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Dilemmas of parents and children ????????????????

September 6, 2009

I was watching a TV serial in which the stereotype scenes were being enacted.
Scene 1
Son wants to get married to a girl of his choice. Parents are against it.
Parents ,” Kya isiliye tereko itna bada kiya tha?,tujhse yeh umeed na thi.(. We didn’t raise you to expect such a behavior from you)
Scene 2
Son wants to go abroad for further studies / or live separately with his wife. Main thing is he is planning to set up his life away from his parents
This was enough to give all the meals in one stroke to my always starving mind
Lots of questions (as usual, I specialize in raising many doubts, confusing questions)

1. Do we, the parents, give birth to our children with this expectation that they will obey us all through their life, will listen to us?

2. Have we given birth to them to fulfill our unrealized dreams?

3. Do we want them to suppress their desires, dreams, and ambitions to be with us always?

4. Is it right on the part of the parents to demand that the child should marry according to their choice or is it right on the part of the child to ignore his parent’s wish and go ahead with his own feelings?

5. Does a relation which is only few months or few years old becomes so powerful that the child is ready to rebel against a relation which is more than 20 years old?

6. Is it right on the part of the father to expect his son to follow his (father’s well established profession? Did the father start his career with this aim that his offspring will take over from him or did he want to further his own career, ambitions and make a name for himself?

7. What are the duties and responsibilities of the children towards their parents? Although there are no set norms or rules for the children to follow but should they not think about their parents who are responsible for their very existence and who have sacrificed a lot to provide the best of comforts to the child? Should the children not see to it that their parents are properly looked after, loved, respected and taken care of the way the parents had done when the children were small?

8. Do the parents give birth to children and raise them with the expectation that the children will look after them in old age?

9. Don’t we , the parents, have children because we want to fulfill our parental instincts, because we want to shower our love and affection to our offspring, to provide the best of life to them, we want to give meaning to our life, to have something and someone to look forward to ( all selfish reasons on the part of the parents)? The children didn’t ask the parents for anything. They never said give birth to us? we do it because we want to do it.

10. And if it is so, then why do parents want children to sacrifice their life for parents. Are they asking for repayment of the sacrifices they made in bringing up their children?

11. But is it wrong on parent’s part to expect some consideration from children? Should the children not feel thankful to their parents for what they have become in life? Should they not feel any moral duty or obligation towards the parents?

12. When parents don’t want to let go their independence, their authority to make decisions how can they not expect the same feelings from their children?

These are some of the doubts which may be there in the minds of both the sides

It is possible that so many people find my questions funny, irrelevant

but these are the harsh realities of life which everyone has to face and I suppose both the sides have to make some compromises, adjustments so that each emerges out satisfied without making undue demands on anyone or ignoring other.

I am waiting for some answers to my musings. hopefully someone will surely clear my doubts and put my mind to rest.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. RoyalTLady permalink
    September 6, 2009 3:47 pm

    Anju,

    I am not sure if I am going to answer your questions or giving my views here. But at best here is what I do to my children.

    This post of yours are tough to digest.

    1. I am always over protective over them. But never making decisions alone when things in life involve them.

    2. Regarding education, I have never decided for them to undertake what courses once they are going for tertiary education. I told them to do things within their capabilities and where their interest lies.

    3.This looks like another posting, eh?

    Regarding marriage, I respect their decision because I believed and trust their decision to be precise and the best they could think of. I don't interfere much EXCEPT if … while studying they decided to get married… that I disagree and a huge NO is put forth.

    4. For the time being, we are living together and I shelved my business for a while to help with my first grandson. This needed no arrangements. It naturally takes its course. Once my first daughter went back to work, I willingly decided to look after her baby. At least that keeps me off the road and driving!! Lol!

    5. I don't hope my children should look after me, well if that happens when I am older, I am thankful. But I have told them I would prefer to live together with other folks of my age in Homes so that (If I were well) I could contribute and share my life with them effectively.

    6. I told my children,to have principles in life, be independent so that others won't step on your head, abide by our religious principals and guidance, live and know your responsibilities towards our community. Our purpose in life is not just to prosper ourselves but to help others who are in need. Once you release a person from hardship, Allah would release you from yours. Throughout my life, I spent volunteering to the community. So they take after me. I found that as I go along in life, people are always willing to come forward and help us all.

    7. Uphold dignity and family good name is a must. So my children are trying their level best to maintain this.

    8. Sacrifices and obligations are not in our family's dictionary. I stressed on Responsibilities and religious guidance and values towards each other as in accordance to the Holy Al Quran. I believe, if we have performed well since they were young, the rest goes without saying. They reciprocate naturally.

    9. I respect each of my children as an independent person who has their own lives, needs and requirements to fulfill self satisfaction in life. Provided they do things within the Islamic ways.

    Anju… I could just go on and on with this endlessly… but these few points are practiced by us all in this family.

