Good parenting, Bad Parenting – is there such a thing…?
Being a first-time parent in itself is a huge responsibility, leave aside standing up to everybody’s expectations. As soon you are blessed with a baby girl, everybody has an opinion about how you should go about raising her. Of course, as parents, we want to give the best of everything to our daughter. But to be fair, going in, we didn’t have the faintest clue as to what is good and what is bad for a child. Believe me; we’ve done more wrongs than rights when it comes to raising Aarohi.
To add to this we are a nuclear family so there was no supervision available from our parents. Don’t get me wrong, they were very much present in our daughter’s life, but were living in a different town and not involved in her day to day upbringing. It soon became very clear that grandparent’s supervision in raising a child is as important as the parents themselves. So, does the decision to live away from them make us bad parents?
We did a lot of things that we feel makes us good parents, like moving from conventional food to an Organic Diet. The food you feed the mother during pregnancy and the child during its infancy becomes the foundation for the level of immunity they will have against diseases. Choosing to eat Pesticide/chemical free food became one of the best decisions for our entire family and over the years we have seen its benefits on our overall health. So, does this make us good parents?
We moved from conventional food to an Organic diet.
We also went on a very unconventional track by deciding to homeschool Aarohi instead of sending her to Pre-school, followed by regular schooling. You can read all about it under the category Great Schooling. Of course, we got a lot of resistance from our peers, but since we very strongly believed, that as parents we wanted to be fully involved in Aarohi’s education, we stuck to our resolve. Now, since we were doing this for the first time, it was a huge risk and the consequences of such a decision going wrong would affect her entire future, we had to be very sure that this will not harm her in any way. Only time will answer that question. But, does taking a risky decision like this, make us bad parents?
We decided to homeschool Aarohi instead of sending her to regular schooling.
At the same time, the decision for both of us to stay and home and raise her together for the first 3 years of her life was one of the best decisions we ever took. Even though we had to tighten our belts and sacrifice a lot of things from our lives, we do believe that for a child to be raised by both her parents full time is such a blessing. We got to do so many things together that a lot of kids never get to do with both parents. It also strengthened the bond between us and her. Usually, kids are very close to their mothers and only attached to their fathers in theory. In Aarohi’s case, she has grown up to be equally bonded to both of us because she got to spend as much time with me as her mother. So, does this make us good parents?
We got to do so many things together that a lot of kids never get to do with both parents.
One of the worst things we did was when Aarohi became 2 years old. We were advised by our peers to get her to stop breastfeeding. We were told if we don’t stop her now she will find it very difficult to leave it later. This is the one and only time we came under peer pressure and forced Aarohi to do something. We kept her away from Snehal for 2 days and those were the worst days in her life. She would howl and cry and desperately try to get away from my grasp to find her momma. But I forced her to stay away from her till she cried herself to sleep. I will never forgive myself for putting her through this torment. By the end of 2 days, she was off the habit, but her personality had completely changed. She became very short tempered and would throw tantrums over very silly things. It has taken her a long time to get out of that state of mind and I took a pledge to never force her to do anything against her will. I, on the other hand, am going to live the rest of my life with this guilt. So, does this make us bad parents?
She would howl and cry and desperately try to get away from my grasp to find her momma.
Also, we have kept Aarohi far away from Academic Education. Everything that she has learned is through some or the other activities. She learned to read through bedtime stories, she learned mathematics by counting fruits and vegetables, arts and crafts by sitting with me while I was painting etc. She is pursuing Ballet Training and is involved in Kids Theatre. So most of her learning is through Physical training, outdoor activities and performance arts. Our ambition is that she grows up to become an artist and earns her living through her skills. So, does this make us good parents?
Everything that she has learned is through some or the other activities.
All the above situations may be characterized as good and bad. But I do believe that our decisions don’t make us good or bad. As parents, we try to take the decision that we feel is best for our children. The consequences of said decisions may vary but it is the intention behind taking that decision, which is important. No matter what we do, our children love us and we love our children unconditionally. The most important thing is to give them time & attention and not only just love them but show them, without restraint, how much we love them…!!!