Parents are the bows, children are the living arrows

My daughter Alaya F’s first film Jawaani Jaaneman, is releasing this month. It’s a heart pounding moment and every parent relates to the trepidation, excitement and happiness of watching the result of their nurturing, care, investment and love make their own roots and spread their wings. But to resonate with “My daughter, My efforts and investment, she will make ME proud”, is so damn wrong. So many parents feel a sense of ownership over their kids, entitlement and control. But is that the reason we bring them into the world? Our responsibility as parents is to guide them, not control them. To nurture them, not expect a return on investment. We brought them onto the planet because we wanted them, not because they wanted us. We wanted the romantic notion of a “family” and to be a parent. Whatever we invested into them, be it time, energy, love, money, caring is because it made us feel good about it. It’s a given, that if you’ve been a wonderful parent that the child will automatically love you and care for you and want to be around you and share their joys, sorrows, successes and journey. How many of you reading this article spend quality time with your parents, feel indebted, grateful or thank them regularly for who you are today? Do you express it? Do you even feel it? Or does life move on? I’ve always kept Khalil Gibran’s poem “Children”, close to me. “Your children are not your children; they are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.” It goes on to talk about how we can house their bodies but not their souls which dwell in the house of tomorrow, to which we do not belong, not even in our dreams. That we may strive to be like them, but shouldn’t want them to be like us, that we are the bow through which the “archer” shoots them forward like living arrows” and that “he” loves both the arrow that flies as well as the bow that is stable. My daughter’s life is of her choosing and a culmination of her sheer hard work and efforts. For the record, she hasn’t permitted me to make a single phone call or reach out to any of my contacts in the industry to even get her a meeting. Her 14 hours of training every day for years speaks volumes of her dedication, discipline and commitment. So, I stand here at the threshold of her new tomorrow with a happy heart and incredible gratitude to the universe with zero sense of entitlement, privilege, position, power or control. It’s such an incredible, yet indescribable feeling to see your child spread her wings and to want the world for her, while consciously affirming it’s about her, not about me.

I married my girlfriend of two years. We always used to hit it off so well and I loved her spark and energy. But of late, things just seem to be so blah. We do go out a lot, but her conversation lacks that special something and it sometimes even seems boring. How can I tell her about this without hurting her?

Clearly if she once had spark and energy something is now bogging her down emotionally and mentally. Ask her if she’s happy, if she is enjoying the marriage and what you can do to get her essence back. It might surprise you as to what surfaces, so be prepared to talk, heal and work forward from strength to strength. 

I have an issue with how my boyfriend gets when I have to leave town for work. My job expects me to travel a little and earlier he would just sulk, but I dismissed it as an attention-getting ploy. Now it’s starting to irritate me and I don’t want to over-react. What should I do?

No compromise on this one. Have a fabulous time with him to compensate the time away, and an equally fabulous time when out on work to fuel your own happiness as well. You need a life partner who is supportive of your dreams and potential. Those who don’t shape up, should ship out.

My 18-year-old has started to get very rude at home. He pierced his ears without telling us and now he takes the car without informing my husband or me. He got angry when I brought it up. How should I deal with him?

Ask him if he would like to be treated like a child or an adult, because he’s enjoying the comforts and benefits of being a child while demanding the privileges and rights of an adult. He can’t have both. He can be a child and ask permission to drive your car or is welcome, as an adult, to earn his car and drive it anytime. Also, tell him there’s a saying “in Rome do as the Romans do”, so while he is in your home he needs to respect the rules, respect and functioning of the home and when he moves out to his own home he can make his own set of rules.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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