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Parenting is never easy and this is what I've learned so far

Shweta Shukla
Shweta Shukla

A social campaigner, actor, writer and a parent

Jakarta | Wed, November 2, 2016 | 11:33 am
Parenting is never easy and this is what I've learned so far

Parenting at any age has never been easy. (Shutterstock/File)

My younger daughter is fond of plants and birds. Anything to do with nature or outdoors really excites her and the very mention of these activities puts a twinkle in her eyes.

Last week while on our morning walk, me and my husband decided to give our girls a Saturday morning surprise and bought a few plants for our terrace garden. They were all beautiful plants with colorful flowers. 

The girls were really excited to see them. My younger one promptly took charge of looking after the plants. She would religiously water the plants everyday before going to school. 

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A few days later, one of our plants with big orange and white flowers started to wither. Within a few days , the flowers, leaves all disappeared with only a dry stem in place. My daughter, who had nurtured her little plants with so much love, got really upset. I hadn’t realized that she had gotten so attached to her tiny little friends. She had tears rolling down her cheeks and with a heavy heart asked me, "Should we take this plant out of our garden?" 

I didn't have the heart to give her an affirmative answer . And don't know what went on in my head at that moment . I instead asked her to have faith and patience. 

We both continued with our daily ritual of watering all our plants, including our old, dry, withered stem. This went on for around two weeks. Every morning my daughter would closely examine her lifeless plant, hoping to see some magic. I was hopeful that the plant would come back to life but somewhere in the back of my mind, had an iota of doubt too.

This morning when she went to water her plants she saw two tiny little light green leaves on the dry stem. She started jumping in excitement and her happiness knew no bounds. She announced it to her entire world -- her father, her sister , her friends, her teacher, just about everyone. She was on cloud nine. 

It was a big achievement to her as she had put life back into a dead soul. In the evening when she came back home she showered me with kisses, gave me a tight hug and said, " Mom you were so right."

I learned a big lesson today. Hope, patience and perseverance never go to waste. 

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I too had my share of learning today. The lesson I had been trying to teach her for years got absorbed like a  sponge in a fraction of a moment. No questions, no doubts. With my children, I too am growing , evolving and learning new life lessons everyday, every moment.

Parenting at any age has never been easy, with no set rules to a sure shot distinction. It is a journey riddled with happiness, setbacks and confusion. 

One thing I learned in my journey so far is that children learn better when they see, they experience and go through the journey themselves. Let them try new things, take age appropriate calculated risks. Try to reason out things with them. We cannot live their lives but can watch them from a distance. We can be the rock to support them emotionally, a teacher to guide them and a friend they can confide in. 

It is easier said than done and practically impossible to practice this mantra everyday. But we can at least try practicing this mantra for most of our days. Our children mirror our fears, our joys and our stresses. Let this mirror reflect a self assured, confident child. 

 

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The writer is a senior banker who graduated to being a social campaigner, actor, writer and a parent. Now based in Jakarta, writes on social issues, economics and parenting. She can be found at her personal blog, www.shwetasplanet.blogspot.com.

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