    NO your questions are not funny and irrelevant.

  2. manju permalink
    September 6, 2009 4:16 pm

    Thought- provoking questions, Anju, as always!

    I would like to observe here, that while both parents and children do have responsibilities towards each other- it is certainly better when they consider each others' feelings not out of obligation, but out of love!

  3. Queenmothermamaw permalink
    September 6, 2009 4:27 pm

    Anju, as usual you are very profound and insight in your postings. I love that. I truly believe, and we try to follow the principal, that we guide and educate our children to the point they can take over for themselves. Some of their decisions, we have not agreed with. I would do anything to keep from alienating anyone of them.We believe they owe us respect and nothing else. They will only expect all those other things if we enable them to do so. That we have also done, mistakenly thinking that was the right thing to do, to later find out no it was not. This is the first time we have been where we are now. That is the case day by day, for us and them too. Anju look at my new painting on my other blog, Looking like my mother. You can find it on my profile. blessings
    QMM

  4. Neha permalink
    September 6, 2009 7:02 pm

    Anju, RoyalTLady has answered your questions in the best possible manner…and none of ur questions was irrelevant..

    I have only one thing to add here…a question: why the restrictions are on boys when things come to taking care of parents in their old age? don't u think it is a girl's responsibility equally? just because she is married and has a separate family, do her parents lose all the rights on her? This trend of – girl has to take care of her sasural – has been going on since ages, but I feel she is equally responsible for the parents who gave her birth…don't u think we should bring a change to this mentality as well especially in the present scenario when most of the families have only one child…

    this point may not be relevant, but after reading this post, I just felt like expressing my feelings n this issue…

    nice write up :))

  5. The Panorama permalink
    September 6, 2009 8:06 pm

    Too many question here, Anju. I guess it is human to have certain expectations from your children but hopefully , parents have realistic ones. Hoping that children will take care of them whe they get old and helpless is only fair but forcing them to give up their dreams and wishes is not fair. However, it also depends what your child wants at a given time. Sometimes we need to also protect them from making bad choices.

    My thinking is that you can give your advice and opinion but don't force it on them.
    Nice post; Anju but so many questions…a bit much for me after a long working day…:P but still, very though provoking:)

  6. Solilo permalink
    September 7, 2009 4:33 am

    Anju, relevant questions as always a thought provoking post too. My answers to many questions are on my blog too on my latest post.

    Actually I don't want to be judgemental about anyone as each family is different. In some families parents make it really impossible for children to become free and keep imposing their rules and emotionally blackmail them whereas there are also children who at first instance cut parents off and become really greedy to get hands on their property. Two extremes are bad.

    Mutual respect and love is most important.

  7. Ashvin Kumar malviya permalink
    September 7, 2009 5:48 am

    if parents expect from their child about care of them …but first I want to ask them that did they do so ? did they take care of their parents.
    now a days ..these people left their native place and came in city .Now children of them are going metro cities or abroad .. settle somewhere else.

    So I think ..these parent should have such thinking that they accept this thing and enjoy rest of life with partner n friends

  8. BK Chowla permalink
    September 7, 2009 6:05 am

    There would be different views on all the questions raised by you.I don't think your questions either funny or irrelevant,in fact they are very relevant in today's context.My personal opinion is that the parents should bring up the children in a manner that they should be able to take their own decisions(we did.By and large,children are concerned about the parents,it will be unfair to say they are not.Basic principle is-never force your opinion on them and allow them to lead their life.Parents are also not wrong in expecting basic from the children.

  9. Deepa permalink
    September 7, 2009 2:26 pm

    I don't have children yet. But I do remember the parenting I received. I was taught by my parents to stand on my own feet, learn to judge right from wrong and make my own decision. That was the EXPECTATION that they had from us. If parents refuse children the right to make their own decisions, like choosing their own life partner, then they're actually saying that they didn't give their children the capability to make the right choice of life partner!! If that understanding is in place, I think all your other questions would be answered right away.

  10. Usha permalink
    September 8, 2009 9:57 am

    Khalil Gibran might give an idea of what the best relationship between a parent and child can be:
    http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/children-2/

    But in reality most parents do find it difficult to let go of their children till a long time.
    Adults should find their own partners but as a remnant of our age-old joint family tradition we still tend to look upon our children's marriages as a bonding of families rather than the private affair of two grown-ups.

    I believe that it is possible for a son or daughter to live away from you with a partner of their choice without taking away anything from the love they have toward their parents.

  11. indianhomemaker permalink
    September 8, 2009 7:03 pm

    Thought provoking post Anju! My parents gave us a lot of freedom and independence and we are very close, and we are there when we they need us.
    They love their independence… I know I am going to be the same.I can't even imagine expecting them to marry someone we choose 🙂 And career decisions are also all theirs…
    If I do find their decisions wrong we will discuss them…

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