I am of the firm belief that parents love their child unconditionally. Every parent wants the best for their child. I’ve heard this umpteen times from my own parents all through my childhood and adolescence and even now it comes up every once in a while. I truly believe what they say.
Considering parents invest so much emotionally/physically/financially into giving birth to children and raising them to the best of their own abilities, I am of the opinion that none would want to see its own seed not grow into a tall, strong Redwood.
When children are young (though they are young throughout their life for the parents, I’d say from a societal perspective ‘young’ would be till the child doesn’t start earning, get married and have his/her own child) parents make it a point to take decisions for the child. This is with due reason since they have far more experience of the real-world vis-à-vis the child. Parents form an ideology that since they made certain mistakes in their childhood they want to protect their children from making those mistakes too. Hence the decision-making reins are in the parents’ hands.
As children start growing up, experience more of the world with all their senses they start questioning, arguing and often rebuking parental opinions. Parents on their part get worried to the core and though few handle the ‘coming of age’ years better than others, every single parent has an understanding problem with the child at some level. It’s just being human.
Parents are largely of two categories: Ones that can make their children understand life and its elements with fair argument, listening and explaining. I call them ‘Parents’. Others are what my cousin calls ‘Breadwinners’. They go purely by ‘The Breadwinner Philosophy’ (TBP). The irony is in one household one parent can be a ‘Parent’ and the other can be a ‘Breadwinner’.
TBP works on one simple rule: If for some reason a parent cannot rationally reason out with a child (because the parent has less knowledge, the parent feels threatened to lose control, the parent feels embarrassed, etc.), then that parent wins over every point of discussion simply because he or she is older and earns/runs the home.
Children as a rule react in two ways: Some become subservient while others become rebels. Either is unhealthy.
Breadwinner philosophy tends to alienate children in a manner that is fairly difficult to understand. Even child psychologists have a tough time. It makes them introvert, shy and self-depraving or overt rebellious tendencies start showing in the form of smoking, late nights, back answering and the likes.
A happy, secure and comfortable childhood is critical to make children grow up into fine young men and women. Hampering that means depriving water to your Redwood in its growth stage and leading to a stunted growth.
Children without happy childhoods tend to have severe psychological and philosophical issues with life as adults.
So, if you are a parent who cannot understand your child, using The Breadwinner Philosophy is not the solution to your problem. You are simply aggravating your worries in the longer run.
Try self-introspection and think whether you were the perfect child or are you the perfect parent. If you get a ‘Yes’ for either of these, you need to see a counselor.
Consulting a third party within the family or seeing a counselor may help. For the record, seeing a counselor or a psychologist DOES NOT render either you or your child as being clinically insane or ‘mad’ as society puts it. You may simply be stressed or disturbed both of which are a few light years from being ‘mad’.
So, when you lie back in bed tonight, just think what kind of parent do you think you are or going to be?