Growing up can be fun. And if you’re the first child in the family, consider yourself lucky twice over. You get all the pampering, all the attention, all the gifts and all the love.
But this has a flip side too. I realized it very early in my life.rowing up can be fun. And if you’re the first child in the family, consider yourself lucky twice over. You get all the pampering, all the attention, all the gifts and all the love.
Being the eldest child in my family I had to brush with a range of problems. My parents were first timers in parenting, so to speak. They obviously didn’t know the ins and outs of what goes into parenting. I believe it is a specialized task both emotionally and physically.
I have no doubt that my parents were making all sincere efforts in my upbringing. But being first timers, I thought they were experimenting on me. I can’t blame them for that. Experimentation was the only option they had.
Till I was thirteen I did whatever my parents asked me to do. I just listened. But as I stepped into teenage, something changed in me. I was beginning to have independent thoughts about my life—independent of my parents’ wishes. I wanted to speak out my mind—my independent mind. But every time I spoke about my freedom, I was told that I was completely wrong. I was told that parents are always right and only they know what is good for a child.
But somewhere I wanted to have my bit of freedom. Freedom to do whatever I wanted.Freedom to go wherever I wanted.Freedom to enjoy whenever I wanted.
My urge to have my space and my freedom wasn’t going down well with my parents. It created a friction of sorts in an otherwise loving relationship. I misread my parents. They misread me.
I felt my parents didn’t love me and pressurized me to do whatever they wanted, without even caring for my wishes. I wanted to share my views with someone but couldn’t. I wanted to share it with my parents but I thought they will never understand me. Will they be able to see things from my point of view? Will they listen to me without saying that I am wrong? There were questions and questions. But no answers.
As I juggled these thoughts in my mind, I ended up getting more confused. It impacted my behavior. It changed for worse.
There were regular bouts of anger and fighting. I would flare up over petty things. I thought my parents are suppressing me and my individuality. That feeling made an already tense relationship even more so.
Then one day things really got out of hand and I thought that was the end of it. Luckily my parents proved out to be far more sensible in handling this incident than I ever thought them to be.
Mom was watching television and at the same time one of my favorite programs was running on another channel. I told my mom to change the channel. She didn’t. I insisted but she didn’t. I switched off the TV. She switched it on. I switched it off again. She switched it on again. This really got me and I got furious. I pushed off the TV set so hard that it fell from the table and broke into pieces. There was a loud thud. I realized what I had done in this fit of anger. Seeing the TV set in pieces knocked some sense back into me which clearly I had lost. As I realised my fault, I ran upstairs and locked myself in my room. May be because I was scared. Or, maybe I felt bad. I am still confused about that.
I was expecting terrible things from my parents over what I had done. Such thoughts made me feel even worse. I had no idea how to handle the situation. My parents had every reason to get back at me in whatever way they chose to.
Then it was dinner time. Mom knocked at the door and asked me to come over for dinner.
I didn’t expect this from mom. I had given her all the reasons to dump me for the night without food or anything, yet she came to call me. I felt bad about myself, my behavior and about the way I had handled what was an easily manageable incident.
Similar incidents have happened when I was in my teenage years. But now I am in twenties and mature.
Looking back at those incidents, I think they are important in a way. They teach you lessons of life. Only thing is, you got to learn them.
I think most problems parents face with their children and vice versa accrue out of some misunderstanding of each others’ perspective.
Now that I’m a professional, I can clearly see where exactly the fault lies.
My parents wanted me to excel in every field of life because they were worried about my future. They wanted me to live my life their way as they knew the difference between right and wrong. But instead of making me understand these things in a friendly way, they made me to accept them as orders. And this is where the little rebel inside me started to grow and I started to think that my parents were wrong. They weren’t. They were just being too caring. But probably didn’t know how to. Because, I was their first child.
I love you Mom and Dad.