One of my favourite movie scenes is from Karate Kid. Dre (Jaden Smith) defeats his challenger with the snake stance, standing on one leg, since the other has been broken. Jackie Chan’s lesson earlier in the movie was, ‘Stay calm and the opponent will mirror your moves’. In simple words, REFLECTIONS! What you see is what you get. Ever seen a mirror talk back? (Except, in Snow White of course!)


Try telling the mother of a 10-year-old to stay calm and you won’t have anything to reflect upon. I don’t remember, the last time I took a minute, to just be. Why the rush? Where the hurry to? We can’t seem to pin point, but we are always moving. And, those are the blurry ripples we leave behind, for our kids to wade through.

We want them prepared for tomorrow, so we trade in their today. We want them to think out of the box and so we hand them devices they don’t need. We want them to be ahead of their peers, so we chauffeur them from one class to another. Play time? What is that? Their lifestyle reflects our choices. Since when did parenting become such a high-profile chore?

Yes, times are different, but kids aren’t. Childhood still comes just once. She could learn to play an instrument at a later stage, but she won’t be able to climb trees. He will eventually make it big in life but, he will never be able to go back in time. You haven’t yet accomplished all of your kid fantasies, have you?

Yes, I want to equip my child with life skills that no class can teach. But she will have to test the waters if she plans to swim. And, I will have to stay ashore and keep telling myself, she can do it! I don’t want to burden her tiny shoulders with the fear of my failures or the pressures of my ambitions. I want to make the years count.

So what do I do? I stay calm, listen and then accept my shortcomings. If I turned out ok, chances are, the genetic engineering will work eventually. My mom once told me, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. And I figured she was right! If she wasn’t, Newton would not have discovered gravity. And I’d have a very happy waistline, delusional, but happy.

Vinita Bahl Crasto is a mother to a divalicious 10 year old. A freelance writer, she loves to be referred to as the Domestic Goddess. Read her at

  • I’ve consciously slowed down since the past two and a half years following a life-changing decision I made. With the kind of rush children are subjected to, these days, I make it a point to ensure my 15-year old eats well, sleeps well and plays well, while handling the pressure to perform well.

    Love the entire Karate Kid series. But this particular version was special because I am crazy about Jackie Chan. Jaden did such a good job. The quotables by “Mr.Han” and of course, Pat Morita’s “Mr Miyagi” are all superb.

    Wonderful read, Vinita. Thank you.

    • Yes Vidya, the change begins with us. And as parents, we ought to know that sooner than later.

      I love them Karate Kid Series too!

  • hehehe…. in your imitable humorous style, you’ve laid out the bare truth – overly concientious parents ruining childhood is so common out there. Here’s to all our delusionally happy waistlines 😀

    • Lol, Meena, somewhere the truth does escape…..doesn’t it? 😀

  • Whoah! Brilliant ! Trading their today’s for a tomorrow! Loved the piece. Just loved it

  • Thanks Kavi. A compliment from a hands on dad means much 🙂

  • vasrao

    I have tried my best not to overwhelm my kid & yet ,I must slow down even more. Glad to know, that many parents like you think the same.

  • Roshni

    So very true!! I wish all parents would realize this and let kids be kids!!

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