Its Christmas time and raining gifts everywhere. And Christmas being my daughters birthday, it becomes extra special to us. We have Santa himself as a gift from GOD. There are so many things only parents can give/inculcate in kids.
So what is there in today's world that would make for the best gifts for my kids? How do I do my part as a parent well and at the same time make sure I help them shape as a good human being and find real happiness in life.
Do I want them to be rich and spoilt?? Do I want them to excel at work? Do I want them to be beauty queens? Do I want them to be rebels? What exactly I want for them? After short listing from a long long list of my wishes for my two beautiful daughters, I came up with the below
I want to teach them SATISFACTION as my first gift to them. Whether you are rich, beautiful or successful, unless you are satisfied in what you have and what you are. You can never be happy. So I want to teach them to be happy.
It is the most difficult quality in a person. Your wishes and wants will never let you be satisfied and hence you can never be happy with the greeds. So to be satisfied you have to know what exactly you need and in what quantity. Once I get an Alto, I would want an Esteem, then SX4, then City, then Superb, then Audi, then Jaguar and then..then ..then.. So you need to know what is need and what is your greed!
Now you might say I am curbing them of being ambitious.Yes, in a way. I want my kids to be happy than be ambitious. As they say, ITS VERY LONELY THERE AT THE TOP. I never want them to be lonely.
Nothing can be more important than your self respect. Right from standing up for your rights to moving out of a bad relationship. Everything is self respect. You dont need ego but you need self respect in your children. It also includes respecting their own individuality. I will teach them to guage themself on how beautiful you feel about yourself. God has made everyone unique n everyone special. So always respect yourself first then expect others to respect you.
This gift is important to me because I feel if you respect yourself you would always live dignified and a moral life. You would think twice before you talk ill about others or do anything wrong to others. Afterall u have to respect yourself in the mirror.
As mother of girls, I would teach them to say a NO for any threat to their physicality and never bear with nonsense from anybody in any circumstances. Similarly for mothers with sons, please teach them basic human to human respect if not extra respect towards the fairer sex. We dont need any more Nirbhaya/Damini in India.
For me everything is education. Right from teaching them ABCD to teaching them self defense. Unlike our parents I dont want my kids to study and become doctors, engineers or lawyers. If given a chance I would erase these three fields from the history of education. But I am not superman to have super powers, so need to stick to my kids education at this point of time.
So bottom line is education is enlightenment of mind and not vomitting of pages of crap rehearsed for nights. I love the awesome ways of teaching in preschools these days. They teach them those basics which we so called educated people failed to learn in our regressive ways of learning.
Education to me means a holistic development of a child. Right from cooking your own meal to learning to let go of things in life, everything is education. Emotional balance, physical well being, cultural awareness, an opinion of your own on things happening around are very basic things which make you enlighten in life. SO I want to teach them that!
That musical instrument which gives rythme to your child. Or that dancing lesson which can be their stress busters in life. And that little creative activity of crafts or drawing or magic.All is part of education for me.
Being compassionate towards the less fortunate, empathy, forgiveness can be taught in a right way to kids at a very young age.
I also want to teach them to be happy and open to the world. To absorb new ideas and new culture around them and seek lessons in every failure they encounter. I would teach them to travel alot and live their life without baggages. You only get one life, its not worth wasting that on carrying baggages of tradition, responsibility and right/wrong. Living life fully is more important than living it correctly for me.
Ofcourse, its important to be satisfied, to be happy, to be educated and the list is unending. But for gaining all the other things, you need to be independent. Independence means alot of different things to alot of different people. For a child, it is independence of their room, of their clothes, of their toys and sometimes from the nagging of their parents. For a teenager it is going out for a movie with friends, a night out with friends, freedom to choose, freedom to experiment. Youngsters might find independence in being a rebel, choosing their partners, travelling alone and adventures. Adults want independence financially, emotionally and socially at times. So the definition of freedom is very subjective to the person, but the emotion is common.
Independence of thought, independence of being what you want to be, having the power of doing what you want in life is the key to success. If you are free socially from the norms of the society, you would not fear venturing new relationships and sometimes moving out of abusive relationships also. If you are free financially, you would not cult your desire for that London trip you want to do. If you are independent emotionally, you would not fall in the trap of wrong and right according to the society.
I go to the extent of doing the trivial things of an electrician/plumber or a carpenter independently. There is nothing on this earth I would want to be dependent on anybody. Ofcourse, everybody has a role to play in your life, but the little extent of independence in fixing my bulb, or a leakage in tap or a small nail which needs to be drilled is something I would not like my kids to be dependent on anybody.
Simple things like driving a car, doing your own banking and investments, managing your finances, looking after your hobbies, choosing who and how you want to be connected, that important visit to the doctor for health checkup, keeping aside money for your own passions is what I call independence. Job or any form of work which is necessary for your independence should never be compromised. Independence leads to self respect, self respect leads to happiness and happiness is the crux of life.
Personally I am of the opinion that I would not leave a penny behind for my kids when they grow up. Firstly, I believe everybody comes with a destiny of their own and secondly, I am sure I will make them enough and more capable of looking after themself and their family needs. So why LIFE INSURANCE then?
The concept is simple! There is no certainity of life. Today I am there, taking care of their every small needs and wish. There is nothing on earth I cannot get them if its good for them, but what if I am not there? Would anybody come and take care of them as I do?
Money is especially very important for keeping them happy and satisfied as a child. Education, travel, hobbies and everything under the sun needs a finite amount to be paid. I cannot expect anybody to be struggling for food and persuing their hobbies. If you are not monetarily secure, you cannot think anything except for food. And the cycle of survival engulfs you for all your life. So for me the most important point is securing their future. Till they are 18 yrs, I want to be responsible for all their needs and try to fulfill all valid wishes of them.
If my child is a fabulous Ballet dancer, I dont want to deprive her of those 4k dancing shoes which is a need for her at that point of time. Currently a Kindergarten costs 1.25 lakh per year, with that inflation, I cannot imagine their higher studies to be anything less than 1.25 cr per year. Even with merit these days you cannot correlate to our times of costs on education. I would not plan for their profession/passion in life, but as a parent I want to plan for their needs to get to that profession/passion of life. I am responsible for my kids and I would want to secure their future with a life insurrance. So life insurrance is among the first five gifts in my list.
And with infinite love, infinite emotional security and infinite dreams I can make them happy individuals.
This post is a part of the 1001 Gifts Activity by HDFC Life in association with BlogAdda