Parenting The Parents
Parenting is never easy. Well, which of you doesn’t know that already? Let’s put it in another way…
“Parenting ‘parents’ is never easy!”
Parentous has more parents than ‘children’ and much of our discussion is all about parenting our kids. But the one thing that makes growing up a new world is accepting my parents as my kids. Now they don’t like this necessarily, but for one I know that I cannot ignore them. No matter where I am and what they do, they are like my kids who need my attention all the time.
My father has been my pillar of strength all along. Until sometime back when we had a disagreement that made me feel that as a child I have little ownership over my own father. While he has helped me make many decisions in my life, decisions that have shaped my personality, he has also chosen to not let me interfere in his life. At least not interrupt him when he doesn’t want me to.
I will be lying if I don’t agree that this makes me feel like a homeless child at times, but then what can you do… like no matter how my kid treats me, I can never leave him. It’s the same with my parents. No matter how they treat me, I can never get away from their side.
So, a lot of introspection later I have realised that parents are well, like children!
Parents fight. So there are those ego clashes, quibbles, no-talk days, and hurts. So while one has to hear two versions of the tale, the task at hand is to handle their egos and make them each feel that they are winners. It’s like having two squabbling siblings who need to be separated every day.
Old age I say is like the teenage in many ways. Parents like teenagers display their anger and angst at the drop of a hat. “Don’t tell me what to do, I am your father!” or “Why should I listen to you now?” Ask them to junk sweets and go for a walk, or just go out and get a hobby, they wouldn’t like to be told what to do.
This is a touchy one, especially when you keep the above two points in mind. Parents never agree with you when it comes to health issues. They consider themselves ‘old enough’ to decide what medical intervention they need. They are not scared of dangers, or death or illness.
Emotional Rides –
This affects most mothers, but there are those emotional fathers as well. You know the kinds who will sit in your room, caress memories, suppress their sniffs and pretend that all is well behind their smiling faces.
Attention Seekers –
They may have fights between them, or refuse every suggestion in your face. They may ignore their health and fall ill and go on emotional rides that leave you home sick, no matter what in whatever they do, they often become attention seekers. They don’t want to bother you in your world, interrupting your busy schedule or calling you when you are in the middle of your family time. They may apologise but will always end up catching your attention. You will instinctively know that there is something wrong and it needs attention.
They are like little kids who need a little encouragement every now and then. Sometimes it may be about a new preoccupation or handling their lives. A step that they always wanted to take, or a move that should have been made long ago. Encouragement goes a long way in telling them that you are right behind them, to hold them if they fall.
Do you parent your parents too? Is it easy? What else can I expect down the road?
The TV junkie is back into the idiot box. Besides pretending to be a superwoman between work and family, Rituparna also dreams of flying free as an entrepreneur! Her son’s student, she is learning the ropes of parenting every day. Rituparna blogs at http://onboardthemommyship.