The stranger in my house.

Yesterday I met my friends for dinner, all our children are classmates and are good friends. We ended up talking about the strangers that live with us.

One of my told us what happened that morning. Her always impeccably dressed child came to eat breakfast wearing a ragged off shoulder t shirt that exposed more body than it covered. My friend really wanted to tell her daughter that her t shirt is really inappropriate to wear to school, but she held her tongue. When the daughter was leaving for school, the mother noticed that she had changed her t shirt and wore something that is appropriate.. obviously the daughter was trying to rile her mom up first thing in the morning and was looking for a fight.

Another one talked about her daughter not going to bed on time. They have 10 pm bedtime and the daughter decided, she is not going to bed at 10 pm as it is her life and she can do what she wants. The more her parents told her off for not going to bed, the more she stayed awake. Then the parents understood some battles are not going to be won. They told her that she is right that it is her life and she could go to bed anytime. She stayed awake till 3 am for a week and the parents didn’t say anything. Eventually the thrill of riling up the parents wore off and she doesn’t stay awake till 3 am now. But as a matter of principle, she doesn’t go to bed at 10 pm, so she says.

In my case,before, it was “mom, my friends are planning to go for a movie, may I please go with them?” and now it  is “mom, I am going for a movie”, If I am lucky, I will get to hear, where, what, when and with whom. Most of the time, that info is not given. I know Yaya is learning to be independent. But, still I feel it is only fair that she at least ask my permission before she goes somewhere. Apparently, it is not just me who is going through this. It is the same in other families.

At the end of dinner, we all agreed, some wars are not going to be won and that is scary.

9 thoughts on “The stranger in my house.

  1. My kids, 19 and 20, went away for the weekend recently to celebrate a mutual friend’s birthday and I found it bizarre that the other 3 members of the trip, one 19 year old and two 21 year olds, all had to ask permission from their parents. Indian families wherever they end up living in the world still have issues regarding setting their children free. I like to think I run a household where each member is respectful towards the other, but I can’t remember the last time my kids asked permission to go anywhere! Which when I think about it is a situation that evolved naturally and without any power struggle.

    • Jay: there is a reason why human children/teenagers live with their parents for a very long time, unlike in the animal kingdom where the animal parent only waits until the baby is self sufficient and then leave the baby to fend for its own survival. My baby’s journey from my womb to a fully functioning adult is a long one and is fraught with danger. It is my responsibility to guide her, guard her and at the same time teach her to be independent. The success of this journey depends on both me and my child collaborating and accepting that we are in this together. We are both aiming for the same result..a happy,contented matured adult who has reached his/her full capabilities. It has nothing to do with control or power struggle. It is not about setting free either. It is about me being an ‘involved parent’ and my child knowing and accepting that her welfare is my number one priority.

      • I was in no way attacking your parenting Sarah?! I think you strike the right balance with steering and independence with your kids! I have lost count of the number of times you have condemned Indian parenting in general, my comment was an observation made in a very general sense. I grew up with parents who loved me dearly but would never let me go anywhere for fear of harm, right up until I left home to get married at 23!. 🙂

        • Jay: didn’t take your comment as a criticism ma. I realized, I sounded harsh only after reading your second comment. It has been a pretty hectic week, I have so much on my mind, so many things to do and so little time.. I am sorry for hurting your feelings.

          • S’ok. Let’s also not forget my kids are way older than yours. In my opinion they should have flown the nest by now! If I was following my life plan (based on doing everything the opposite of my parents, in respect of freedom at least!)! They would be out in the world gaining valuable life experience. Not having their mother still doing their ironing for them!

          • Jay: I wish mine wouldn’t leave home yet. Yaya has already planned her gap year travel that she will take in 2015..and when she returns after her gap year, she is going to Uni straight.. two years from now, she will leave home.

        • I am Indian. Most girls’ parents and to some extent boys’ parents are worried abt their kid’s well being, looking at the crime rate here. Especially, crime against women..being very frank..

  2. Gosh!! I am 24 and I still ask for permission from Mom and Dad. They get to know the where, what, when and with whom. Sometimes I get denials too 🙁

    Its not that they are orthodox or anything. They are kinda overprotective and worried abt me and my sis. They are parents after all. So, I am ok with it. 🙂

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