Parents of earlier times would never consider that the child can have feelings or a brain enough to understand anything and things were just imposed on the kids by hook or by crook. I remember while growing up I always would think what if my mother would explain the gravity of the situation before hitting/scolding me. I grew up with this feeling and I vowed never not to explain to kids the situation and what was expected of them and definitely not without a reason. It can’t be just that because I am saying so – at first. If after explaining they still don’t get it, maybe we can use this line that since I have more experience in this, you should accept what I am saying.

I have a developmentally delayed child for whom I used to visit the States every 6 months. Before leaving for my third trip I remember my daughter (one of twins) who was just 4, was clinging on to my body and not leaving me.  I was trying to explain in many different ways but with no success. Then I just told her one thing, “We want to make bhaiya alright, no? So you go with nana to her house and I will come back soon”. Immediately she left me and went into the car with my mother who had come to take her when we left for the airport.

This is the power of explanation. I could not have said that since my daughter does not like it, I can’t go with my son for treatment. This same daughter would have questioned me when she would become an adult as to why did you not do anything for bhaiya.

Not only this one, but I have many examples to give where logical explanations have worked better than just giving in to the child’s demand or beating him into accepting your decision.

One day my nephew’s daughter was here and was pestering me to take her to the garden. Similarly I sat her down and explained to her why going to the garden was not possible today. And immediately at the end of the conversation, she understood and engaged herself in other things.

Now I ask of you parents –

Which of you asked the child if he/she wanted to be born to you?

These days’ parents want to ask every small detail to the child. Do you want to eat, sleep, go to a particular place, do a particular thing or no, etc.? And whatever the child decides, become the verdict. Parents are then incapable to change their minds. If your child asks for an Armani suit and you cannot afford it what will you do? I know of a child who will decide when he and his mother should leave a party or any other social gathering. After that there is no way he will wait because he wants to go so he has to. Any amount of explaining after that would not work.

They say practice makes perfect. And Imagine! there is no practice for motherhood! These days mothers do not also want to take the advice of the elders around them who are more experienced.

Thus the cycle repeats and every generation makes the same mistakes as their parents and learns only from their own mistakes and strengths. Every generation is thus growing up by trial and error.

There is a limit to what a child understands.

Do you ask a child before putting him in school, leave alone a particular school?

Because you know that education is good for him, you will decide all these things. Do you ask him if he wants to travel far or the school should be near? Does he want to study in a particular board?

While it is very good that kids have a mind of their own, I ask you, is it the correct thing to do? How does a child know what life has in store for them? They lack the maturity required to fathom things in their entirety.

When a child is born, how much does he know about the world, or what life will be like in the future? How does he know what all preparations are required to be future ready?

We should ask kids only those questions which they can answer correctly.

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