Have A Go

Open Letter to Parents




There have been a lot of times whereby I have met children from different age groups and most of them have confided about what they wished that their parents needed to know.

Due to society pressure and conditioning parents are tricked into following a so-called "protocol" which often tends to bring about tremendous pressure on their children.

I took this as an opportunity to write an open letter to parents from a child's point of view and concluded some changes that need to be acted on.


Dear Parents,

Learn to take a "pause" and firstly understand that your child is not a "project".

Your child is not there to complete what you were not able to achieve academically or nail that job that you always had a dream of having.

Stop deciding the life of your child from the time your child is born. Often, I have witnessed parents prophesying and stating that when their child grows up and becomes an adult that they'd want their child to become either a doctor or a lawyer. It is as if their fate has already been sealed.

Don't be too quick to make judgements on them and make them feel like they are a burden. It can be very demoralising and can trigger an onset of anxiety and depression as well make them have low self-esteem and destroy their self-confidence at a very tender age.

Do not confuse pampering for love. Your child wants to spend quality time with you. Having meaningful conversations can act as a catalyst to boost their way of looking at life positively as opposed to spoiling them with gifts.

It's ok if they fail. Failure teaches them to make better choices in life and also helps them to think differently. Remember failure is part of life and we grow from failing. In this journey called life no one is perfect and that we learn and grow from our imperfections.

Stop comparing your child's ability with other classmates in their classroom. Your child also should not be compared to their siblings or to your relatives' children either. You must understand that your child is an individual and has his/her own talents and personality. If allowed and encouraged to be honed, it can enhance and magnify their development.

Comparison brings about fear and stress. Instead compare and monitor their recent results to the last as this encourages them to work hard and perform better the next time.

Your teenage child wants you to know that as they are undergoing hormonal changes, they would like you to be kind towards them. For example it is very challenging for some teenagers who feel the need to be accepted  by their friends if they are breaking out with acne or to have support from their family whenever they undergo mood swings due to these raging hormones.

What they would like you to know is that your support is needed and not to lecture them. As they undergo these changes, they feel embarrassed and overwhelmed to talk about it and often wonder about what their classmates could be talking about them behind their back. So be mindful of the new challenges that they are facing.

When you assign them with house chores don't make it look like an order. Instead tell them that there is a need to share house chores equally because as parents you are out of the house at work, and it gets difficult to keep everything balanced so if the children can pitch in it can be very helpful.

You can write an equal number of tasks and ask Your child to choose what they'd like to do and alternate the tasks between the siblings so that it looks fair enough and more, so it also helps balance the tranquility at home.

A very important aspect which I know is often ignored is that parents have trust issues. But have you considered that if you give them liberty and trust them completely it makes them feel more responsible to a sense that they don't feel the pressure to hide things from you but instead become mindful enough not to disappoint you and share any new experiences with you whatsoever.

As parents you must be aware that your children are always watching you and they tend to pick up behavioural patterns from you. After all, even before they can learn from school do not forget that they are constantly under your care as you are building their foundation in life.

If you want them to be respectful, polite, and obedient, remember two things: one is practice what you preach and secondly do not forget that what you reap is what you sow.

Keep in mind punishment and lectures make your child rebellious and resentful. Instead, if your child makes a mistake try talking to your child and make them realise that it was wrong to do what they did and how the situation should have been tackled. That way they will learn to be more compliant and kinder, making them confident to tackle future issues.

Once in a month give your children a treat. It could range from taking them out to watch a movie or indulging in their favourite meal or even taking them out camping. This creates a warm bond between parents and children. Children feel more loved and bring about the feeling of friendliness toward each other. Also do not forget to let them spend a few hours out or even a night out with their friends as this gives them the experience to be responsible and confident.

If there's one thing all children want is a loving interaction between their parents and them.

Instead of having a rushed dinner without communication try having family dinners everyday together. Keep phones and TV out of sight. Have healthy conversations and get to know how each and every one spend their day.

If your child happens to be rebellious, please investigate the reason behind this behaviour. You will be surprised to learn the adversities being imposed on them. This can come in the form of peer pressure or a teacher who may be bullying your child. Getting to know the root cause of the rebellious nature can result in resolving the problem other than making the environment at home hostile for the child too.

Parents we love you and know that you too have made enough sacrifice for us. All we want is love, compassion and understanding from you so that we all can grow in tranquility and make you proud and to make you know that the sacrifices you made for us has never been a waste of your effort, time and money.

With Love and Respect,

From Your Child/Children

As I come to the end of this article Parents it is my humble request to you to look deep inside and value the time you have with your children.  Enlighten them to be kind, loving and understanding. Teach them to be humble. Discipline them to see the difference between right and wrong. Guide them to respect and to be polite to others. Every minute of supervision and encouragement from you can make them become better leaders of tomorrow.

Jane Nelson who was an educator once quoted "Where did we get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time You felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better?"

Parents remember to "Pause" and realise that your child is not a "Project".

By Disha Sharma

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