The sooner the parents realize this fact, the better, as such realization would surely influence them to emphasize on making their children equipped with techniques to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Thus, being liberal to provide freedom or facilitating to develop brazen confidence may not help the children to effectively meet the demands of life, which commands a solid sense of values, love and support. Understandably, the parents have to instill such set of values in their children and should try their best to imbibe the concept of love in them.
There may be psychological block before the parents to let their children attempting difficult tasks of life, especially when parents can lend their hands to that. But that style of functioning would rather harm the children’s course of learning than doing any good. The author rightly cites the observation of Albert and Popkin (1987), where they say, “A good rule of thumb in parenting is to avoid doing on a regular basis what our children can do for themselves” (p. 58).
Another common phenomenon of parents is their tendency to protect their children from making mistakes – but again, allowing them to commit mistakes for the sake of learning out of it is the best policy to make them more equipped. This concept is perfectly aligned with the idea of providing them with more independence and instilling more confidence in them, as the ability of decision making is associated with self-learning and thus, this process is a source of enhancing self-confidence.
The author presents a wonderful instance of how gradually the parents can release their clutch to raise the independence of their children, when she narrates how she let her daughter Lisa to walk to her school all alone, after she accompanied her the total distance for the first day and then shortening the distance the day next, before not accompanying her on the day third. It was a difficult decision for the author, yet she chose to bear the brunt of the proverbial parental anxiety for her daughter for the whole day, before riding over it in the end, when Lisa successfully completed the trek down the lane and reached home all safe and sound.
It was indeed a great day of triumph for Lisa, where she not only enjoyed her newfound freedom, but also tested success in utilizing that effectively. And for Lisa’s mother, the whole incidence served as a reminder of her own periodic craving for independence, where judicious handling of independence finally brought more avenues towards her own success. This state of realization brought home another point of concern – that is, proper utilization of independence, makes it more potent tool towards children’s development.
This indeed is a great lesson for the author to learn, which stemmed out of her parenting phase. The author recalls another such instance when Lisa was just four years’ old and was still in day care. It was at that time one day the author was preparing to go to work on a snowy, Monday morning, when Lisa looked reluctant to go to day care, a typical attitude of her on Monday morning, but that Monday she showed extra zest to her resistance though she had to submit to her mother’s forceful persuasion, who somehow got her ready.
Then, they were coming down to go out when Lisa fell from stairs and momentarily became unconscious! In a moment, the world stopped for Lisa’s mother, and everything seemed useless except well being of Lisa, as her mother realized then and there about the true value of her prized little angel. That sudden event served as an eye-opener to Lisa’s mother, who realized how inhumane it is to force a little child to get up early each day and to spend the whole day at day care thereafter.
This sudden rush of reality made her immobilized and swept aside all other priorities of her life, like going to work, for which she was so anxious to reach on time even moments ago, or even more, to earn money – instead, the situation knifed out a hidden fact that the modern societies usually keep under the rags – all working mothers’ pangs – which tear them apart each day and keep one part of them to their children and send the other at their workplaces!
In that moment of uncertainty with Lisa’s life, her mother, the author of the article under review, realized the real value of her child, while bleeding from inside for not being able to share her life with her child the way it should be. Unfortunately, human proposes and God disposes – and, in this solitary rainy night, I too realized the predicament that the author had to go by, where she felt herself nothing more than a victim of the circumstance!
That sudden accident brought forth a few more important issues, which contained several elements of child development – like maintaining good mental and physical health of the child, or maintaining a uniformed process of learning. In that short phase of introspection, she renewed the significance of parents’ teachings that would involve academic and attitude lessons like discipline, or good manners – in the process of which, she admitted the fact that “getting caught up in and placing too much importance on certain things unnecessarily is easier” than maintaining the perspective of valuing the children over and above anything.
Altogether the entire episode provides a good many lessons for the author. On the side, she tried to placate her mind with the view that the enormity of daily schedule of parents, which involve a series of rigorous assignments like going to work, preparing meals, shopping, helping children with their homework or preparing them for bed, etc,. is exhaustible enough to prevent them from reviewing the parenting process off and on.
