Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kids!! What's in it for me?

Recently, I was reading an article from the wall street journal saying how the perspective of parenting has changed in the modern times. In earlier times, the kids were considered as economic assets while today, the parents make personal and financial sacrifices and cannot expect anything from the kids. Today the young kids get the TV for themselves. Even my 3 year old daughter is in total control of the remote. She will only have NOGin running. Then as they grow, they do little to help us and when they are older, they don't find time for us.

The other day as we were playing tag with the kids in the yard and an elder couple who are friends of ours, were going on a walk. Walking past our yard they stopped by seeing us play. They have 2 boys in the age of 20+. During our talk, the lady mentioned that their boys find it difficult to spend some extra time with the parents. They had a family event, in which the boys took part and later in the day when the mom suggested that they go to a movie together, the boys refused saying they need their own time now. It just broke her heart. She was telling us to enjoy our times now that the kids love our company, later, its going to be lone time.

Right now, the stage where we are in parenting, we just want them to grow up to be healthy and responsible citizens. That they do well in their studies and go to college. Be able to stand on their feet. Don't miss out on anything in their lives. But, only time will say, how well we will take the situation when our kids will leave us and go. Hopefully, from what I have experienced and seen around, girls do tend to be closer to their parents (mom or dad or both). Its summer time and I see many girls who are back for summer break going for walks with their moms..hopefully, I'll be able to strike a cord with my kids that they will want to spend time with me or give value to our advice.

Not digressing from the article, it mentioned that since people value their happiness and money, the only way people are trying to win over this modern parenting problem, is by avoiding to have children which explains the fertility. US being the only country in the western world, whose rate of replacement of children is around what is needed. It is 2.09 children while the world's rate is 2.56 children and needed rate of replacement is 2.1 children.
The statistics says that childless couples are more happy then couples with children. Actually, once the couples are married they don't have as many highs in their marriage and after the child, happiness is much lesser. Although, the gap between happiness for childless and couples with children is so small. The first child is always the one that does the most damage to a marriage. After that, each additional child makes no change to the happiness index of the marriage.

Having kids seemed the most natural step in our marriage. Never were scared, that our happiness would be affected. If I had to measure the happiness in my marriage after the kids, sure, we are much more busy but, our marriage and our bond as husband and wife has only gotten stronger because of the kids. I remember my father telling me, during the time he was encouraging us to have kids, "kids make the bond between parents stronger. They also bring the girl's and the boy's families closer". That is so true. Surely, we don't fit into the modern parenting slot. I can clearly see my parents and my husbands parent's feeling this: "If I knew grandchildren were this fun, I would have had more children."


Pandu said...

Excellent Article!!!

I am truly touched with this article..infact, it reflects my 'thought process'.
Many a times I tried to come up with this sort of “writings”…
But honestly, I fell short of words that I preferred to be "silent" ...

Sameer Palle

Venky (வெங்கி) said...

Well said, May be I should suggest this to my better half at least she would consider me.

gayatri said...

Hi Sameer, You do it through your pictures..and you are so good at it. I saw it when I visited your dad's fb and found the website link. Even I used to do it with pictures, still do, just expanded my horizon a bit on my passion. Gardening, children, my family, art etc.

gayatri said...

Hi Venky, did you mean another kid? :-) or about which parenting slot we belong to. In either case, I think we Indians cannot feel with the modern parenting ways...For us, children is the completion of our marriage and commitment. I'm sure your wife does agree with it.