By Mrs. Shaila Mahesh Andar
"Wow Mom, I think I'm very lucky to have parents like mine! For a teenager to praise parents, sounds unthinkable. This profound statement was the culmination of her school friends discussing parents in general.
Don't you think those are the most gratifying words a child could say to a parent? Well, when I heard them from our fifteen-year-old daughter, my sense of achievement must have surpassed that of Columbus, Edmund Hilary, Tendulkar and Sania Mirza put together.
The greatest advice I received in child rearing was from my grandmother, who had borne seven of her own. Her mantra: "Between ages zero and five treat children as God, worship and pamper them. Between ages six and ten, instruct in a firm-request style. Between ages eleven and eighteen let the child speak to you and blossom. Be the child's closest friend, so he/she does not need any other friend outside of home. And from then on, don't be ashamed to ask for advice from the now grown up child. Who knows, they may know more than you do! I have tried to follow her dictuM to the "M and it has obviously worked so far.
Magazines have articles on issues like rebellion and the clich"d GENERATION GAP. Sometimes I wonder, had she been alive today, would she have been the "Aunt Amy of some women's magazine giving advice to worried mothers, who's lives are crowded with conferences, deadlines, commitments etc. on top of child rearing? Probably she would have said if you know your child's mind and you can just be there when the child needs you most, you have more than justified your existence.
Today's news media, dailies and Internet have reports on misguided children and teenagers who have taken to drugs/drink. Of course, the "Pub Culture of the metros does not help. One reads of children running away from home and one wonders about the last straw. Probably their mothers just need grandma's "Miracle Mantra".
About The Author
Mrs. Shaila Mahesh Andar
I have a convent school background and am a B.Com graduate from Mumbai University. I was fortunate to work with Lloyd's Register of Shipping, Pune, India for eleven years, which has honed my English language skills and have developed a keen sense for accuracy. Being a freelancer writer now gives me an opportunity to do something new every day.