“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
When you try to change your way of life it is a battle against your being, your beliefs. But when you are trying to change the way others, part of your life behave, it’s a battle with guaranteed discord.
I had mentioned about one such major conflict in my post here. In the days that followed, Pari and her obstinacy has grown manifolds. The tempest in my heart, seeing Pari harm herself just to satisfy her stubborn soul has been the leading cause of my anxiety. Every single time, I’d try to make Pari see how she could have done something differently, my father would interject, charge upon me trying to shield Pari. What sounds like his fatherly instinct at play, in real life acts as a dark screen, blinding Pari from seeing my point of view, gifting her a false sense of victory over me.
As far me, I would be furious of being humiliated by my own parent for trying to parent my child. While my father took it as his natural instinct to protect his precious grand-child from a seeming predator, he was failing to see how these encounters were affecting Pari’s psyche. Pari had started losing respect for me, one fiber a day. She knew I could not touch her, scold her or make her do anything against her will, simply because her grand-father would blindly take her side.
It would make me cringe, make my heart bleed and the mother in me couldn’t help but feel infuriated, helpless, depressed and worried about my child. I would lose appetite, stay irritated, couldn’t focus on work and on many days couldn’t even sleep properly. Finally, I made up my mind to confront my father in the absence of my daughter. I had to make him see my point of view. I had to stop him from interfering when I tried to discipline my child. I had to make him understand that I meant no harm to Pari.
As ridiculous it may sound, but I was scared, worried about the outcome of such a confrontation given my father’s bad temper. But, the mother in me had made up her mind. It was a do-or-die moment for me because I couldn’t bear it any minute longer. After the breakfast when my father is usually in the study, busy reading, that’s when I decided to approach him. As luck would have it, just then someone visited us and my father had to go out with him for something important.
All my preparation was about to go vain. My mother who usually never broached the topic of me looking worried (that has been the case since my existence. Unusual, yes, but that’s how it is) asked me casually what has been bothering me. And I like a parrot who had memorized a sermon, delivered the prepared speech to her. Halfway through when I’d started feeling heaps better, lighter and encouraged by the fact that though silent, my mother could see my point of view, I told her that she needn’t worry to be my messenger. I was well prepared to say it all to Papa myself that he had to stop stepping in every time I tried to discipline Pari.
This conversation happened while my mother and I were busy working in the kitchen. Both working on different benches but well-aware of the pain in each other’s heart. Being a mother myself, I knew my mother was able to see the validity of my request but was scared of the possible angry outburst on my father’s part if I broached him with this issue. After a ten minute silence with the ladle tinkling against the wok and the knife relentlessly chopping vegetables on the chopping board as the only sounds in the kitchen, my mother’s only words were, “I’ll speak to Papa, you don’t.”
The day went on. I got busy with my assignments and then the daily chores, almost forgetting about it all even my father returned home and we all had lunch together. Later in the evening, when Pari was her usual self refusing to eat dinner or to do her homework, I habitually started trying to make her see some sense trying to tell her the importance of eating nutritious food and more on similar lines.
After speaking for two minutes, I stopped. Because my father who was sitting inches away was busy watching the TV without a change in his expression. Pari was looking at him in anticipation of protecting her from me but he didn’t budge. Few minutes later, when Pari realized I had virtually cornered her, she obliged by eating dinner with me.
The enormous self-control my father was exercising to stay away was palpable in his silence even when he wore a mask like expression. But I silently, thanked the Almighty, my mother and also my father for seeing the sense in my plea. What might appear to be common sense could have resulted in a major conflict, heartburn and a volatile situation in our home had the events not turned out the way they did.
Things have changed dramatically ever since. Though Pari hasn’t changed much, but she knows it well that when I mean business, she better not mess with me. She knows, she won’t have an escape because her grand-parents won’t step in when I am disciplining her.
It has been just about 20 days since, but I can’t put in words the massive relief this small step has gifted me. I know I’m not as experienced as my parents and perhaps not as patient or forgiving with my child like her grandparents, but I am open to learning in due course of time. Parenting is one of those lessons that can be learnt only by practicing it. Pari is my responsibility and I want to take all decisions, I must as a parent, on my own. I am open to suggestions, but I am not ready to be made to do things that my heart or principles don’t allow.
I am aware I’ll be wrong many times, but I want to make those mistakes that’ll make me wise enough to not keep repeating them over and over again. This was just one instance, but encouraged by the outcome, I am ready to take up other issues and see how far can I stretch myself to lead a life on my terms.
