Friday, November 6, 2009

The Riddle

The Riddle
It is very difficult to understand child psychology. How so ever liberal we may be, sometimes we fail to accommodate the whims and moods of our children. We never raise our level of understanding to appreciate theirs but instead we try our utmost to thrust our opinion and decisions on them. We pick up unnecessary cudgels and at times argue a lot to convince them. And even if we yield to their decision, we undergo many sleepless nights. Later, may be after years we understand that it had been much ado about nothing. Or, it may leave us puzzled whether we were right or wrong in dealing with our children.
I remember one such incident about my daughter. Once when she was in class 11, she expressed desire to buy a pair of sandals with high platform heels for herself. I have had virtual aversion for such type of high heels. I have always felt walking on them is very risky as one is susceptible to fall and hurting or even breaking one’s bones. Moreover, I had a notion that big platform heeled sandals are not for sophisticated and elegant ladies. Whenever I would see ladies wearing such sandals I would feel they have one-ton trucks underneath their feet. With such a bent of mind you can well imagine how I must have felt on hearing her demand. “High heels!” I almost yelled at her, “No, my child ! wearing heels is not good for you. And that too at this young age! No, not at all.”
No, I need to wear them,” she asserted. “Why?” I wanted to know the reason. “I will be as tall as Shahdab and even taller than Mahavash,” she replied quickly. “But does it really matter?” I sounded disturbed. “But Mom, I want to look tall”, she said with enthusiasm. “You are beautiful, my dear. And beauty needs no ornaments. It comes from within. You are an angel -- a golden one and very precious to me,” I heard myself arguing. “I simply want it. And that’s it.” I could sense adamance in her behavior which I had seen for the first time.
She had been a child far more mature than her age. I have never had problems of any sort with her. She would always understand my logic and I would always yield to her genuine demands. I am of firm belief that parents need not to thrust their choice on children and at the same time have to be watchful that their freedom of choice is for their benefit and development. So being of this conviction, I and my daughter would discuss all problems mutually and I would let her take final decision, which would coincide with mine always.
This time it was different. I tried every skill and knowledge of management but all in vain. Finally, it had to be her decision. We went to the market, got the sandals of her choice - a pair of very high plat-form heels, which kept troubling me for quite some time.
Now, after six years I find that there is a complete change in her choice of wearing sandals. She has switched over to complete flat ones, though this time at her age I would like her to wear sandals with sharp small heels. Sometime back I expressed this desire to her. She simply laughed it over saying, “Mom, flat sandals are smart and comfortable. I know I am, what I am. Heels or no heels, I can carry myself. And Mom, beauty needs no ornaments. It comes from within.” “Yes, my dearest,” I heard cry of a proud mother.
Whenever I am reminded of this, it comes as a riddle to my mind, which probably you may help me resolve. Should I have yielded to her demand straight way understanding that in course of time she would realize of her own what is right and what is wrong? Or, has my explaining to her or showing displeasure at that point of time left some imprint in her mind that has made her eventually think in the right direction? Was the trouble that I undertook worthwhile or worthless?

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