Parents, our creators, our mentors and our guides forever. We all learn so much ‘from’ our parents but this is to share what I learnt ‘about’ my parents in my late twenties. And I am sure you all will also agree to these-
They want to be an active part of our lives
Most of us have moved away from home and are living a life of our own. Our jobs, our friends, our daily routines – are our own. Our parents have seen us growing up in their sight – enjoying our every achievement, celebrating our every birthday, reprimanding us for our grave mistakes. Our lives have been moulded and transformed into the current shape and form by the efforts of our parents. Suddenly, we grew up and went out alone in this big bad world. Suddenly, their active involvement was reduced to a couple of phone calls and limited information. They ache to be an active part of our lives and with Google giving all the information from cooking to cleaning tips to setting a home – they feel their role has been diminished. Still, not giving up, they try to give tidbits of advice and wisdom wherever they can. g
What I learnt was not to argue against the advice, no matter whether I feel it is relevant or not. An affirmation that I am listening to them and will start practicing their advice makes them feel they are still needed in our lives. Just recently, my mother taught me Yoga for my back troubles. Initially, I was too tired and lazy, but when I saw the glint in her eyes, I decided to go for it. She spent 15 minutes putting the Ipad in a position from where the recording would capture my movements on the mat – because she wanted me to remember the moves. Just the effort put in by her motivated me to let her give me a 30 min lesson – which by the way – turned out to be quite useful.
They are trying hard to understand our ways
It is 2017. Many of us are in a world fighting to be more independent and ahead every day. It was different in their time. Neither did they have as many choices as we do, nor were they born with a sense of living their own life – they were born with a sense of responsibility. We are different. We like to make our own choices, live the life on our rules, and question what is taught down to us. Parents are not tuned to understand this naturally or accept this without worrying about our welfare. Changing choice of partner in the e-dating era, changing career choices, fast paced life, pushing the marriageability age, breaking away from the standard roles of men and women – they are happy for us – cautiously – and are trying their best to think like us. It is as tough as it is for us to think like them.
What I learnt was to be patient and more importantly, be considerate with them as they struggle to understand our lifestyle. Remove phrases like ‘ “It is my life”; “You do not understand”. They might understand, they might not – they will definitely make an effort and you should definitely reach a compromise for the two most important people in your life.
They think about us 24×7
We are their life. They did not have the comfort of nannies and were there for us all the time. From the day we are born, their life is about us. How can this mindset go away – our good, our health….our welfare…waiting for a call.
What I learnt was to call them regularly and if I cannot, to communicate through Whatsapp. Sometimes when the gap between calls is too long, it is important to let parents vent out a little on why I did not call them.
They need us
They need us in a lot of ways which they won’t tell – they are scared of retirement…health….distance….they need their kids as their support. Also, they need validation that they have been good parents – when you cook like them or take their ways. Being a parent is one the most precious gifts in the world, yet so often we take them for granted. They have needs and wants and fears and joys.
For many twenty-somethings, in this age, We don’t turn to our parents for guidance anymore. We don’t look to them for love. We seek validation for our choices and our emotions in the advice of friends and colleagues. Don’t we?
All I want to say here to all of the millennials out there to take an hour out of their ‘oh so busy’ lives and spend it drinking coffee with your creators. Don’t talk about money or anything material. Don’t talk about the weather or politics. Talk about each other. You will be so surprised at how much you learn and how much they will appreciate your effort.