3 years ago, I gave up a corporate role to exclusively spend time with our son. All these years later, I STILL hear this almost on a daily basis:
•Children grow up anyway. Why did you have to leave such an enviable career?
•You wasted a seat at an IIM. Why go to an IIM if you wanted to sit at home and raise children?
•Women should not leave the professional world due to childcare issues. The employer should arrange for a daycare.
•Why couldn’t you ask your mother or mother in law to live with you??
Without going into the right that these people have to be judge and jury on my specific case, these comments, and the sheer frequency at which they are made – both to the face and behind the back, indicate, quite clearly, the majority view on parenting in our world.
So, dear Swaraa(and Swati), THANK YOU for validating:
•The small things matter. You cannot decide when a child will choose to confide in you. It is important that you are present when that moment arrives.
•The ONLY way to get a child who lives a mindful existence is to be a MINDFULLY present parent.
•If kids spend too much time on their gadgets, take a good, long, hard look at what you do with gadgets in their presence.
•Parenting is not a part-time job I do after office hours.
•It is POSSIBLE to have an open, nurturing relationship with a parent, where both are open about their weak spots, vulnerabilities and comfort zones.
•Disciplining is not outdated. Even children appreciate parents who set limits and help them grow.
•Open communication is very vital. Our children are telling us, as straightforward as they can, that they want to talk and be heard. We are not listening!
Dear both: More power to you, for writing this book. I Hope this will encourage, above all else, a feedback loop from parents to children in every house.
PS: If you really want to benefit from this book, I recommend that you also supplement your reading with the Parent-Child-Adult Ego States theory. To apply things that this book hints at, we will have to discover and if needed, alter the ego state we exist in.