Repeated conflicts between me and my child made one thing very clear to me, that this was not limited to the differences in our temperaments. It was deeper and something that I was failing to understand clearly.
I am one of the few people of the world who are too scared to turn to Google for answers for the fear of being told that, what is actually common cold could be the first symptom of something grave. So I chose to discuss it with other parents in a rather general way to first gauge the severity of the problem.
Though I got mixed reactions, but these talks cleared one thing that though many parents struggled at disciplining their children, the problem I had been facing wasn’t limited to that. Failing at the many tricks, tips and suggestions I was being given, forced me to watch myself, closely, to check if the problem was with me and not ‘us’.
I take no pride in accepting that my line of thought was actually correct. The roots of all issues, long and strong lay deep within me. Within my personality, my past and moreover on the way happenings of the recent past have changed me.
Let’s pause it all here, like I did on a number of occasions in the past one month to analyse this inflammable situation.
To get an understanding, let us go back to the time, when I was in this phase of life. This was the very first time when something in my being had tugged at the motherly instinct in me. The moment when I felt the very strong desire to be responsible for a little life, to nurture and care for a being more than I cared for anyone else in this world.
As destiny would have it, things didn’t quite go as I had imagined and after a bumpy ride, where I met death at a detour and a divorce at the other, finally I am here where I am. But all this while, my expectations from my child have escalated. Somehow, I have come to expect her to fulfill the many emotional voids life has created in my life. These expectations have slowly but surely been pressurizing me to expect some favorable results from time to time.
But when my (sometimes unrealistic) expectations aren’t met, the cognitive center of my brain shuts down, leaving me feeling restless, helpless and a miserable parent who has lost the battle of her life. This in turn triggers me to see everything Pari does, as an act of disobedience, a direct challenge to my authority. I then embark on a loop of denying to her everything she seeks permission for, making her feel dejected and hurt. This is the starting point of all our fights and is actually the very point when depressive thoughts creep into my mind.
However, this is just a fraction of my discovery. The other pressing issue has been the constant comparisons made by my parents. Comparing how very disciplined and obedient I was as a child and how my child is no match to the younger me. This direct targeting on my parenting abilities, (I hate to admit it) often pushes the pedal in my brain making me get stricter (than I ought to be or rather would like to be) with my child. And in the rush, I many times step on the line of being an understanding parent transforming into a tyrant.
These lapses on my part when combine with the strong-willed personality of my child creates a deadly mix that threatens to light up my world (or perhaps my sanity) someday soon.
I have done serious contemplation in the past one month, looking at my behavior, my reaction to the stimuli received from my parents, friends and other parents I come in touch with. The more I have dug up my own-self, the better has been my understanding of the many possible causes leading to the constant chasm between me and my child.
I am nowhere close to being all sorted, but am definitely feeling more confident than I was, say, about a month ago. I am now in the process of drafting a plan of action based on my tentative diagnosis, act on it and closely monitor the changes or progress (if any) it brings in my relationship with my child.
Please read the next part here.
The song on my mind: Zindagi do pal ki ~ Kites