Sunday, October 6, 2013

We the Parents

 Recently, my daughter left for a 3 day South Zone Chess Competition in Salem as a part of the team representing her school. It was for the first time my daughter was leaving me and was going to be on her own.While she was thrilled at the prospect of going to Salem, she had her reservations on going without us. She consented without much persuasion but I did have to bribe her with a few goodies (read Pizza treats, new dresses ET AL). I waved her off with the brightest of smiles and a resounding proclamation - "It does not matter whether you win or lose, but what truly matters is your spirited participation". The 3 days tumbled along quickly and while her team gave an above average performance, all was not well with my girls's individual outing. She fell to the players like the pins in bowling and came back home with a low morale and spirit. Along with her I got down and out too! While I was glad that she was safe, I was very miffed at her below average performance. Who was I kidding, all the talk of 'it doesn't matter' did not make sense as there was only rage and fury as to why she could not win a single round. Honestly speaking, I did get upset and had a small spat with her. Later, I consoled myself that she did give her best; but that was not enough. Her lack of continuous practice and my giving her lesser time vis-a-vis chess was also to be blamed. But the whole event got me thinking. On one hand I nailed the message loud and clear that winning & losing were all in the game and on the other hand my over expectation weighed down my girl's performance. Naturally a child would succumb under pressure. I was a hypocrite; but the lesson learnt is a very hard one to put into practice. Whoever said parenting was easy? Bringing up a child is a continuous process and I am no expert at that. But the trials and tribulations of every day parenting teaches a lot and I am a do I have a choice 'never-say-die' student. Bribe Master, Stern Disciplinarian, Bitter Pills, Suckers for a teeny weeny smile, all these and more adjectives are worn by us - the tribe of parents. It is a whole lot of learning and unlearning all the time. 

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