How far apart are parents and kids with their opinions and ideas, let’s get the two on the same page and find out.
A lot is said and written about teenagers – they lack discipline, they are impatient and lack regard for what elders think. While parents often pride themselves in how they grew up to be the more responsible generation in the then pre-internet (more difficult) times.
We decided to find out whether the two – seemingly different parities, a generation apart from each other – are really as different as we believe or are actually more similar than we think?
To get a better understanding of the parent child relationship during adolescence, we got mommy Anupama Jain (45) and daughter Anoushka Jain (19) on the same page to reflect on the same questions and issues.
TT: What is your take on premarital sex and consensual sex? Define consent?
Anupama (Mom): As a mother, I feel, I have no issues with my son having premarital sex, he most definitely should before getting hooked. But when it comes to my daughter, a slight hitch comes into play. I guess we need to fine tune with the current scenario and work towards making them independent and strong. Once they reach that stage, then why exclude the notion of premarital sex? As long as it’s not under the influence of alcohol and is consensual, I guess it is okay. Consent is a must. It shouldn’t be just to please her or his partner.
Anoushka (Daughter): I believe in premarital sex which is consensual. Sex before marriage can be consensual. Sometimes, post marital sex can also be non-consensual. Consent is when two people, irrespective of their gender, have agreed to share the moment together. They need not be in love.
TT: Your take on teen relationships and dating?
Anupama: I think they should date because the experiences attached to it can teach you to deal with so many emotions, which include a better understanding of relationships, happy/ sad feelings and self-realizations.
Anoushka: I think teen relationships are good as the experiences are fulfilling.
TT: What do you have in mind for your child’s career and future plans? / What do you have in mind for your future? Your career plans?
Anupama: As long as they are happy and satisfied in what they do, I am a happy parent. As parents we start living our dreams through our children, which may be not so good for them. I see my daughter as a successful banker and my son a flourishing business man.
Anoushka: I am currently in 2nd year of college studying finance so, I guess in future I’d like to go abroad for further studies and maybe get a job there.
TT: What is the ideal TV time you allow your child? / What and how long is your preferred TV time?
Anupama: An hour on weekdays and 2-3 hrs on weekends is good!
Anoushka: I don’t have a specific time but I generally watch in the evening/night because I am at college the whole day, and I like to come home and relax.
TT: Friends; everyone gets to choose their own. How important is parent’s approval on the company kids keep?
Anupama: As parents it is a good checkpoint to keep, as all good and bad influences can easily come through the company they move in.
Anoushka: I think friends are extremely important in one’s life and it is up to the person to choose the kind of friends they have in their life. A parent should give advice if they feel that their child is in bad company.
TT: Each individual has interests and hobbies. Is it okay for parents to have a say in what kids love and pursue for leisure?
Anupama: Sometimes, the parents need to push kids to pursue their skills and talents outside of the digital world that they get trapped in.
Anoushka: I think parents can push the child in a direction but it is up to the child to decide what his/her hobbies are. Nothing should be forced upon them.
TT: Fitness, health and food choices, what is the ideal way to go about it?
Anupama: That’s the toughest balance to keep! Healthy food, erratic sleep hours and regular exercising is difficult to achieve.
Anoushka: It should be a balance of all these. Don’t do anything in excess.
TT: How do you define quality family time? How much more or less of it do you think you need?
Anupama: I think spending quality family time together is extremely important. Even having dinner together makes a huge difference, which is, by the way, a rule everyone abides to in the family. Some other things include watching their favourite TV shows together, playing board games, watching movies and travelling are our ways of spending quality family time.
Anoushka: Family time is spending some time with your family and it doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as it’s fun.
TT: How much participation do you think you should make in your child’s affairs? / What extent of participation do you expect from your parents in your personal, professional and social affairs?
Anupama: I encourage them to take decisions on their own and I only facilitate and advise when they seek it! Self-learning is the best learning. Confidence and independence can only be imparted through this.
Anoushka: I expect them to have some participation in all aspects of my life. But they shouldn’t get over involved in anything.
TT: What you wish your child understood about you? / What you wish your parents understood about you?
Anupama: I wish they understood my personality a little better. Also I do not approve of their religious ways as much. Sometimes the kids should understand that we are individuals outside of parenthood and can behave otherwise.
Anoushka: My parents are very understanding, though its only human to feel frustrated and not-understood at times.
TT: What are your expectations from you kid? How do you inspire them to meet them? / What do you think about your parent’s expectation from you? Are they unrealistic or fair? Do you feel inspired enough to meet them?
Anupama: I want them to be happy, sensitive, strong and helpful.. They should have good memories of their childhood and time spent with us, which they can foster. I wish and pray for their professional and marital success.
Anoushka: My parents expect a whole lot of things from me. I agree with most of them, but sometimes, certain things can become unrealistic. I am inspired to meet them, but sometimes I get very lazy.
Hence proved – we conclude that there is more consensus between parent and child than we thought. Parent and child relationship wins over the parents and child conflicts! Tell us you aren’t ecstatic to know that you may actually be on the same page as your parents about issues that seemed difficult to even bring up!
We suggest, now that you are on the same page, both parties put in some work to stay there.
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