Kritika is studious, meticulous, methodic and introverted. While Tulika is extrovert, outgoing, disorganized and has lots of friends.
Their mother, Mamta often complaints, “I don’t have to instruct or shout for anything to the younger girl, but the elder one never listens to me. She will do whatever she wants. At times, I feel like running away from home to somewhere in peace.” Tulika, the elder sister cries out aloud to her mother when restrictions upon her get unbearable, “You never say anything to Kritika. I don’t know why you have to find every fault only with me.”
Parenting is not an easy task. It requires the balancing act of an acrobat, and yet all the good work that a mom may do; kids are never thankful. The mother never for a moment thinks, she’s not the best for her kids, as psychology professor Holly Schiffrin
notes the universal attitudes of mothers, “we are the most qualified and you can’t trust anyone else, even husbands, because they won’t do it as well as we do.”
Diana Chaudhary, 11, lives with her grand parents in India. Her Russian mom never gets tired of advising and instructing her by telephone from Russia. Her grand mother Nita Chaudhary complains, “our love and affection has made her disobedient. She will not listen to us and would do whatever pleases her.”
“I don’t like to be told to do this or that,” says Diana, “I am now used to it. In the beginning I disliked it.” The grandmother Nita Chaudhary is resigned: “we have now stopped pressuring her for anything. She is self guided and we are happy that she is doing well in her studies.” Perhaps that would be the best way to avoid stress for the child and her guardian.
However, that is not the case with every parent. Mrs. Sharma’s son Ankit was doing extremely well in studies till class VIII, but suddenly his scores went down in class IX and never improved since. Mrs. Sharma went into depression and is currently under medication. “Ankit fell into the bad company. All through the night, he keeps watching IPL cricket and the Olympics. If I tell him anything, he shouts back at me. I don’t know what to do with him. His father is not bothered at all. He is busy with his office work.”
While mothers take parenting to extremes and suffer in the process, fathers are hardly worried, if at all. Anil Singh, Director Department of Post & Telegraph, Govt. of India, says laughing, “My son studying in class IV once told me he wanted to be a bus conductor. I was a bit shocked initially, but then I said, go ahead my child. No ambition means happy life. I am quite happy for him.”