Because children are the best gifts....

Naughty, bratty, mischievous, they may have a hundred names, but children are the lifeline for parents. Amma-appa, ma-baba, mom-dad, whatever they may call us, they tug at our hearts with their innocence and dependence on us. Anything affecting our child directly makes a difference to us.

Parenting these days is much more challenging than what it was a few decades ago. There is immense pressure on parents to perfect the art of parenting to bring out the best in their child. Whether be the mounting costs of education and marriage or the need to ensure good morals and values, nothing is easy. We as parents want to give their very best to children. With prayers and good wishes there’s always something we wish to give them that would make sure they lead a comfortable, hassle-free life. Here are five gifts that I would like to gift to my children, in order to be sure about their good future.

An "always-beautiful" cloak

Please ignore my below average sketching skills but I hope you understood that I was trying to make a lady in a cloak :D
From time immemorial, princess and princes have looked fairer than fairer and handsomer than handsome. Their radiance has felled the opposite sex like dry twigs and their perfection has inspired kingdoms to bend to knees. Modern society has been fast to pick on it. Through media advertisements of anti-aging, anti-darkness, anti-lines, anti-pimples, anti-anything-that’s-natural we have created an image of beauty that is way too perfect. Through pictures of models or actors who are thinner than reeds and more gorgeous than the lush fields of Kashmir, we have cascaded inferiority complexes in the minds of generations of men and women.

Therefore the first gift I will gift my child will be an always-beautiful appearance cloak. This gift is constructed based on the below specifications: 
  • Teaching my children to be proud of their appearance, fair or dark, short or tall, old or young.
  • Encouraging my children with positive words such as, "You are a smart girl. You can figure this out."
  • Teaching my children to think positively about themselves by being appreciative towards them.
  • Teaching them never to compare their looks with others, more or less endowed than them
  • Encouraging them not to subject themselves through torture to adhere to exaggerations and projected standard of beauty…. as everyone is unique
  • Loving my children, no matter what! This will be the foundation for their self esteem and confidence.

"I’m proud of my body" badge

A follow up from my previous point is also the body image that a lot of children grow up with. This is an addition to the beauty or appearance. Seeing anorexic models in magazines, many girls fast serially, take up fads and compromise on health and nutrition. But there is a lot more to this gift than just the insecurities related to my child’s body. In today’s world where fast food and instant mixes / take-aways seem to have become a norm, I want my children to be deeply committed to their health and fitness. I want them to be intelligent and mature enough to take responsibility of their eating, fitness and overall health. I also realize responsibility that my husband and I need to take here as we will invariably be role models for our children. A research said, “If mom and dad are oatmeal-and-biking types, their kids likely are, too. If parents are more the chips-and-TV type, that's where you'll find the kids.”

My next gift “I’m proud of my body badge” is constructed based on the below specifications:
  • Start young: I will try to serve a new food on several different occasions for my child to accept it.
  • Buy fruits and vegetables rather than snacks, chips and burgers.
  • Let my children know ahead of time the consequence of bad eating habits on their own health and overall lifestyle
  • Exercise regularly: make fitness a habit from early on by exposure to its benefits and potential negative repercussions of not following it

A wrong-touch sensor and long-projectile pepper spray

I need not go into the ghastly details of the many cases of sexual violence that our country has witnessed recently. But what have not been reported so widely is the many cases of molestation and violence against children. Given their vulnerability, children are an easy target for sexual predators and criminals.

This 3rd very vital gift to my children is constructed based on the below specifications:
  • I won’t wait for my child to come to me with questions about his or her changing body — I will sensitively educate them on a gradual basis so that they know the difference between 'right' touch and 'wrong' touch, whom to trust, when to seek help etc
  • I will try to answer my child's inquiries in the best way possible and give other important information too.
  • I will try to ensure they trust their parents and know that it is okay for them to walk up to us and share any concern or issue they're facing whether at home, school / college or outside.
  • Keeping the fear out of it, ill try to keep them updated of potential crimes and how they can avert them. A pepper spray may be a quick solution but I will encourage them to take up self-defense classes and be aware.

Automatic post-failure body straightener 

There have been umpteen occasion in my life when I have fallen down and thought ‘now there is no getting up’. But guess what? I did. I had to. Because I had no other choice. Because I found a way to start over again. Because I discovered I have resilience which perhaps I was myself unaware of. Success, failure, independence and personal responsibility are the next sets of lessons I will gift to my child. My gift which is a ‘Automatic post-failure body straightener’ will automatically make them stand up after every failure --- so that they can face the next challenge. This gift is constructed based on the below specifications:
  • Showing my child how to do something, then letting go and letting them struggle so that they can learn.
  • Allowing children to make mistakes.
  • Encouraging my children to take up challenging tasks and continuing even when things get hard, and praising their determination in overcoming obstacles.
  • Promoting a positive and optimistic outlook
  • Teaching my children to take criticism in the right spirit and use it for personal growth.

Periodic re-loading re-booting wallet

Successful parenting is no mean accomplishment. The onus of a child’s financial intelligence falls on parents. It is up to the parents to ensure that children do not enter adulthood without the knowledge they need to manage their family’s money. My last, and in some ways the most important, gift to my child will be a Periodic re-loading re-booting wallet. These are its specifications and make: 
  • An education policy for my child right away. For me to be able to live guilt-free, with mental assurance and most importantly with pride, I want to invest in the best insurance for my children as a starting step. This gift will be my promise of a secure future to my child. If you are keen to do the same, there are a lot of options available in the market and it is important that you research a lot before making the right choice for your child. This is a good option available through HDFC from where you can start your research. 
  • Teaching them the importance of earning and working. Right from the days of my graduation, I started doing odd jobs. Everything from coaching school students to counseling at computer institutes, I earned and paid my ay through college.
  • Sharing tips on budgeting so they can play saving and spending later in life
  • Instilling the importance of saving money and investing it in the right places so their money creates more money.

This post is a part of the 1001 Gifts Activity by HDFC Life in association with BlogAdda


Jemina said…
Being a parent is certainly a full time job. It requires lots of focus, attention and patience..:)
everything you intend on teaching your children will reflect in their character and habits. i am sure they will grow up to be as confident, self-esteemed and independent as you want them to be...:)
Happy parenting..:)
Canary said…
Very beautifully said, Jemina...
I love your comments as they always insightful...
thanks for wishes :)
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