I was watching something today and talking to my children when it suddenly struck me. Who am I to my children? Am I doing the right thing? I do not force my thoughts upon my children knowingly, but unknowingly I might be influencing them a lot by letting them watch/read what I am watching/reading.
My mind went back to when my children were born. I did not have to teach them to latch on to my breast, I did not have to teach them to cry when they were hungry, peed, pooped or needed my attention. They knew perfectly well how to get things done, especially the first six months when people say kids do not know anything at all! Then our ego kicks in, we decide that we know better than them. We try and teach them how and what to eat, what to wear, etc, etc. Slowly they become a mini version of us.
I am still in India and I see my little nieces and nephews pray the minute they see a picture of God, doesn’t matter where it is. My children don’t bother and I see others asking them to pray to God and I see my kids are clueless – comes from me as I do not bother praying to God. I am agnostic so my kids would hardly see me going to a temple, but that hasn’t stopped me from letting my children read the children’s version of the Bible, Mahabaratha and Ramayana. I would love them to read a children’s version of the Koran as well some day. I’ve let them sit and explore religion with either grandparents without saying a word. I would love for them to pick up something new every day and learn to understand right from wrong by themselves rather than someone teaching them that.
Am I doing the right thing? When people around me tell me that I should teach my children and guide them by telling them right from wrong I wonder if I know what is right and what is wrong myself for me to teach them anything.
One thing I always try and do is to listen to my instinct (though I had stopped doing it for a certain period in life) and I let them trust their instinct too! Other than that I let them read and pick up from the books what they think is right, I try and let them choose what books they want to read without influencing their thoughts. When they come to me to ask me about something I try and have an open discussion with them. I also try and tell them sometimes how my opinion might be biased because of certain reasons, and I tell them I could be completely wrong in what I am saying because it is my opinion!
I know I am hardly a good teacher and guide for my children. I don’t even know if I am a good mother for I am not a person to force things on them, even if I believe that it is good for them. I let them trust themselves and their mind and body and their intuitions. Maybe someday I will get my answers as to who I am!