Ma, I didn’t get forced! ( NaBloPoMo- Take 11)

This is what Namnam said to me, the other day when she got back from school.

I asked, ‘why did you say that? What happened?’ She replied’ you know ma, JM told me to sit in another chair but I didnt sit. He said”‘katti” and I said “ok” ‘. To which I asked, ‘Why did you say that? Dont you want JM to be your friend?’ Pat came the reply,’ Yes, ma, but why should he force me? I KNOW where I want to sit’.

Now this happened when, only the night before, I had advised her how she should not force anybody to do things that she wants them to do and in the same way she must not allow anybody to force her to do things against her wish. Although this advice was, in retaliation to her constant pestering to get me to draw some painting that I didnt have a clue about( imagine, me & painting πŸ™„ ), I made or at least tried to make her understand that she had to apply this wherever she felt the need to.

A lot of factors made me give this particular advice to her. One of them primarily being the horrific stories that I had been reading about child sexual abuse lately. I realize how much trauma those poor little souls had been forced to undergo, even worse how much they had been forced to shush up their stories, how much they have been forced to blame themselves for their ordeal.

The other factor being the umpteen stories of unjust parental expectations crushing the dreams of their children. So many parents forcing their kids to study harder and become an engineer or a scientist or chartered accountant. Why? Because it was something that THEY wanted to achieve but couldn’t so the only way to live their dream was through their children. And if the children, by any stroke of ill-fate, harbored a different dream for themselves that clashes with the expectations of their parents, then they were forced by way of thrashing/ hitting/emotionally blackmailing to change the course of their dreams.

Sometimes I feel I go overboard when I find myself nagging her to do her homework. Oh how I hate myself for doing that. Oh yes she brings homeworks! A mere kindergartener. I have so much to say about that but I’ll let that grouse be for another day,another post.

Anyway, coming back to the advice when I saw parents forcing their children to conform to their sky-high expectations, it pained me to see how much they were hampering the confidence and growth of their children. And I didnt want any of that to happen to my child. I didnt want her to feel forced into doing something that she didnt want to do. I didnt want her to think that she didnt have the freedom to do things that interested her. I wanted her to know she had all the freedom to dream and go after those dreams. Hence the advice.

So when she came and told me the class-incident, even though a small one at that, it made me happy to see that she did understand that advice after all. It made me happier that she had a mind of her own to know what she wanted.

Many a times, as parents, we end up forcing our children to do things that we want them to do. I agree many times our little ones are unreasonable in their demands and we are left with no option but to get a bit more compulsive.

But when we demand an all ‘A’ from her children and go all overboard when they bring home a B instead OR force them to become an engineer despite knowing that their interests lie in becoming a singer OR force them to get married to a person of OUR choice while expecting them to disregard their own OR force our them( daughters specifically) to ‘adjust’ or go in for a samjhauta in their marital homes, then its us who are being unreasonable, arent we?

Why force our kids into submitting to our unreasonable ways? Why not let them have a mind of their own and let them do things out of their own free will?


11 thoughts on “Ma, I didn’t get forced! ( NaBloPoMo- Take 11)

  1. Deeps, it is wonderful that Namnam knows her mind and knows that she should not force anybody else to do what she wants nor should she get forced into doing something she does not want to do. I think it is fantastic, the way you are raising her!

    This post of yours resonates so much with me. This is how I want Kunju to think as well. Understand that she has the right to decide for herself.

    D: Exactly! If they learn to have the confidence to decide for themselves then they can grown up to value themselves so much more.

    ‘Why force our kids into submitting to our unreasonable ways? Why not let them have a mind of their own and let them do things out of their own free will?’ Absolutely! More often than not, when left to themselves, they come up with such interesting things, things which we as adults don’t even notice!

    Wonderful post, Deeps!


  2. Well said and good of namnam to stand by what she wants.
    Yes why should we be forced the kids will blossom more if they do what they want but but with proper advice. We shud tell them whats good and bad. These days kids are intelligent thwy know..
    Good deeps you bringing the little one with good values. Very good

    D: Of course, Bik, parental advice and guidance should always be there for their children to help them take their decisions better, but eventually we as parents need to understand that the decisions should never be imposed.


  3. forcing a career on a child is not acceptable. but deepti, i do believe parents need to have high expectations and say so to their kids; that’s the way a child would aim to reach high and push him/herself. it’s not about grades or being little geniuses. but it is about going beyond one’s comfort level, it is about a child taking on new challenges and attempting stuff that doesn’t come easily to him or her. it’s about trying new things, and not hiding behind excuses that i’m not smart enough or good enough for something.
    however, going totally anal if the child doesn’t achieve your dreams is just plain crazy.

    D: I agree, V, a little push, a li’l encouragement is needed for every child to come out of his comfort level and grow. And high expectations, yes, but not so high that the child begins to feel pulled down by them. I have seen parents who go maniacal when their child ‘fails’ to perform as per their expectations. My grouse is against such lot who dont realize how emotionally scarring their attitude may turn for their child 😦


  4. Aww Namnam is such a sweet and smart girl πŸ™‚
    Loved this post Deeps! U said it all πŸ™‚

    D: Awww, thank, dearie πŸ™‚


  5. That was such a good thing to teach your child and see immediate results. Such a proud moment – isn’t it?

    I must say Your post did bring slight tears in my eyes in the second half of it. How unconsciously parents “force” their decisions on their kids. I would hate myself to turn out like that. At the same time, I am still struggling between understanding how to handle such a situation. How to provide just that right encouragement and not force myself.


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