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Posts Tagged ‘new child’

We recently visited a family that took a lot of pride in the way they lived. They were careful of every detail of the house— the way their drapes hung, the colour of their walls, how their floors and furniture matched and so on. They had a lovely little daughter, about a year-and-a-half. The sweet, chubby girl was like another ‘medal’ that her parents proudly flaunted. She had every latest game in her possession which her parents encouraged her to bring and show to us. It was amusing to see how the toddler had learnt to show off so quickly as well.

But then there started a discussion of how she was putting on a lot of weight and becoming very bored with everything. Also, the doctor had told them that she needed to walk and run around in order to build her physical strength. The parents’ job schedules and sleeping patterns were
different for every day of the week. So to spend time with their child was becoming hard for them.

While this discussion was on, we cast a look around the house and saw the living room cluttered with furniture, albeit of a fine quality. The little kid wasn’t allowed on the sofa because it was new. The 56 inch-wide television had to be set up in a prominent spot. The dining chairs and the crockery show-case had to be huge and elegant. All of this left a thin passage in the whole room to walk around. And this was their most used room!

It seemed like injustice to have a little child in such a space—a space filled with finery that itself demanded a lot of care thereby  leaving no room for the toddler to move freely. What exactly was their plan for the development of their child? Did they realize that between the age of one and two, a child’s mobility becomes noticeable and he also starts to mimic the people around him? Clearly, these parents weren’t ready for a child. Nothing showed that they were. No accommodations were visible.

To be honest, this story is a familiar one for many households. A lot of families seek a child just for the sake of ‘completing their family’ and for the so-called fulfillment of their ‘duty’. They forget that a child is a living soul and not another object in their collection. A lot of preparation should go before the child enters the world and a lot of changes need to be made in our lifestyle. It may require clearing out of physical space keeping in mind an infant’s and then a toddler’s needs and primarily a change in our mindset towards appearances. 

Instead of thinking about how the house ‘looks’, we should start thinking about how the home ‘feels’! Does it feel ready for a child? Our concern about crockery and mantelpiece decorations should give way to our thoughts about setting up a cheerful, inviting and safe environment for the kid.

Obviously, mental environment— the proper mindset counts. Cheer, laughter and good musical sounds need to emanate from the house. The four walls should encompass needs elaboration vibrations. Television should be minimized to very important broadcasts or refreshing and appropriate shows. Conversation between family members should reflect tolerance and healthy discussion. Prayers and spiritual readings should be added to the family routine. Parents should start monitoring their own activities and discontinue the ones they can be stressful. It is after all, a child, a soul that has been ushered into the world. And it is we who have done this. We need to be mindful of the needs and ensure safety and the development of the child. We cannot assume things will remain the same as they were before the child was a part of the family. We have to make room for the child in the place we live, and prior to that in our minds and in our hearts. We have to welcome a child into the world the way he deserves, not the way that suits us. We need to treat this new, little person with dignity and with all the care that we can give.

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