Parents always wish the best for their children. They work hard for their safe future and have to make several sacrifices for them. In spite of the best intentions sometimes things go wrong without the parents’ knowledge and the kids suffer. Here are some real cases which should alert the parents and analyse their own situation, before things go wrong.
Both parents are working and their child is taken care of by his grandparents at home. Because the parents leave around at the same time as their son and return by nine at night, the grandparents look after the meals, studies, playtime everything. This is the routine since the child’s birth who is now 11 years old. The child appears quite and an obedient one. But within himself he is struggling to find his identity. He is nearing his teenage and there are some major problems at home. His grandfather has developed mental problems due to old age, though he is physically fit. The child is witnessing a totally different grandpa now, who is always talking nonsense and quarreling with his grandma. Grandma too is obviously getting frustrated at slightest provocation. The child is getting lonely in this environment as still his parents’ schedule remain the same. He is getting more friendly with those boys in the neighborhood who dominate other kids by wrong ways like making fun of others, pelting stones at others, playing all sorts of video games etc. Since grandparents do not know much about computers, they are not aware of what he is doing on it. They are also too old to go out and see what type of boys he is playing with. The child too does not say much at home.
The father takes job in a far away country when his son is hardly one year old. He visits home once a year. The child stays with his mother and visits his grandparents occasionally. Till the age of 7 years, mornings were hell for the mother as the child would cry and make a scene at school, not wanting to leave her. Now the child does not make a fuss about school, but he never participates in any group activity, extra-curricular activities and even scores poorly in academics. Teachers in school have noticed his intelligence in Maths and science and are encouraging him, but they have still not managed to make the boy come out of his shell and participate in stage activities and sports. The child (who is now 10 years), being a boy is certainly missing a role model in his life, his father.
Working parents leave their one year old son in the care of a nanny, when they go for work. One day, the mother returns home unexpectedly during lunch and finds the baby missing, but the nanny was at home. The clothes the mother had kept for the baby to put after bath too were lying untouched. A shocking reality was exposed. The nanny used to dress up the baby in rags and give him for hire to a beggars gang, which payed her a rent daily.
A nanny was looking after a child from birth. The parents were working and the child stayed with the nanny most of the time. The nanny was too attached to the child. She was away from her own family. She wanted to visit her family, but because the child’s parents were unable to grant her leave due to their office responsibilities, she became desperate. She was too worried about the child to leave her alone and also could no more bear the separation from her own family. She left for her home with the child, without telling her employers, who naturally spent sleepless nights till the child was traced with the nanny at her home.
Some parents do not encourage their kids to go out and play. They believe that the kids will mix with all sorts of children outside and learn bad language and unacceptable behavior. They prefer to keep their kids indoors, saying that they compensate by playing with them themselves or providing sufficient indoor means of entertainment for them. Luckily such kids I know are academically good because of educated parents. As a result they are not addicted to TV or computers because they are not allowed to go out and play. But the flip side is, they are all getting obese because of the lack of physical activity, like running around freely with other kids or playing outdoor games. Some kids also find it difficult to adjust with others and may become loners, because they have not mixed with different kids of their own age as a child and they have always been told that the world is full of bad people!
A girl is left under the care of a full time male caretaker from an early age, while the parents are working. As the child grows into adolescence, she develops fondness for the caretaker. The caretaker too is emotionally attached to her. The parents being very busy in their professions are oblivious to this development. They blindly trust the caretaker as he had been their loyal helper for almost 10-12 years and in his late thirties, married and a father himself. They realize the situation only when they find the two together in unacceptable situation.
These are a few real cases. There are many other cases like over expectation, comparisons and pushy attitude of parents which drive the kids to loneliness, depression, drugs and even suicide.
Parenting is like walking on a thin rope. Every decision has to be weighed judiciously regarding its possible effects on the child. Even then we may go wrong because human feelings are very subjective and is greatly affected by circumstances. A simple decision to separate the child from a friend he loves but we know that the friend is a bad influence, may have many types of effect on the child’s emotional growth. The most important thing is the loving, practical, guiding light of the parents. In the absence of this loving guidance, children feel lost and the parents too suffer.