Yet another guest post from my ex-manager and good friend of mine. This time around he tries to assuage some of the constant fear that all parents have as to whether their parenting techniques and methods are good enough for their children.
Those days have gone when my college buddies and I used to talk about whose career is zooming and who is making how much money. These days we exchange notes about which school is better and how CBSE’s trimester pattern sucks. Wisdom dawns when we realize that at some point we need to take our foot off the ‘career’ pedal and we start to look at other stuff at home that requires our attention.
Both my kids have a similar upbringing. Both go to the same school. My financial position has not changed dramatically over the last few years (Hope my boss is reading this and is picking up a hint!). We haven’t even changed our residence in the last 11 years. Yet, both of the kids are as different as chalk and cheese. This Diwali, the elder one hated bursting crackers while the younger one wanted to do it all by herself. The elder one is quieter & more reserved while the younger one is gregarious and usually makes friends easily. The elder one needs variety in the lunch box while the younger one wants only curd rice. Till recently, we used to blend curd rice in a mixie as the younger one wants it to the exact consistency! The elder one fancies Siddharth while the younger one has a crush on Madhavan.
In Software Testing, we expect similar inputs to lead to similar outcomes. We place a lot of importance to consistency and predictability. I wish parenting was that easy! The truth is while bringing up kids, all parameters are not in our control. we sometime don’t even know all the parameters in play. While this is reassuring to parents who think they are responsible for everything, it is also scary because despite our best efforts, due to some unforeseen influence, the kids turn into someone that we don’t even recognize.
So what do we do? Just relax and do your best. Parenting is a journey with delayed gratification. You avoid buying a flashy car and you postpone buying the Tissot that you always wanted. You use the money to enroll you child in an expensive school. You realize that you will know the results of your sacrifices and compromises only later. Sometimes these sacrifices are in vain. Sometimes we make mistakes in the process. You hope and pray that your mistakes are forgiven and that your mistakes have no consequences.
Money cannot buy good parenting and I am not tired of repeating it. Mukesh Ambani rolls in money. But, I am sure Mukesh & Nita Ambani had worrisome moments with their child’s weight related health issues. They are no different than us in dealing with children.
You know the best part of parenting? Your goals become lot more realistic. Did the baby burp? Did the kid have a good day at school? No complaints about the kid in the PTA? Great! You have had a great day.
Last night, as I was reading Devdutt Pattanaik’s book – ‘SITA’; the elder one curled up to me with Harry Potter’s Goblet of Fire and seeing us, the younger one brought the Ramakrishna Mission’s Illustrated Ramayana and all of us spent a quiet hour reading our own books. It was a magical moment simply because it was ordinary. I now realize that life will take my kids through different paths. As long as they love and cherish each other’s company, I am fine with that.
As I write this post, my driver is checking with me about enrolling his Std. III son in the British Council Library. All parents are similar. We want our kids to have better opportunities than we do.
Do you know what is every father’s nightmare? It is that his grown-up daughter will bring home someone like Dhanush or Simbu as their spouse.
Absolutely wonderful post, wouldn’t you say. You seriously have to love the way he breaks down all these so called issues right down to the basics, and then, when they are objectively viewed, they don’t seem like issues at all 😀 Do share your nuggets of parenting advice in the comments below. I would love to hear about what techniques work for you 😀