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Values & Education

Indulgence: To Do Or Not To Do

We all love to pamper our children. After all, we are parents and it’s our right as well as duty to pamper our kids and indulge them in every possible way, isn’t it? Or do you think that over indulgence can ruin your kids? Well, it is a million dollar issue and no parent can be sure of what to do at any point of time. Over indulgence can ruin your child whereas a very strict approach can sometimes backfire as well. Let us examine some aspects of this issue today.

When I became a mother, my mom gave me a very valuable advice. She said that an intelligent mother gives more love than friendship to the relationship with her child. The intelligent mother balances love and friendship but the most intelligent mother treats the child as equal in all aspects. My mother emphasized that as long as you listen and understand what your child is trying to speak and where the problem lies, your relation will be perfect. For example, we encourage our child for everything he does up to a certain age. But when he starts to become independent, we become conservative and strict.

For example, a boy discussed everything with his mother after school. But one day, in Class 9th, he bunked school and went to watch a movie. When he returned that evening, he started to tell his mother about the adventure out of habit. But the mother, instead of supporting him as usual, started scolding him. As a result, the kid felt hurt. Numerous such incidents where instead of analyzing his deeds, his mother scolded him, led him to retreat and finally the child started to hide things from his mother.

Who is responsible here? The child? No. He came to share everything with his mother as always. It is the mother who did not discuss the issue and chose the strict way to manage it by showing the kid the effect of his deeds. The sudden change in his mother’s behaviour stopped the kid from being open in front of her. The situation could have been different if the mother sat with her son to discuss the cons of bunking school.

The world is changing. Our kids are much more exposed to realities of life than we were as kids. My generation’s childhood was such that even a neighbor could chide us or show us our mistakes. My son’s generation lives in nuclear families and is more merged in virtual world than the actual one. Generally they know things which we were unaware of as kids. So scolding or forcing them to do something is likely to have negative impact in this time. So, what to do? Leave them like that? Can we sit back relaxed and let our children grow up without placing a finger on them? No. It is not as simple as that. The solution here is to speak to our children.

Talk to them about life, its problems and the solutions. Every individual faces different problems. Know your child’s difficulties. Discuss them openly with him. Discuss your problems, your insecurities too to some extent. Ask them to help. Give them responsibility so that they know what it is like to be grown up. Share your memories of what you did when you were a kid in a similar situation.

Spend time with them. It will let you know that they are important to you and it will let them feel secure. In our busy life schedules, we often forget or struggle to give our children enough time. No matter how much time you spend together, make every second count. Make every second so much livable that both you and your child will look forward to it every day. Remember, indulgence is not a sin and you need to be strict sometimes. It will be just a little easier if you let your children discuss their life with you.

This is my approach to parenting and indulgence of children. What’s yours?

Puspanjalee is a blogger and book editor who juggles continously between her job and her two year old human offspring. Whenever she gets time, she loves to talk about babies & parenting, time management for working moms, photography and books. She muses regularly on