I am a bad father
Says Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, Member of the Legislative Assembly from Kukatpally constituency, founder of Lok Satta party A and former IAS officer...
Says Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, Member of the Legislative Assembly from Kukatpally constituency, founder of Lok Satta party A and former IAS officer while, recalling how his parents gave him more time and attention than he gives to his children Siddharth and Snigdha
In a candid conversation, the well known personality in the State who made his points clear courageously in the Assembly on education related issues, recollects his childhood days, "I grew up in a rural area that was modest, but dignified. Though I lived with my aunt, I always had the attention of my parents. Although my childhood was not unique, it was special."
Giving three reasons why parenting in those days was special and unconditional, he says, "Parental attention, community's care and concern and effective education shaped my life. Everybody in the village knew each other and they cared for each other. If some kid was going astray, they would counsel us, but in the present era, people hardly bother about those outside their family. They are totally engrossed in their lives."
When asked about the special moments with his parents, he shares "The best one is when I got into a medical school. My mother was ecstatic that I fulfilled her dream of becoming a doctor. The sense of pride and happiness felt by my parents is the best part. Since I was the reason for their happiness it is the most memorable one," he shares.
Recalling another best moment with his parents, "The circumstances were not favourable and my parents opposed me when I wanted to become an IAS officer. But I was firm about my decision. They understood my passion to serve the country and the determination to become an IAS officer, so they relented. When my parents said, "We are with you," it brought tears to my eyes and made a deep imprint in my heart which I can never forget. I wanted their support and they gave me to the fullest. The joy they felt when they saw my name in the newspaper when I topped IAS examination was priceless," he adds.
Sharing about the parenthood, he says that "I am a bad father. I devoted much time for the country and not to my family. I love my country. It's like I walk country, talk country, eat country and sleep country. My attention, thoughts were completely pre-occupied about our country and its issues and I hardly had time for my kids. My family paid the price for it. My children never got my attention, but they got my love. I love my children. I admit that my parents were better parents than me who gave me ample attention."
Expressing the rapport he has with his son Siddharth and daughter Snigdha, he says he is more like a friend than a father. "I often crack jokes with them and mingle with them in a friendly and loving manner. We share many joyful moments. The best part about the bonding between my children and me is that they treat me like a regular person, but not like a public figure or celebrity."
When asked about the present parenting trends, he opines that even today parents make sacrifices for their beloved ones and try to the maximum extent to spend time with them. "Now, there is more technology and more money, but less time. So parents are unable to spare time for their kids like their parents did with them or like their grandparents did with their parents. As they are not able to give adequate attention to their kids, they started opting for gifts in place of time and attention. To fill the guilt in their hearts, they gift expensive gifts to their kids, buy them whatever is latest in the market and gift them whatever they want."
Apart from buying expensive gifts, parents should also inculcate a sense of responsibility in them. Children should be taught how to use the liberty and luxury given to them in the right way. Parents should groom their children into better citizens by imbibing patriotism in them.
"China follows the one child policy. In such cases, the child has four grandparents and two parents, but no one of his age and thus he/she is pampered a lot. Their wish is the command to the parents and grandparents which is called as "emperor's syndrome". If they are angry or depressed, the parents panic and get terrified. Parents should handle emotions by themselves which will turn children into wise individuals."