The so-called “culture preservation enthusiasts” in this country have persuaded many people  to celebrate 14 February as Parents’ Worship Day. They believe it would be more apt if instead of splurging a parents’ hard-earned money on a hormonal whim, kids would spend the day singing praises of the sponsorer’s of their pocket money. But as a parent, worship is the last thing I seek from my offspring.

Parenting is a job

The love that a parent feels for his or her child is the greatest feeling in the world. But bringing up a child and providing him or her the best facilities as per our abilities, isn’t something that deserves reverence. It’s the job profile you sign up for when you become a parent.

So asking for being worshipped just because you are a parent, sounds like asking for a medal of excellence in service for coming to office on time.

Agreed that some parent face a lot of hardships and go to unimaginable extremes for the sake of their children. Their children should indeed value what their parents have done for them. But valuing your parents’ sacrifices and worshiping them are two different things, and it is the matter of personal sentiments, what you choose to do. Or expect your children to do.

I for one, would not want my child to worship me. Because in worshiping me, she would put me up on a pedestal so high, from where only my sacrifices and compromises would be visible. It feels like airbrushing my life and choices for the sake of worship. Instead, I would like to trade the worship for understanding and acceptance for the way I am. The sleepless nights I have spent rocking her, as well as when I forgot about her homework entirely. When I sacrificed my job for motherhood, along with how I ended up wounding her ear canal on one of my ‘clean the -ish out of this baby’ spree.

My parenthood is not just a story of sacrifices, it’s a long and embarrassing list of failures as well.

It calls for an entire bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon when she is finally out of my hair, going bonkers in some hostel or PG. It calls for endless anecdotes when the girl grows and becomes a mother as well. But for me, it certainly does not call for veneration.

Kindle empathy instead of glorifying parenting

There is a lot of tension and dissatisfaction in the Indian parent-child relationship today. The main reason being the burden of expectations we have put on our children. We expect them to obey us, take care of us, and make sacrifices for us, because we have done those very things for our children. What parents need to accept is that a sacrifice is only so, when it is selfless. Everything else is a transaction.  The disconnect that stems from this burden of expectations, puts a distance between the parents and children.

So instead of worship we need empathy and warmth, to make sure that our bond with our children remains consistently full of love.

Our children need to understand the whys and hows of our lives and decisions.

“I nurtured you in my uterus for nine months” or “I spent sleepless nights when you had fever,” may put you on the path of worship. But by admitting where you went wrong, you will impart so many important life lessons to your child. If my child sees me as a figure of worship, she will want to become just like me. But if she understands me, and learns from my life, she will become better than me. And there is no bigger accomplishment for a parent, than to see your child leave the benchmarks you set behind, and race ahead.

Picture Credit : Corr.Us

Also Read : Parenting Moments – What was Hot in 2017 and Outlook for 2018

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own

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