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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Let us make our own decisions

Hindustan Times  Mumbai, December 04, 2012
First Published: 02:14 IST(4/12/2012) | Last Updated: 02:16 IST(4/12/2012)

Class 6 winners of 2011-2012 HT Scholarships grab the opportunity to pen their charter of demands.

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What do you wish parents would learn?

Fiona Goradia
Queen Mary School,
Grant Road
Parents must practise what they preach

Parents are those who stalk us, lecture us, drive us insane, can sometimes be our worst nightmare, but all because they love us. If in our lives there is not a single time that we haven't hated them, then they are not doing their job properly. There are a few things that I would love to change about my mother. One of the main ones is that she does not practise what she preaches. She asks me not to litter, and to keep my things in their proper place, but what about her? She interrupts me in the middle of conversation with my friends, and that is truly embarrassing. Another thing I would like to change about her is her habit of talking on, without allowing me to speak a word on something wrong I did. My father is the best father in the whole world, but, of course, he too has some things about him which I would like to change. I would love him to be a less of a disciplinarian. Another thing that irks me is that he is very health conscious and sometimes complains about my weight. And then I say, "Dad. I am only twelve, in case you forgot!" He is always in the office and spends less time with my mother and me, which I would like to change. But I would like to conclude by saying that we never know the love of our parents till we become parents ourselves.

Listen to our opinions and value them
Teaching my parents sounds a bit odd, but I guess it could be kind of cool provided they are open to listening and changing. Speaking of listening, well that itself could be one of the things that I would like to teach my parents. Really listening when I’m talking, not just hearing me. It would be great if I could ‘teach’ my parents to be sensitive and aware of the fact that kids are individuals too, with their own set of feelings and perspective on life, which frankly is a lot simpler and fun-filled. I think it is important for grownups to listen to our opinions and value them for what they are worth. After all, in this day and age, children are a lot more evolved and capable of understanding things and of coming up with original and out-of-the-box ideas to solve mundane issues. Additionally, I have observed that parents tend to influence kids to do what is right in their eyes. If it were up to me, I would teach my parents that kids should be allowed to make their own decisions and need to be encouraged to be independent, not nagged.  I love my parents and wouldn’t trade them for the world, but the way a software is more enjoyable and efficient when updated, parents could also update their old ways of thinking and interacting with their kids.

Ananya Ajit Deval
Auxilium Convent School, Wadala
We teach them what life is all about

I  think a child actually does teach a parent by being a child to that parent. Parenting is a learning process, and there can be times when the roles can be reversed. As children, we find fun and happiness in small things in life such as watching our favourite TV show, finding a favourite snack in our tiffin box, getting to sit next to our best friends, etc. I would love to have my parents find happiness in such small things. Trust is a bond that holds a family together. I would teach my parents to trust me as an individual. If I make mistakes, let me make them and learn from them. As I trust my parents that they will always do the best for me, I, too, expect them to trust my choices. I know the world is very competitive and we all need to do our best to succeed, but our parents should have faith that we are doing our best. As every parent is different, so is every child. So please refrain from comparing us. God has chosen our parents, and He knows that we are most suited for each other. Parents try to teach us children all about life, while we teach them what life is all about.

Nivedan Vishwanath
MKVV International Vidyalaya, Borivli (West)
Find happiness in life’s small things

I want to remind my parents that they spend too much time focusing on the big things in life rather that all the good things that flow in and out of their days. They are like soldiers who amour our lives from  possible threats, but now children are more evolved than adults. The parents focus on challenges at work, the pile of bills they have to pay and complain about the lack of time for all those things they need to do. They should take a weekly sabbatical so that they can give time to their families and de-stress. I would also like to teach my parents that they should take their worries as blessings and not be so hard on themselves. They should remember the rule of 21, which means most people develop a new habit in 21 days. Most people give up on creating a positive life change after the first few days when they experience the stress and pain. New habits are like a pair of shoes which feel uncomfortable for first few days and when you break them they fit like second skin. I wish that my parents learn these habits to make their lives simpler and more beautiful.

Proteeti Sinha
Arya Vidya Mandir,
Bandra (West)
Learn to play a sport, it will open up a new world, help stay fit

I think I have great parents. They support me in everything I do. They love me. So what would I want to teach them? My message to my mother would be that I would like her to discover sports. I would like to teach her to enjoy the nuances of a game of cricket or follow the fortunes of star tennis players. I feel appreciation of sports would open up a new world for her. For my father, I would like to teach him to love water. Swimming is a sport he follows passionately (because of me), but unfortunately, he is scared of water and has never learnt any aquatic sport. I would like to introduce him to the rush of adrenaline after a good swim. It will help him get fit, and he will have more energy for his busy day.

Yash Sunil Sapre
Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya, Borivli (West)
Let me make mistakes so that I can learn from them

M y father is not very good at learning new smartphone apps. While I was trying to teach him how to operate a new app, he pressed the wrong key and all our data disappeared. We looked at each other and burst out laughing. Isn’t it true that a man who has never made a mistake, has perhaps never tried anything new. So why are parents afraid of letting their children make mistakes? I know my parents want to protect me. When I was learning to ride a bicycle, my mom was afraid to let go of it. But it was only when I fell down, hurt myself and bruised my knees, that I learnt. I need them to let me try out new things on my own, within limits of course. No expectations, just quiet support and confidence that I will eventually get it right. As long as I don’t make an error of refusing to learn from a mistake, this will give me courage to tackle any obstacle in the future.

Ali Afroz
DAV Public School,
Nerul
Children are best suited to advise, teach parents

Sometimes we know that our parents are not doing the correct thing, but we don’t tell them as we consider this disrespectful. But then, we are the closest to them, and so are the best suited to teach them. Our parents advise us to be truthful and respectful towards others, but they don’t practise it themselves. Another thing I would like to bring to their attention is that they should not think children are less intelligent than them. As William Wordsworth said, ‘child is the father of man’, meaning that all the qualities of a person can be found in his childhood, the only thing lacking is experience. I would also like to teach our parents to allow children to make their own decisions and choices. While I do respect my parents’ decisions, I don’t like them making all of mine. They should understand that we know more about ourselves then they do. Children are no less informed and are smart enough to make their own choices.

Leher Manish Tiwari
Loreto Convent School, chembur
Develop an aptitude for learning
 
I t has been well said that it is never too late to learn. We learn things throughout our lives, and the secret lies in having an aptitude for learning. This can be developed by training the mind to remind us of all the positive aspects of life. I remember holding on to my parents’ finger as a toddler, seeing the world through their eyes. I asked them questions all the time and they would patiently answer all of them – the intelligent ones and the silly ones, too. They have inculcated such strong values in me that they can never be uprooted. Parenting has been a new experience for them and perhaps I was instrumental in teaching them about it. God has gifted us children with many qualities such as a spontaneous smile, the ability to forgive and forget, live in the moment, and not be bogged down with stress. I would like to teach my parents these qualities, or rather, gift them these virtues.


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