that we as parents let children enjoy life with simple things which give them great joy?

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