“Parents singlehandedly have the strength to build or destroy the world!” Subodh Sharma
Once we get into the parenthood, we learn the true meaning of selflessness. Mostly biological, foster/adaption parents are no different in parenthood feelings, duties and emotions.
US officially started celebrating parents day, in 1994. Then President Bill Clinton signed a resolution into a law for “recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.” It is celebrated yearly on 4th Sunday of July. It is not an official holiday. It is also celebrated in South Korea on May 08 every year.
United Nations recognized the importance of parents in a family and declared June 1 as ‘Global day of Parents’ in 2012, (too late as per me!) honoring parents throughout the world. The ‘Global Day of Parents’ provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.
Parents are the primary teachers of their kids. Parents provide unconditional love and care to their children. Children seek their parents as their well-wishers, mentors, friends and role-models.
The only relation where there are no equivalents!
Parents role is excessively powerful. Referring back to my statement’ parents singlehandedly have the strength to build or destroy the world‘, we are firm believers of it. Though primary role of parents is to protect their children from all kinds of harm, when parents provide the right mix and balance of education, emotion, responsibility, character, habits and most importantly lessons from their own failures to their children, the children become right adults in the society. Frighteningly enough, the reverse is true as well! When the mix and balance is disturbed, the result can be anti-society! When a growing adult is negatively influenced by the parents and /or by the family, we believe that the fundamental values of society are questioned by the young adult in his/her mind! Some of those values are honesty, integrity, peace, security, assistance in problem solving, more, and more! The answer to all those questions in his/her mind is seldom positive!
This is where a family as a basic unit of a society fails! This is where collapse theoretically begins!
It is only parents who can stop the collapse by building the right fundamental values and awareness for the society in young children’s mind. Parents fulfil this ultimate role by nurturing their children in the right, balanced way.
A lot on the parent’s shoulders! Hats-off to all the remarkable parents who accomplish this ultimate role day in day out, without fail!
Completing a parent role and fulfilling the parental responsibilities is one of the most difficult task in the society. No wonder there are otherwise decades apart generations throughout the globe that decide not to have children and steer away from this responsibility. I and VJ believe that there are three fundamental supports that must be, and are responsibility of any parent.
- 1. Support that is vital to live
This support as clearly as it says, helps to live. Everything that can be bought falls under this type of support. Shelter, clothing, food, health care, protection and other life amenities. This support involve finances and every parent does it to the best of their abilities to arrange for their children.
- 2. Support that is vital to develop
Education and opportunities to gain experiences is what is important in this type of support. It helps to develop a child. We firmly reinforce that children must be given complete exposure to education and systematically explained the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, risks and benefits, choice and condition, timeline and procrastination and other aspects of life when a decision is required. Children should be allowed to take their decision as early as possible. Their decision positioning should be fact and experience based, helped by parents to put in the value of gut feeling. Here, important to remember is “How to properly deal with a child and an incorrect decision so that it provides the sought after learning and experience to the child?” Some part of this support definitely need finances but some part needs time and involvement.
- 3. Support that is vital to core
This support makes a child fundamentally right and powerful. It develops the right heart and soul of the child. This is where a child understands “values” of life. This is the absolute, most important type of support. This support needs a total commitment, organized time devotion, presence of both parents, examples of their own life and confirmed presence of first two support types. In some exceptional cases the first two support types (vital to live and vital to develop) can be bare minimum but it can be overcome if both the parents are there. It can also be overcome by the unbeatable strength and “never give up” attitude of the parents and the child in question, though it makes it much harder as the child grows. I and VJ have seen a few examples where a man and a woman (more appropriately a boy and a girl) come together and suddenly man leaves the woman with a child! Terribly shameful and incorrect decision! This is what we clearly oppose. This is the reason we say that in sequence of life, it is the first and foremost responsibility of the two partners to have a commitment to live together and then only a woman should conceive and give birth to a child. This ensures the proper wellbeing of the child and his/her rightful, balanced development in all the areas of life to be a morally strong member of a society.
Essentially parents give up many visible and invisible requirements of their own life to fulfill their children’s requirements. Though difficult to gauge but felt in the society, parents absolutely keep best interests of their children ahead of their own. No law, care taking agency, government, relative, teacher, friend or else can substitute the parents and teach what they can teach to their children. This being said, in our eyes parents have the maximum rights when it concerns their children. In general parents have;
- Right to reach to their children (schools, churches, daycares, camps, friends, relative, legal custody etc.)
- Right to reward and discipline
- Right to exercise control (TV times, PC exposure, social media accounts, sleepovers, friends acceptance or rejection, dating life, school, etc.)
- Right to educate about religious & personal beliefs and family traditions
- Specially discussing spanking: Is it a parental right? We know that to grow a child into a morally strong member of a society, parents needs as many rights as there are responsibilities. Inevitably, sometimes parents can loose patience and spank or hit their child. Excessively sensitive issue! Undoubtedly! Here is our understanding! Though it can get temporary results, it is ineffective in getting desired permanent changes. In almost all cases it affects adversely. The most it can do is to change the behavior temporarily due to a fear factor. That too if spanking is followed by immediate explanation by parents and reasoning is provided. Otherwise it is of no use, no sense! So parents, it is neither a right nor it is a suggested technique and it can seldom make a positive change! Don’t use it! We will discuss, in detail, effects of spanking/hitting children in our article “Spanking or hitting : what comes in return?”
Fundamentally there is no right or wrong parenting. We explain it more as balanced or imbalanced parenting.
Balanced parenting brings in the results that every parent and community on a wider scale expects and hope for. Children learn how to make balanced decisions in their lives and are fully aware that guidance and help is available whenever required. This awareness helps them to stop when they may be inclined to make any unbalanced decision, known or unknown. The results is that they grow up as responsible adults and meaningful contributors in the society. This does not stop here and expands further as these adults now share the same harmony and balance when they become parents. They also spread it in the society when people treat them as role models. Finally this makes a snow-ball effect and balanced communities are rooted well and developed well.
By imbalanced parenting we mean spanking or hitting children on small issues, no positive counselling, unemployment in the family, inadequate income sources w.r.t. expenses, habitual dependency such as alcohol, drugs, smoking, single parent, too young parents and there may be more causes that end up in imbalanced parenting. Due to these issues in a family, the young children become very unsecure, often have questions with unclear even wrong answers and become very susceptible to the people who misuse their family issue(s) and misguide/lure them outwards from the mainstream society. They use quick money, mind relax or similar techniques to convince the young ones that it (any wrong act) is right thing to do! Unfortunately there is almost no turning back! Once started, young minds keep submerging themselves completely into it. The result of imbalanced parenting is often undesired and all parents should do everything we can to do a good, example setting parenting!
Parents get endless rewards of doing right upbringing of their children. Family pride is the biggest amongst them! A sense of accomplishment and holding the head high when children become sought after members of the community. Slowly when the children’s influence increases in the society, it usually connects very well with the family name. Further, not to mention, success breeds more success! Let’s be good parents, make our kids better community members and make our own parents proud.