Indulgent Parents

When I was a college girl I used to hurry everyday to catch that 8.10am train and everyday somehow see Mrs. Sheela with her two kids waiting at the bus stop. She had twins and used to carry a huge Tiffin with her every day, I used to wonder where she must be going everyday at this time as the kids looked too young for even Junior KG, as concept of Play School was yet to set in till then.

Mrs. Sheela used be in her regular daily wear, with two water bags on two shoulders. One day I was bit early as per my schedule so I looked at Mrs. Sheela , her two twin daughters and smiled. She too gave me a half smile and looked as if she was in no mood to talk to me. I still could not resist myself from asking where she goes everyday with her kids. Mrs. Sheela then enthusiastically told me her story, her daughters were poor eaters and one day she found that they ate well in the bus, so she used to carry the morning breakfast and feed them in the bus, what a dutiful mother she was ... I raised my eye brows and they remained that way for a very long time.

Aarav was a 3 year old child, the first grandchild in the house, his parents and grandparents seemed to have competition in who pampers Aarav more. Before Aarav was 1 year old the house was full of toys, CD's, music videos, games which could be used by a child till the age group of 5years. It was a wealthy family and every wish was treated like a command. All his tantrums were discussed in an appreciating tone. He was getting anything and everything he wanted. Everyone around him was eager to buy love from Aarav. Now the demands kept on increasing as they kept fulfilling, as the child grew he started demanding things which were harmful to him - like he wanted to view one particular channel for more than 3, 4 hours, he wanted to eat only chocolates and ice creams and would not eat a regular meal. At this point when any one of the elders yelled at him - he used to sulk, throw tantrum as he knew he had his way. At any given moment if Aarav thought he would not get what he wanted he started banging his head on floor which used to make everyone around him feel helpless. The idea of punishing Aarav would wrench their heart and his grandmother would definitely used to dissolve in tears with the thought of scolding him.

The result was expected - Aarav has turned out to be stubborn, arrogant, fake and unscrupulous. Now who should be blamed and who should be punished?

Over-indulged children don't know "the difference between needs and wants," which is something most children and teenagers struggle constantly with. Ultimately, knowing what you want versus what you actually need is something that comes with maturity and a right thinking pattern, but when a child is so privileged that they get whatever they want, it would be hard to know the difference.

In general, children that are used to being the center of attention or where the house is totally child centric and children are not asked to work for their share at life are disadvantaged as adults.

This process of instant gratification of desires has actually got young adults today to ask for more and more in short time. In our parent's generation, getting yourself a comfortable house after retirement was a decent achievement, but now all are in a great hurry- they want to have all that they can before they even reach 30 years, and of course that gets them in that superfast race of proving and getting more and more and more.

If by any chance if a particular promotion or a deal does not come in or happen it becomes very difficult for over indulgent kids to manage it mentally. As their parents have never given them the taste of Real world, failures, probability of unexpected events and actually made them feel they are special and entitled to get everything and anything they wish. They just fall of as pack of cards or many a times unhappiness, dejection fills up their life.

They also turn out to be very demanding partners, many times leading to unsuccessful relationships. Abhay was also treated as king in the house, as a child and as an adult his every need was considered as a must by his dutiful, loving parents. He had his share of demands like a new brand car on 18th Birthday or particular brand of shoes, His father was in service and still fulfilled his son's demands by taking loans. He took everything for granted. In his adulthood he was rude, indifferent to his doting parents. As a husband household chores were never considered by him as his responsibility, he expected elaborate food laid on table every day, he also expected his wife to look like women shown in advertisements unwilling to understand that all this was unrealistic and difficult to match. This could have been avoided if his parents would have known that their pampering would ruin Abhay's personality and attitude.

So I feel all parents must make sure your child knows that in order to live is to work toward your goals. Life isn't always hard, but when it is you need to know you are the one who faces it, there are tons of other people who also face problems. Don't let a sense of entitlement rule your child's life!