Parenting – then and now

April 29, 2008 at 8:06 pm 1 comment

Scenario 1:
Kid misbehaves in school

Old Parenting: Whack! *kid learns lesson and behaves*
New Parenting: The kid is psycologically evaluated, counselled and then diagnosed with ADD or any other acronymed disorder. They give the kid “special” status. * Kid still misbehaves and gets away with it*

Scenario 2:
Kid does not want to eat what is put out on the table

Old Parenting: Kid is asked to skip the meal if it is not to their tastes. After the stomach grumbles for a couple of hours and all the ego is deflated, kid sneaks into kitchen and eats the food. *kid grows up and develops a healthy appetite for all kinds of food*
New Parenting: Parent ensures that only what the kid likes is put on the tables and goes a step further to make sure their kid friendly menu is available when they are invited to other people’s houses *kid becomes room mate’s worst nightmare in college*

Scenario 3:
Kid is bored

Old Parenting: Kid is asked to go out and make friends to play, or play by themseles *kid has wonderful memories later of idilyc summer vacations*
New Parenting: Kid is enrolled in 30 different talent classes and constantly shuttled from one to another * Kid ends up with no real talent. Only memories are of the minivan in which so much time was spent shuttling*

Scenario 4:
Kid wants to learn how to ride a bicycle

Old Parenting: Dad gave the kid and the bicycle a couple of shoves, and after a few falls and scrapes, the art is mastered
New Parenting: Parents buy helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, reflective clothing, trainer wheels,blah blah…so that their bundle of joy can learn how to cycle on a grass lawn in their backyard. Between frantic screams from the parents whenever the kid so much as to pushes a pedal and the general fear of something new that the kid has ( which is over amplified with parental screams), the cycle shall remain used in the garage for a looooong time

Scenario 5:
Kid has to start school
Old Parenting: Kid is taken to the nearest decent school and enrolled. Kid spends time coloring apples within the lines and looking out of the window
New Parenting: Wall street journal articles are consulted for school rankings. Peer pressure for costly private school starts mounting. After putting a 3 year old through ridiculous assessment tests, the kid is parcelled off to a school that will consume all of the parents’ savings and the kid’s college fund. The kid starts school and spends days coloring apples within the lines and looking out of the window.

I am tired of seeing the above mentioned scenarios repeat again and again. I think we are a generation of over thinkers. Since we are pretty much jobless and do not have any thing else to occupy our minds and save us from our mundane existance, our kids become our hobby and later our obsession. Right from reading all the correct books during pregnancy to taking your infant to sign language classes ( so that the infant can learn to communicate better….seriously…I know someone who did this ), we start looking at our kids like some DIY projects. And then we point at all the sane parents who are not paranoid about their kids and make them feel inadequate. Recently an acquaintance was deciding over which school to send his kid to and then came across a wall street journal article that said that school XYZ gives the kids better prospects at getting into Harvard. And thats what convinced him to decide on the school. What if his kid does not want to go to Harvard? Then what? Another said that they will send their kid to the costly private school every desi in the bay area is sending their kids to…afterall the herd cant be wrong….right?

I am not a parent. But I know in the future I shall be. So hopefully, when I am going bonkers, I will come back and read this and become a little saner.

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Entry filed under: Random Banter.

The India trip and Mangalya Men , household work and beyond

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. neha  |  April 30, 2008 at 11:34 am

    hi,

    i think parenting a kid is a difficult task.

    Clueless: Ofcourse it is..I am not even a parent and I am worried already! But just remind yourself every now and then to take a step back and exhale!

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