By Yakata Sharma
Shalini yelped, “I am 25 and am tired of being ‘operated’ by my parents.”
Shalini, as a kid never had the opportunity to be the ‘happy and carefree’ kid. In kindergarten when she once participated in a Poem recital competition, she got a ‘silver medal’ which to her Parents was not a victory but the LOSS OF A GOLD MEDAL. She was an average scorer, but really worked hard to be the class topper because her Parents WANTED her to be the best in class. Since kindergarten, she had experienced what is now termed as HELICOPTER PARENTING.
She never had a say in anything, whether it was the choice of clothes or the food she ate, friends- she made, education, career stream that suited her aptitude or interests, or relationships-whom or when she wanted to marry. With such a claustrophobic family environment, Shalini missed out on a healthy and positive development like the kids of her age. As soon as she became a teenager, conditions worsened.
Whenever she asked her mother to go out with her friends, in reply she got a string of questions to answer which ultimately spoiled her mood and she ended up staying at home. The invites to parties started diminishing until there were none. She was mocked at by her friends. By now it became a common joke that she would have to take permission of her Parents even to use the washrooms. All such comments made her furious but she never reacted to any of them. She, somehow, knew that whatever is being said about her is not wrong but she found herself helpless to even raise her voice against it. There was nobody at home with whom she could discuss all the emotional distress she was going through. As a result, Shalini, preferred to stay aloof from her family and friends.
With the passage of time the anger and annoyance Shalini felt for her parents grew to another level. Before she could decide which stream to opt for, what she wanted to become in future, she was enrolled in a medical college to pursue medicine. She, undoubtedly, had an aptitude for medical studies but she wanted something else from life. She wanted to be a photographer. However, she never had the courage to tell her Parents about her dream and desires frankly. Within years, she became a non-assertive soul who was just surviving rather than living.
During college days, she came across one such ‘photography club’ being introduced in the campus. She was happy to know about the functioning of the club, regular meetings, and intra-club activities. She did not register herself at once in the club, rather one day initiated a conversation with her Parents regarding the same, with intense courage. Her Parents disapproved of her idea and asked her to focus on real subject-matter. Another setback from parents was not new to her.
Within 6 months of her job, she was sacked. She couldn’t stick to a job for more than 6-7 months. She tried her best to sustain the job but to no avail. Her parents, whom she looked upon for a shoulder to cry on during this ‘low-phase’ of life, did nothing but criticized her to the core. Shalini started giving up on her patience. She consistently got bouts of hopelessness and sadness and one night decided to end all her troubles. She ran away from her Parents to find solution to all her anxiety, anger, frustration, non-assertiveness and most importantly, her failures in life.
For the first time she expressed her feelings in a letter she left for her Parents----------
“I HATE you mom and dad from the core of my Heart”………..
PARENTING, just like any other art form is not everyone’s cup of tea. People, generally, consider that giving birth to a child is all about Parenting. It takes lot of courage, patience and sacrifice to provide healthy and positive Parenting.
An individual should not become a Parent just:
- To have someone to care for you when you are old.
- To give your parents grandchildren.
- To carry on the family name.
- To save a shaky marriage (or to get a guy to the altar).
- Because everybody else is doing it.
- To be “fulfilled” as a woman or “prove” you are a man.
- To have someone to “love” ---or possess.
- “We are trying for a girl (boy) this time.”
- “Johnnie wants a baby brother (sister).”
Helicopter Parenting will raise ‘angry kids’ who eventually lose interest in life and respect for their parents. As a result, kids of such demanding and pushy parents develop into suicidal adults, whereas, Positive Parenting allows the Parents to treat every day as an opportunity to help their children see the positive in every experience and truly provide a meaningful existence. It’s the positive Parenting which leads to better social, cognitive and emotional development of a child.
If only had Shalini been given Positive Parenting, she would have fought bravely with her negative life events….IF ONLY!