Recently, I met a couple that is battling against the alcoholism of their only child. They appeared distraught as they spoke about how they thought his life is being spoiled and that not only is he unable to see the problem but is not letting them help him. As I heard them out, what struck me most was the phrase, “that he was not letting them help him”. Intuitively, I helped them talk with just a few leading questions. What came out after initial beating round the bush was that they loved their son dearly and hence had always taken it up to themselves to ensure that all his wishes were fulfilled. They had ensured that the child did not have to sweat or shed a tear for anything and were unable to see what had gone wrong in their parenting. Everything they spoke about was about their parenting, the child did not seem to have a say anywhere while apparently, it was all about him. During the further course of counseling, various alternatives were suggested. Given the severe degree of alcoholism, the first obvious option was admission in a Rehabilitation centre. On hearing this suggestion, the mother burst out into a series of crying and accusing. She was aghast that how could we suggest such “Inhuman” treatment for her “poor” son. After all he was only having one bad habit and was not sick. And that they were capable of taking care of him. Thence, as expected, they abandoned the counseling.
This one is about alcoholism, but how often do we come across parents who fail to understand the difference between Loving and spoiling the children, between doing something for the betterment of the children vs. something for the love of the children, between selfish love and selfless love.
Today, as this era beckons to all parents to prepare children to face the hardships of the world in order to reap the overflowing benefits of this borderless globe, one question prevails- Are we parenting for the child or are we parenting for harvesting returns for ourselves and to satisfy our egos of being a parent?