Moving away from the house at the age of 18 is a Western Concept that is many a times looked down upon in India. A child is supposed to stay with his/her parents and take care of them. In India, it’s almost looked upon as selfish for a child to leave the house and go stay on their own leaving their old parents at home. But the real reasons are not simple but multi-layered. Let us take a look
The genesis of this comes from parents being overtly attached with their children. That is not a bad thing at all. But, there’s no denying the fact that it somehow limits the child’s growth socially. A child who’s grown up in such a protected environment will always shy away from activities which pushes their boundaries of acceptance. They are used to turning to their parents for help when they find themselves in a tough situation. When they do find themselves in such a situation alone, they panic and may end up making the wrong decisions. The mere thought of this is enough to drive many parents into a frenzy.
But, again, ask yourself a question? Who was your best teacher growing up? Surely, the answer has to be ‘the mistakes I made’. Mistakes are often the best teachers many children don’t have. Having a helicopter parent always hovering above your head can never be a good thing. The parent’s intention is good, no doubting that. But, knowing how much is enough, is very important. Letting children learn by making mistakes prepares them much better for the future.
Parents, always keep a checklist at the back of your mind. You should at times let the child do things on their own. Don’t get them used to you being around at their every beck and call. It might sound very rude to some of you right now! ‘How can I not help my child if he needs my help? That’ll make me a bad parent’. On the contrary, helping your child all the time is what might end up making you a bad parent. Another thing – don’t over praise. Don’t be overly enthusiastic with every small achievement of your child. While it is good to always acknowledge progress, rewarding them with material things every time is never a good habit. Dole out more responsibilities to children. Let them lend a helping hand to you in your daily chores. This also prepares them for their lives ahead. Many children, who find themselves out of their homes for the first time, and in a hostel at the age of 18 have found it very difficult to fit in.
Parents, always remember, ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink’. You can go a step forward and actually change this to ‘You should only take a horse to the water, and wait for the horse to figure out how to drink’.