“Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do”- Matt Walsh.
And that is so true. This is one art that is almost impossible to perfect. If one is asked the question, “what makes a good parent?’’ I think is it difficult to answer.
When the lockdown was announced, I panicked, and wondered what would my son do the whole day? The most obvious answer was -play video games and spend time watching his favourite Youtubers; and I did not like that one bit. Obviously, these 10 months put our parenting skills to test. I read a lot of blogs and tried to implement some of the ideas. Some worked while some did not.
I realized that as a parent, I too am a 12-year-old, and I am growing with my child; learning, trying to adapt, trying to teach him few things about importance of family, sharing, self-reflection and such. But you know, kids!
Since this is my first parenting blog, I wanted to know what kind of a parent I am and what my child thinks about these past few months he spent with us. So, I decided to ask him a few questions. He was a bit reluctant initially but then he agreed. So here goes…
Me: How did you like the year 2020?
Him: I liked it. I got to stay at home, no school, play games online. It is awesome.
Me: Do you think you are addicted to video games? Because the moment we tell you to stop, you get all teary eyed.
Him: No, I am not addicted. If I have something else to do, I don’t mind.
Me: Oh, that means if you get a phone to play, you are ok with moving away from your gaming station?
Him: If I have my friends and if they are ready to play cricket or football, I am happy staying outside the whole day. Otherwise, I need something to pass time.
Me: On the scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you interacting with people and making new friends?
Him: 10. I love having a lot of friends. So, if I have a fight with some, I can play with others. Friends are fun.
Me: Name 3 skills you learned during the lockdown
Him: Have become better at gaming, cooking, doing 160 push-ups, doing dishes. I hate that. And cleaning the dining area after eating.
Me: The last one is not a skill. You are supposed to do it and not expect people to clean after you.
Him: I clean well and properly.
Me: How often do you think about the mistakes you made?
Him: I do think. You take away the phone and gaming when I make a mistake. That time I think but then I do it again and get punished, again. (laughs)
Me: Three things you hate about us and why?
Him: 1) you compel me to read books. I hate reading books
2) you make me do something like study more, read a book, or do some work if I want extra gaming hours. Two hours is less.
3) I get to order pizzas or burgers just once a week.
Me: How comfortable are you sharing your problems with us?
Him: I don’t mind sharing a little.
Me: What makes you feel self-conscious?
Him: I don’t know. I think I am ok. (Me: I personally don’t think this is an honest reply but we will stick with it for now).
Me: Can you describe our parenting style?
Him: Strict. You are fun while watching movies and going out. You have too many rules and I have to follow a timetable even at home. I don’t like that.
Me: Have you been bullied in school?
Him: Not recently. You know the one from my 3rd grade.
Me: Do you think we praise you too little?
Him: Yes. Just sometimes.
Me: What is it that you think we don’t understand about you?
Him: I don’t like reading and you still make me read
Me: Anything else?
Him: I don’t know
Me: Do you believe in God?
Me: When you are sad or angry because of us, do you wish you had a different family?
Him: No. I don’t want another family. But I want you to have less rules
Me: Do we embarrass you in front of your friends?
Him: No, I don’t think so. They laugh at me at times but that is ok. I don’t feel embarrassed. They all know you guys well.
Me: How honest were you while answering these questions? On the scale of 1-10
Him: Mmmmm 8 maybe.
Me: Thanks kiddo
Him: Please don’t make me do this again.
So, that was it from the horse’s mouth.
Do let us know if you have had any such conversations with your little ones? Do share it with us. We are all sailing in the same boat; almost. We all want the best for our children. So, if you have any tips that you would like to share, please do write to us. Would love to hear from you.
And for all the parents out there, here is a quote from the famous John Winchester from the series ‘Supernatural’- “Son, you don’t like me? That is fine. It is not my job to be liked. It is my job to raise you right”.