Becoming a Better Parent

End of an Utopian Dream

How I wish I could have raised my child in an utopian world. A satwik environment full of love and respect, free of screens and junk and healthy peer relationships. Ah! what a dream. I had the audacity to think I could achieve it. I tried my best but it wasn’t enough to let people know my views. I tried harder and in the process asked of people the energy that they were not ready or equipped to put in. Till last week when I was forced to introspect what chance do I have against all the influences.

Resentment grew within me and judgement of people around and environment. Why are people not more forgiving, loving? How does a child know how to respond with calmness if his inadequacies are reciprocated with anger. All these were valid questions but they didn’t change anything except me. I tried my best but saw myself failing many times when I reacted with anger, judgement, lecturing. And it was hard to accept that I had fallen short and then there was the blame game. It was hard to accept that I wasn’t able to make my dream a reality and holding onto it would only cause more friction at home. I cried.

Felt like a failure but having a strong spiritual path I didn’t remain there for long. I quipped to someone that it’s like putting your whole energy into a project only to realise many years down the line that it’s not borne fruit. That though I put in my best, the social dynamism were not conducive. It was hard to accept the ground reality I was in. I told myself ‘you failed’ but I heard a soft voice whispering back ‘you failed, really?’

No, I didn’t. I would have if I wouldn’t have given it a try, I would have if I would have said it’s not possible. I would have if I wouldn’t have a dream that really possessed me. I still hold it dear in my heart, in a land where it’s feasible. But for now I have to let it fall, not completely but the idealised version. I have to let go of the expectations from people in my child’s environment while I continue to build myself.

Ten years of being a parent expanded my heart like nothing else did. Having a child who always challenged me with his high energy and behaviour kept me on the lookout for best practices in parenting. How much I learnt and still do. He challenged me to develop patience and I rose to the challenge by starting a meditation practice and shortly thereafter found my spiritual path which has been the greatest blessing of my life. I had to make efforts to see good in him and show him his goodness. I grew in forgiveness, acceptance and strength. I had to learn to stand for my principles, for my child. I had to learn to look at bigger picture and choose my battles. I had to learn not to catastrophize and not project this child into the future. On and on the list goes.

And I am still learning. Lessons I learnt have spilled onto my life and to other people. I am more compassionate of people’s shortcomings, more loving, understanding and supportive. I am learning to cherish people for who they are, to see their highest potential in them. Not that I am absolute in any of these qualities but just marching on to be more and better. Ah am I not glad that I dared to dream. In the words of a great spiritual teacher Swami Kriyananda from one of his songs Walk like a Man

Follow your dream though it leads to worlds unknown,
Life’s but a shadow once our dreams have flown.
What if men cry, “Your dream is not our own”?
Your soul knows the answer: Go on alone!”

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About Dr. Mona Choudhary

I,Dr. Mona {Psychiatrist(M.B.B.S., MD) am a strong advocate of holistic health, meditate regularly, have tried different models of education like homeschooling, alternate school etc. for my super energetic son. I focus on basics and use my medical training and over a decade of experience in psychiatry to give practical advice on difficult parenting issues via individual consultation, workshops and this blog so that parents can become their best versions uplifting the child in the process.
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