And that was that. In her fear, my mother could not tell him that she had been practicing sitar for years and was pretty good at it. So economics it was. My mother still holds a grudge against him for that.
I did not want to be such a steam-roller parent to my child. So I endeavoured to dig deeper and give her a chance to present her case.
ME: “You don’t want to take Hindi?”
Daughter: “I do, but my French ma’m was saying I should take French”
ME: “DO you want to take French?”
Now my daughter is not very boisterous or outspoken. Her desires have to be forcibly drawn out. So I persisted.
ME: “Why do you want to take French?”
Daughter: “Its ok! I will take Hindi.”
ME: “But what do you want?”
Suddenly it was as if a dam burst, and words spewed pell-mell from her mouth!
Apparently most of the brighter students of her class were opting for French, even those who were not so good at it. So everyone was asking why my daughter was not taking French. Hindi was being considered a Hobson’s choice – allotted to those students who did not get really good grades.
I drew a deep breath. Nothing gets my goat like this type of peer pressure and herd mentality. Also this attachment towards girls whom she did not even know a couple of years back was mystifying.
What followed was a deep talk about doing one’s own thing and not being guided by public opinion. It was tough but who said parenting was easy.
Afterwards while I was musing over this I realized that children have a really funny system of decision making. So here are some tips to help them make wise decisions:
- Conversation is a very essential tool in any parent’s arsenal and it must be utilized often. The child should not feel that she cannot discuss something with her parents.
- Try and find out about your child’s social milieu. Knowledge about her friends, enemies, happenings at school does help in decision taking.
- Don’t be judgemental if your child decides to confide her foibles. Or worse – ridicule.
- Only lose your calm if the house is on fire. Frequent scolding only reduces the impact.
- Sometimes it is essential to be a steamroller. After all how else can you build a strong road?
I started viewing my grandpa with a slightly more generous eye.