I remember very well the freedom I enjoyed as a teenager, the trust by my parents and grand parents on me and along with that the wonderful thing called responsible freedom. All the freedom I enjoyed in studying what I wanted to, in going out with friends, in bringing home friends (both boys and girls – 3 decades back it was a huge thing), on deciding whom to marry and when to marry – everything came with the tag of responsibility. No one spoke about that to me, but it made the freedom appear more valuable and I could take much better decisions.
I wanted to study Engineering and my Appa said yes to it.
I joined in the same Company where I did my final year training. My Appa was OK with it.
In that Company, I was dealing more with the Hardware concepts. When after 3 years, I decided to shift to software, I just quit the job one fine day and came home to tell my Appa. He just looked at me and asked “What next?” He didn’t even raise his voice to ask Why I left that fabulous job !!
I decided to study further and my Appa supported it.
I got into a software company and my Appa was happy for me. And it was this job that made me the happiest. I thank my stars for such supporting parents, who actually didn’t criticize when I listened to my heart.
And when they wanted to get me married, Appa came and gave me the freedom to say yes or no to it.
Not only my father, my mom too has been great supporters of my decisions. They accepted me as who I am then and still accept me with all the changes that has happened to me so far. That acceptance has given me the ability to do things as my heart says and not do things as dictated by parents or society.
And this acceptance can happen only if we, as parents, learn the art of Letting Go. What it actually means ??
It’s a beautiful art where we as parents are attached to our children yet detached in many ways.
Teach them cooking, be there to see whether they are being careful about not getting burnt. But allow them to do it. Without trying it on their own, they can never learn. Every child knows its going to burn them, if they are not careful. A small scar today can teach them much better things than our protective “Oh no…don’t touch this or that” !! The cooking is just an example. As far as possible, allow them to make mistakes when young and when we are around to support them. The lessons are learnt better that way.
Let Go of that super-protective instinct that might sometimes choke the children. As a young mother, I was paranoid about so many things. I’ll be scared to let them cross roads on their own. I was scared to let them go out and play alone. I used to tag along. And whenever I sent them alone, they used to come home hurt. That used to increase the paranoia I was feeling. May be they were getting hurt as my mind was constantly thinking about them getting hurt without me.
Realizations hit later in life and I was no different. The moment I started believing that they’ll be fine without me, things started to change. I wanted them to travel to school by public transport and learn the routes. And for that I’ve left them to go on their own. If I keep holding them with me, they’ll never learn. Learning the routes and being alert on the road are things which we learn by actually being there and not by sitting at home, totally protected.
And as parents, we just need to instill in them a sense of morality, a sense of what is good and what is wrong and then be done with a job done well. If we keep monitoring them, at every stage of life as to what they are doing, they’ll start doing it behind our back. Let them be. If I have set a good example of being morally responsible, then I’m sure that my daughters will be morally responsible too. After all, my genes do dwell in them 😀
We need to be attached to them by sending out love, strength and support and yet be detached in allowing them to fall and make mistakes and keep going on and on, without getting scared of making mistakes. This is such a huge lesson that I learnt.
So, dear daughter, what is it you want to do in life ?
Do you want to travel a path less traveled ? Have you got the guts in you to keep going till you realize your dream ? Tell me how you want me to support you – I will. I’m there for you, behind you and absolutely rooting for you. You go, find your niche, create your dream life and just be immensely happy ❤