Is your child unaware, and loud-mouth?
"Grandma doesn't know anything else other than yelling."
At a park a few days ago, I heard my relative's pre-teen daughter, with a sharp mind and an acute sense of beauty, playing with her grandmother speak these shocking words. It took me a few minutes before I could actually revive, forbid myself from rebuking and getting back to the conversation we were having.
Later when we reached home, I could not help judging the little child for the words she had uttered. But soon I realized how wrong I was in categorizing the child or labeling her as a misbehaved brat. I questioned myself if it was really the child's fault, the parenting flaws, or the grandmother's incompetence to stand for herself.
The child innocently blurted out what she often hears or what she really feels. Unaware of her grandmother's adventurous life earlier, anecdotes from her youth, struggles of building a family to the reasons for her current demeanor, the child just does not know anything about her family history, about her grandparents and the life they lived.
The parents on the other hand are simply oblivious of how important it is to share with the child the family traditions, religious believes, reasons for celebrating certain festivals, stories of the past and of the people in the family, etc. In today's fast paced world, we have become ignorant, we avoid communication and prefer to look into a phones, kill our curiosity, remain unaware and label the things happening around us as unnecessary and uninteresting. A need to know the backstory or the curiosity to know more is just fading away, because we are preoccupied. It's time to put away the phone, and bring in the time of storytelling!
We normally see that when grandparents become dependent on their children, they move into a shell and avoid unnecessary arguments; yet observe their children parenting and get dissatisfied with their skills. This emotionally disturbs their aura, and with the increasing health issues and dependence, grandparents become quiet yet ironically burst out every now and then. Today, all the little kids get to see is their parents and grandparents struggling with their basic communication and having general conversations at home.
As easy as it sounds and as easy as it is for me to write this, it is important for Millennials and the Generation Z to take a back seat from technology, live the real life and talk. From expressing ourselves without gadgets to understanding the ones we live with, let's start getting to know each other, acknowledge the efforts, experiences and struggles of each family member, appreciate them for who they were, what they did and who are they today.
It's time to introduce yourself and get introduced to your family members again, build some pride in yourself for them and take pleasure in learning from them and growing with them. Let's explore our family tales!
- Aditi Gaur