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Whom do I choose?

When Neel and Nandini got married, they were at the pinnacle of their career. They both were ambitious and passionate about their work. Not ready for family planning. With time, priorities changed. Baby boy Nikhil came. The family was completed. They were happy. Nikhil was their first priority, so Nandini left the job. Few years it was fine. Later it started pinching her, she left work. Her self- esteem was shattered. Now Nikhil Is 6 years old. He is in grade 1.

As a mother, Nandini was excellent. She has bought up Nikhil very well. Nikhil was a well-behaved child. Independent in nature. Nandini developed an inferiority complex by being a homemaker. Still, the guilt of leaving job hovers her mind. She did try to start again professionally but it seems difficult. To let out guilt, frustration. Husband wife would fight with each other. Initially, it would once in a blue moon. Then the frequency increased. Now every day they would argue.

All these were witnessed by Nikhil. Nikhil was a smart boy. To get his work he would choose accordingly. If Mumma says No, then Papa would say yes or vice a versa. There was a behavioural change in Nikhil. Now both parents were working again. To care of Nikhil, grandparents shited with them. One day this incident happened. Again Nikhil was getting bored so he asked Nandini,” Mumma I want to go down and play. Papa said no”. After listening to this Nandini said,” Go down and play. I will see who stop you”.

This incident was witnessed by grandparents. They realised things are not going in the right direction. They decided to talk Neel and Nandini. They narrated the incident. Today Nandini, you allowed Nikhil to play down in the afternoon. Just because he said papa said no. Before this, you both had some disagreement. I am sure in this high temperature you would not allow him to go down and play. Nikhil knew you will not allow. So he purposefully said that papa said no. To take him on your side, you immediately said YES.

Nikhil has started lying. His tantrum has increased. He knows how to get the work done from you. As a child, he has understood you both don’t agree on one point. As per his whims, he takes his own call. It is fine until he is small. Later handling him, will be a challenge. He will not listen to both of you. Things can be repaired today. What needs to be done.

1) Parent means Mumma AND Papa, not Mumma OR papa.
2) As husband-wife, there can be differences. That should not be demonstrated in front of the kids. This damages the self-esteem in kids. They lose faith in a relationship. They don’t trust parents. They feel a lack of love. They are confused and get irritated fast.
3) Always have one decision or opinion when it comes to kids. Discuss out all small and big things. Even if the kid asks Mumma or Papa answer should be the same. Whether YES or NO.
4) When the kid comes and ask something and you are not sure. Always say, let me discuss with Mumma or Papa. Discuss and then answer.
5) A Lot of mothers sacrifice their career for family. The guilt of choosing to be Homemaker can develop an inferiority complex. Completely enjoy what you are doing.
6) In disagreements between husband and wife, do try to pull kid in your favour. This a common mistake that parents do.

Romal Surana
Child And Adolescent Counsellor
Nanhagyan Foundation

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