“Are we flogging our children towards a breakdown?”

I can’t recall the newspaper in which I read an article that spoke about children (especially girls) as young as 8 watching their weight and waistlines?!!

Looking good and being beautiful has never been this critical? So much so that it’s plaguing ‘childhood’.

With media continuously telling us how we should look, dress and feel and behave, things are slowly getting out of hand; the gap between fiction and reality is thinning.  And parents and kids alike and falling into this trap.

While we as adults have the maturity thus the choice to accept and reject norms and trends, as guardians of minor children, we need to assess whether we are taking this responsibility seriously or not?

Trying to fit into a mould and conforming to a distorted view of ‘perfect’ is taking a toll on kids and parents must stand up and take the rap.

Please don’t get me wrong; I am all for being fit and healthy, what I don’t understand however is this fixation of being physically ‘perfect’ at the expense of everything else.

We are born with certain physical traits and bone structure, it’s important that we learn to accept and love ourselves with these traits instead of doing crazy stunts to achieve that impossible, ‘airbrushed’ model look.

Taking care of ourselves, eating right, getting adequate fresh air and sunshine and exercise should be the focus area instead of having pre-pubescent kids focusing on thin waistlines and slender legs?

Why restrict this obsession to just beauty, I’ve had the misfortune of seeing designer-clad, educated mommies screaming their lungs out cheering their offspring to come first in that school race – and I ask myself, should the focus be on ‘coming first’ or doing the best you can do?

I understand that mediocrity has no place in our world today, isn’t it therefore more important that you allow your child to discover his true talent and work and excel at that, instead of trying to burn him out by making him try out for every activity possible and expecting him to ‘come first’ at it all?

I don’t see kids playing anymore? Even outdoor activities are structured and competitive; and what amazes me is that today, the insecurity that plagued most Indian households a few decades ago that ‘what will my child do when he grows up’ no longer exists.  Today, there are so many options that our children can choose from when they are at an age to choose that it! Why then are parents pushing them so hard? And pushing them at EVRYTHING!

It’s time to introspect and ask yourself “am I trying to live my dreams through my child”; ‘am I basing my self-worth on how my child does at school and extra-curriculars?

If the answer is yes, then you can be rest assured that at some stage you child will either rebel or have a breakdown.

I agree it’s a tough world out there and we cannot afford to be lax; most parents only have their kids well-being in mind but you’ve got to stop by and think about the things that are going to cause harm to your child in the long-run.

It’s time to stop pushing; allow your child to be the best that he can be at his choice of sport or activity or vocation.

After all its his life!

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