I have recently come across many people who do not want to have kids. While I am of the personal opinion that having a kid greatly changes you and makes you better, I kinda understand why they wouldn’t want to have kids; I mean, I see how I am and I tell my parents you are lucky you have a kid like me because I’m quite simple and easy going compared to most kids today.
So, why is raising kids such a huge task today? I mean, people have been procreating since time immemorial and human race has come so far because of it so how hard can it be to raise a kid?
Well, a lot harder than one would think. Of course raising a kid in today’s times is much much harder than in the past because of how the world is today. Because the kids have access to so much information, they think they know better than their parents (not always true) and hence have a tendency to do what they want without discussing with anyone else. Also, kids are under much more peer pressure than you’d think; believe me when I say that even if you’re a goody two shoes, it is very hard to do your thing (and the right thing) without falling out of your peer group.
Now, because I’m such a good kid and because my parents have such seemingly stupid discussions with me all the time, let me give you (in clean and clear bullet points) some dictums about raising kids. I really hope it helps you whether you are a parent or not.
- Raise them like you want them to be: Parents want the best for their kids, and why not? But point is, if you put them in a school you can barely afford and where the kids have a culture much different than yours, it is wrong to expect your kid to grow up like you. They will be influenced by their surroundings. If you want them to have no airs and be normal (it really is hard to find kids that are normal today, don’t get me wrong) then raise them that way.
- Inculcate required values from a small age: It is again wrong to expect your kid to just observe you and learn all your values. You have to be active and involve your kid in activities that inculcate the values you feel they need. If you want them to discuss life with family and tell you about their life, have talks with them from childhood itself. Teach them what you want them to learn not when you want them to act that way but from early childhood itself.
- Grandparents and extended family: We are all independent individuals, most of us living alone with kids. You want your kid to treat you with care when you’re senile, make sure your kid sees you loving your own old parents. Though it is difficult to have grandparents living in the same house, have your kids meet them as often as they can and make your kids be in touch with the people you care for. How else will they remain in touch with those people when they’re adults?
- Frankness: I understand you may not want your kid to do certain things. But please, don’t freak out when your kids tell you stuff you find blasphemous. And be frank with them since their childhood otherwise forget that they’ll ever tell you their innermost thoughts. If you teach your child how you look down upon, say, having girlfriends/boyfriends and drinking, they’ll maybe not tell you. And that can lead to potentially dangerous situations that could have been averted. Make sure the kid feels that you’re on their side and that they can ask you about anything.
For instance, most people I know wouldn’t tell their parents if they romantically like another person. That means the parents have no idea what their kid is getting into and of course, if the kid is quite young, they can be in danger. Because my parents and I have had a very frank relationship, if I do like someone, I’ll most probably tell them I like this person at a very early stage and tell them about how this person is; hell, I might even ask them if I should ask this person on a date or approach them some other way. This means, they know about it and they can provide their input about what they think and I’m not already fallen hard for the person to not listen to them.
- Money matters: Don’t let your kids know how much you earn (especially applicable if you’re very rich) until you feel they are mature enough to understand that this money is not their birthright and if they want this lifestyle they have to work for it. Of course it’s a totally different case if you have a very lavish lifestyle, in which case you have to work extra hard to keep your little one grounded.
Wow, I can totally see how hard all this is and why people don’t want to go through it.
That’s actually all that comes to my mind right now (tell me what you think and I’ll add your point). So, in a nutshell, be who you are, lead by example and teach your kids the value of education and money and health. Your kids should be okay.