So this is a question I’m not sure if all parents ask themselves when dealing with kids, but I sure hope they do!
If I’m sounding a little cloudy here, let me make it clear.
I’ve got a 5-year-old daughter at home, and we’ve been lucky to have a great friend circle, little ones who have practically grown up together just when they were out of their cribs and learning to take those first steps. Another great thing to have happened is that the parents of all these kiddies are great friends too, and over the past 5 years, we’ve all become one big family.
So it’s quite common to let my daughter go for full day masti times at her friends’ place, and vice-versa. In fact, even as I write this, my house is filled with 7 little brats, from 5-year olds to 7-year olds, all shouting and jumping and fighting and playing.
As a mother, I have always believed in making my girl independent and capable of taking her own decisions. Of course, there are times when she needs my constant supervision and advice, but the idea is that I have consciously steered clear of telling her what to do each and every time, especially when she is dealing with friends and peers.
So it is that, my daughter has kind of learned to sort out her own differences with her friends, albeit with a few, or in some cases, quite a few, tears shed, or sometimes, sorted out without any worries at all.
All kids fight and all kids forget – that’s the beauty of innocence, the beauty of childhood – and I prefer to let it stay that way for as long as possible.
I’m not one of those mommies who interfere in the matters of children at every given instance. I will keep an eye out, especially for kids who aren’t in our immediate circle, but I will not go out there and make a hue and cry about ‘tumne isey kyun maara’ to another kid who may have been the instigator. I won’t go into the battleground unless absolutely required.
I remember while we were growing up, there were so many aunties around who would rally for their kids, constantly keeping a hawk-like watch to see which kid was doing what, to count which kid had how many rides on the swings, who had more rounds on the merry-go-round than their own ‘puttar’ or ‘gudiya’.
I also remember my mother, and sometimes my father, standing there at the edge of the park, keeping an eye on me and my brother, just around, but never coming over to interfere. Sorting out our issues was something that was left entirely to us. If you get in a fight, sort it out yourself, don’t come home crying or complaining. And if you hit someone, be prepared to get hit back, but make sure you don’t come back asking for help.
We knew that would always remain the case, and it made us strong and sensible enough to understand that fighting our way or crying our way out of situations would not always be a smart move. Thankfully, my parents’ approach is something that, though I didn’t understand then, I’m glad about now. It has clearly made me more practical and chilled out in life, and a more sensible parent.
I know of many young mothers today who are always trying to dictate who their children should play with, how the other kids should behave with their kids, and always trying to ‘mother’ their brood on the playground, or society garden. The sad part is, that though these mommies try to make sure that all’s working out great for their kids, unknowingly, this is only making the other kids wary of playing with them, and in the process they are getting left out of all the essential fun and fights that are a part of growing up.
I know my stance here – I won’t interfere, unless absolutely required. Hopefully my daughter too will understand what I’m talking about, once she grows up herself… till then, fingers crossed.
Debolina Raja Gupta loves being a mommy and best friend to her 5-year old princess. A working mom, voracious reader, social activist, photographer, poet, travel freak, beauty writer and an everything-of-sorts. Best fun is story time and our fashionista time together. My blogs: The Book Worm, A Few Thoughts Here And There, My Little One And Me, Beauty Makeup And More.