Parenting is a difficult job that has bred a million insecurities and equal number of experts giving advice on how to not screw up. It is so important to raise children as wholesome as multi-grain organic bread.
Don’t worry – the experts are here to ensure that you bring up a perfect child: with zero dysfunctions / insecurities / freckles / fears / zits / disappointments / cavities. I look at this situation with extreme distress, my lament being ‘Why am I not a parenting-advice expert yet?’
Has the time come to share my wisdom? I think it has. So, here are some of the parenting hacks that I regularly deploy. You can take a leaf out of my experience – but with a pinch of salt. (Next : Having Leaves with Salt : A Mother’s Tiffin Ideas).
- Sing songs to the children – A mother who sings songs to her children is, note by note, raising the kids to be poised and dignified. When I sing ‘Tu Lagavelu Jab Lipistick’ to my kids, they learn what it takes to be graceful in the face of the unpleasant. When I add my dance routine to it, they are being groomed for facing the Donald Trumps of their times.
- Leave thoughtful notes for them – I often leave notes on their desk or in their school bags. It’s such a sweetly thoughtful thing to do, isn’t it? The most pognant one I remember placing was ‘Forgot to feed hamster. It’s dead.’ The one in which I told them ‘There is no tooth-fairy. Get a life’ was also very special.
- Get a shared hobby – What’s more beautiful than a mother and her children sitting together in the family room and doing something together? Now, we don’t have a family room, because we use that extra space for drying clothes during the Bangalore-monsoons. But, that does not mean we don’t have hobbies that we share! We paint, for instance. Recently, I painted a portrait of a beautiful woman. My daughter said ‘This looks like George Washington’. I am glad I had not told her what it was supposed to be. And what was simply marvellous was that she had a class project on ‘Famous Leaders’ round the corner.
- Travel with them – That gives them so much exposure, broadens their young minds, gives you porters who don’t have to be paid. You can also get into priority queues if you just snatch their toys at the right moment and ensure they bawl. Just practice your timing, dears.
- Teach them to stand up for the weak and oppressed – And, no, the dads don’t qualify for this category. Be firm with them.
So, my dears, I hope I have gently tilled your minds. Remember, there is no short-cut to parenting. So, read every book you can, and follow every blog possible. Make sure you learn every hack, every trick that has ever been published. And, when you get some spare time, do look for where the kids are, dear.