Children often make great conversationalists. Intermittently, they choose bedtimes and nap-time to be the golden hour for the start of great conversations. Even though the hilarity or dismay in the preceding sentence can be put aside for a moment, yet the fact that our conversations with our children often become an indelible footprint for them to gravitate towards cannot be overlooked.
Conversations are important, and their significance is paramount. Not very surprisingly then, what we say, the messages we seek to convey, the experiences that we share and the life lessons we impart all simultaneously proffer an identity to an inconspicuous yet clearly discernible inner voice that resonates, reverberates and at times nudges its presence in the minds of our children gently guiding their paths when situations may endeavor to flummox.
There are ofttimes when even now as an adult a situation, a scenario or a crossroad may suddenly bring to my mind with lightning clarity a sentence my mother had perhaps said many years ago. Her advice often guides me in situations when my own mind seems to be sluggish and feeble in response or perhaps perplexed and nonplussed in the face of the paradox that might be making its monumental presence felt.
In times to come, sometimes the conversations we have had with our children in the past act as a penetrating shaft of light that permeates the bewildering and baffling tenebrosity around and assists in noticing the veracious way forward.
There are no right or wrong forms of conversation. And there certainly aren’t any rules that can seek to confer unto themselves the appellation of being ‘sacrosanct’. What is of maximal significance is to converse. It is the imperative need to inculcate in our children the unyielding confidence that a channel of communication is always open in us. And, to instill in their psyche the unwavering rationalization that no matter what circumstances life imposes upon them there is always someone willing to talk and that they are never alone.
To me the conversations I have with my children are quite akin to an invisible safety net that I hope shall act as a bolster for my children should the need for it ever arise. Many a times silence in a conversation chaperoned under the wings of our presence has been exactly what my children have needed to bring forth their own concerns, views and problems. As a parent, I’ve not been compelled by an overwhelming desire to override their words with mine only on the pretext that my voice was louder. Sometimes the most silent voices are the most articulate ones. And herein lies the rhetoric.
As a society we have gravitated towards modern technology with an alarming and perhaps unprecedented and unimaginable speed. I shall not say that this is necessarily a bad thing. That would be doing a huge disservice to the family iPad that has rendered its services in a formidable manner in a multitude of situations. But this era of ease of accessibility and amalgamation of a parallel life of sorts has also unleashed a wave of isolation.
As the doors of the internet swing open for our children they also reveal a portal or realm over which we may not always have a hundred percent control. Sometimes, it is quite like looking on to a situation whilst stood behind a glass wall. You have a clear vision of what is happening but very little control in altering its course. I think here it is very necessary to forge a closer bond with our children to know what is happening in their lives and be privy to the questions and dilemmas that may be originating. It is of imperative significance to be a close confidant to our children.
Conversations do not always imply the discussion or resolution of serious matters alone. Rather it is the conscious and active reinforcing of faith and courage that our hearts and ears are always open to listen and talk to them.
Just as our children continue to grow the nature of these conversations mature too. A conversation with my three-year-old would hardly suffice with my eleven-year-old. At best she’d think I’d lost my mind. But in all seriousness, I encourage open and frank conversations with my children. They know that they can come to me with any problem that life may throw at them. And we can talk our way through the huge mountain which may appear to be insurmountable at first.
In the very same breath I believe that a certain amount of circumspection, prudence, caution and sensitivity is needed on our part whilst talking to our growing children. As a mother and as a person I am averse to taunting talks or negative talks.
Whilst as parents we all need to reprimand and be the bad guy from time to time, yet denigrating a child never gets them to re-conciliate. Rather it tends to ricochet in the opposite direction. The ramifications of taunting are perhaps not instantaneous in manifestation. Rather they sometimes seem to linger in presence and render more harm than good on the self confidence of a child.
I realize that we all live increasingly busy lifestyles these days. There are deadlines to meet, household chores to complete, classes to ferry the kids to and homework assignments to be completed. But despite these perils of modern day living please do try and take five minutes out to spend talking undivided and undisturbed.
Our children are in all eventuality lent to us at best for eighteen odd years of their lives. A fraction of time in the entire diaspora of life. After which they fly the nest, branch out into the world and start to build a nest of their very own. But the conversations that we have, the bonds that we forge shall all help them in building their own nests that much safer and secure.
We cannot protect our children from every choice that they shall make in their lives. As they grow our parental mission of keeping them safe from all harm becomes that much more labyrinthine, intricate and complex. The jobs they choose, the vocations they follow and even the people they fall in love with are all decisions that they take on their own accord. As those wobbly steps grow firmer and the small hands grow bigger they slowly start to take a small step afar still close but not that tangible in presence anymore.
We would all like to keep our children safe at all costs. And to be very honest, I think at times a parent’s brain is incapable of comprehending the fact that with the passage of time our little ones are no longer so little any more.
Whether we like it or not as our children grow our influence and control starts to diminish. We know where the dangers dwell, where the monsters prowl, the shadows lurk and where the pitfalls lie yet sometimes we can’t do anything to stop that let alone convince our child that we know what we are talking about.
It is in situations like these, that the conversations we’ve had in the past become guardian angels for our children. This guardian angel often manages to be the voice of sanity that lightly cloisters the harm, insulates the pain, whilst sequestering and guiding a path out for them in the right direction. And most of the times our children escape the dire fates we dread and fear.
That is not to say that our conversations can and always will prevent our children from making mistakes. Youth will always be youth. And youth will always do what youth does. And youth does take risks.
And while youth seeks to carve out its own identity, conversations will always be the harbinger of a new morning, new hope, new dreams, new pastures, new paths and a new life.