This parallel reflection of ideas too, can be considered as lesson on nature and amount of task that are associated with parenting. The author recounts the reoccurrence of such moments of realization right after the episode of Lisa’s accident, where the event would evolve around her second daughter Emily, then barely fifteen months’ old and already gone through two surgeries on her eyes to tighten the muscles of each eye, was diagnosed with a minor heart ailment.
Though the doctor did not seem alarmed or issued any special instruction for that, the mothers’ mind would not listen to anything and except thinking and thinking over the issue with all the worries of the world. This time Lisa’s realization took another course, and that was the concept of keeping children in good shape, and for that matter, renewing the concept of maintaining her own health. She went on describing about how she was before becoming a parent – a fast driver, oblivious of regular health check-up, binging on freely, or abstaining from exercise.
It was only after becoming a parent, she realized the importance of maintaining her own well being for the sake of her child, and accordingly, reversing the lifestyle to 360 degrees, that would contain regular exercise, maintaining controlled and balanced diet, though still abhorring the advice of her gynecologist to do a mammogram. However, there was a personal experience that was fueling her procrastination, as she mentioned in the article – it was her aunt who had died eight years ago because of breast cancer and at an early age of 41, and that instance played on at the back of her mind.
Eventually she took six months to shed off her inhibition to the clinical test, and she did do the mammogram, and again experienced her philosophical moments of five minutes, when she had to wait to know the result, when the importance of her being healthy surfaced like never before and eventually she pledged to her best to remain healthy for the sake of her family. There may be many moments of joy too in parenting phase, which, in a way, are the moments of enhanced self-esteem, as they bring in the feelings associated with a job well done.
Lisa’s mother, the author of the article in hand, is no exception and she too had had her fair share of such moments, which she does not forget to mention here. It so happened on day, when she and her husband was planning for the next day, which included a schedule like Lisa going to spend the weekend on Thursday with her cheerleader team and subsequently her grand mother would pick her up from there Friday morning and after that they would have their breakfast at McDonald’s before Lisa rejoining her team.
However, that apparently innocuous plan contained a possible violation of the family’s religious practice, which the parents failed to point out, but it was Lisa who reminded them about the same on her own by saying, “Mon I don’t want to go out to breakfast because I can’t have meat tomorrow. ” The family had been maintaining the practice of not eating meat on Friday and going to McDonald’s for breakfast might have involved breaking that tradition, but it was the child who took the tradition seriously and expressed her concern to maintain the same!
” A certain peace of mind came over me,” the author wrote, after mentioning this moment of joy, “countless times in my life, I have been proud of her, and this experience was one more example to remember. ” The authors’ words, to me, seemed like a as if stemming out of a manifesto of self-satisfaction that lists the well-executed parenting tasks, as if they are mirroring the parents’ own self-recognition!
In reality, the parents of Lisa took the subject of teaching Lisa to follow the Church rules earnestly, and that was what mirrored in her. Religion can be a great source of all good things of life and a religious upbringing has many positive effects on human behavior, as it creates a strong moral foundation in them, which in turn guides them all along their lives. Conclusion
The author’s experience clearly shows that parenting phase brings many learning moments of life, when wisdom distills down all on a sudden to invigorate our realization, by aligning our intrinsic desire of seeing our children in good stead with the practical jobs that we need to be good at. The parents need to be healthy if they want to keep their children healthy. They need to be caring if they want their children to follow suit, and they need to foster family values in themselves, if they want to imbibe the same in their children.
The list can go on, where each of its items would carry a single and simple essence – that the parents have to be good at many things if they want to see their children becoming good at many things. If developing a sense of reality is lesson, parenting provides that too, as it is evident from the accounts of the author, where she experiences series of realization about the significance of keeping a child happy by freeing her from rigorous schedule, or the value of bondage between the child and the parent.
On the other hand, the author’s experiences like finding Lisa becoming self sufficient or careful about maintaining traditional religious practice substantiate the hypothesis of this essay too – where the author observes positive outcome in her child’s life by promoting independence, or by valuing her two children and remaining thankful for their good health.
Albert, L. , and Popkin, M. (1987). Quality parenting. New York: Random House. Gibran, K. (2007). On Children. Web document. Retrieved 16 October 2008, from http://www.katsandogz.com/onchildren.html