Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What would you like ?

This modern omnipotent parental query of their children “gives me tension”. What would they like to eat; to wear; to do; to watch; to feel; to be!

At an upmarket boutique in Hyderabad recently, I was struck by a conversation taking place between a glamorous young Mom and her trendy looking 8 year old. They were picking a ceremonial outfit for the young lady. There was much debate over the colours, the embroidery and the fabric. I marvelled at the sifting exercise that had to be happening inside that curly mop that led the session to an eventually unproductive conclusion.

I am a recent empty nester and have of late had several occasions to see this “options” exchange take place. Would the little ones like their milk cold or hot? In a tumbler or a cup? With Bournvita or Hot Chocolate? Right away or a bit later ?

I am from a fewer options generation. My Mom did not ask if I wanted my egg double fried or poached or soft boiled. Breakfast would be announced and we ate what was served, none the wiser for alternatives. It was also not considered very nice to be picky over food, more so when visiting with relatives or friends. There is a new assertiveness today, even amongst the house guests. There is a degree of comfort with making their needs known, including how exactly they would like their egg done.

Does this new openness and apparent generosity make us better parents? Does this make our kids securer, happier, more appreciative and better people? Why are we falling over ourselves to offer them all on a platter? Are we doing it for them or to satisfy a personal ego, a need that is really our own at a most basic level? What is our fear? Why are we wary of asserting authority? Is it rejection that we are scared of? Is it the fear of losing our children to an environment that is pressurising them to misbehave, non-conform and follow their heart, no matter what?

1 comment:

Kartik said...

Great blog. Nicely done.

I'll take my eggs any way I can get them. And be grateful.

Too much choice = unhappiness.