The song on my mind: Ye dil sun raha hai is dil ki zubaan ~ Khamoshi
16 thoughts on “Conflict”
The conflict you face is familar and not uncommon. Grandparents believe they have the authority over the child- especially if they live with the child and the family. I as a grand father have perceived this fault on my part with my grandchildren However, the parents have the resposnsibility for bringing up the child whether they have authority or not..
Another common occurence is when the parents differ on many aspects relating to their children- in their presence. The children then try to pit the parents against each other.
In all this , the children are the losers.
You have done the right thing by asserting what is right for the child and its future
I completely agree that kids are pretty sensitive in taking note how pitting the parents and grand-parents actually places them in an advantageous position.
Something very similar had been going on at my place and I couldn’t help but feel worried as well as infuriated at not being able to make my child see what’s right or wrong simply because her grand-parents would guard her from me like a hawk. Not anymore and i am grateful to the Almighty for gifting me enough courage to reach where I am today.
Thank you very much for sharing your personal experience that helped me see things in a clearer light 😀
Always follow your heart. It is true. It is right. Your father loves you so allows you to love your daughter in your own way. Love they way you described the struggle and restraint. After many years I was finally allowed freedom to raise my kids and I found I did not know how to. I had to work very hard to earn their respect. Blessings on both your parents for their silent leadership and on your boldness to follow your heart’s prompting. Have a lovely day my dear.
I am so often confused between playing the role of being a loving daughter and a caring mother. It is just not possible to pick one role over other. But, so often I am forced to & that’s when I weigh which of my roles holds priority in shaping a life. That’s how I muster courage to stand by being what I ought to be. A cautious mother.
Honestly though, this was a relatively smaller roadblock among many others that I am working on. Thank you so much Singledust for showering me with your experience, pearls of wisdom and warmest wishes.
Much love ❤
Wowww ME..a big pat on your back and hugs for handling this delicate situation so well.. You are definitely following the right path as a parent.. We all learn every day as a parent don’t we? You are doing awesome lady.. Take care and big big hugs..
Thank you so much Ani 🙂
It feels really happy and peaceful to be where I am today after this constantly worrying my mind conflict got resolved. Life’s so much better on this side of finally speaking up for what I believed 😀
“The tempest in my heart, seeing Pari harm herself just to satisfy her stubborn soul has been the leading cause of my anxiety.”
Sometimes I feel I’m reading about myself here. I cringe and hate myself for all the times I’ve been so difficult, not realizing I was digging my own pit. But thankfully I see some sense now, whether its too late or early only time will tell for me.
I’m so in awe of you that you chose to talk it out and deal with your parents instead of ignoring and suffering silently. You put so much effort in your daughter’s upbringing at the cost of your sanity and heartache. I think it stems from the fact that you’re aa perfectionist at heart. Anybody reading this blog can see that.
I’m not a parent and I can’t relate to it much but your parents and daughter are very blessed to have a person like you in their lives.
Your comment made me stop and go W.O.W. at you for the wonderful way you pick up personality traits from whatever you read. I am aware that’s something perhaps we all do, but how realistic and logical are your deductions that I can’t stop being in awe with you ❤
I have always known in my heart that I'm a perfectionist of some degree with full understand how futile it actually is. But since you mentioned it here, it made me see my behavior from an altogether different angle. Thank you for your insightful comment.
Glad that your parents listened to you. i find it ridiculous when grandparents scold their kids and DIL and protect the grandchild. In the end, the kid gets spoilt because nobody tells them anything.
Couldn’t agree more. The kids are the ones who suffer the most & eventually the society cause of their reckless behavior.
First, I admire you very much for deciding to talk to your father and as Universe would have it – you ended up talking to your Mom – that’s the way it was meant to happen…and you adroitly diverted a possible confrontation with your father. These situations always turn out better with a mediator. I am very glad it worked out for you. While grandparents are a blessing, they can be a mixed one, and strengthen you only when they let you be responsible for your children. Thing is, I guess they just can’t help interfering as they not only love their grandchild, but also their own child and think they’re making it easy for them. It is just that the parent-child relationship dynamics don’t work like that. Tricky situation. Love and hugs to you. I think you are amazing.
Thank you so much Vidya for the warm wishes and your kind words 🙂
I agree, a mediator is very helpful in such matters but I seldom have my mother on the same page as me to seek her help in talking to my father. Over the years I’ve learnt to confront myself rather than have an issue never being talked about.
Hugs to you for handling it so well! 🙂
Thank you dear 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
LikeLiked by 1 person
Pingback: Discipline – The Era I lived in
Comments are closed.