Thursday, June 19, 2008

Autocratic ancestors and defiant descendants

M:"Dad can you ask the music teacher not to come tomorrow?"

Me:"Why? I thought you liked learning how to play the piano and it is a holiday tomorrow, so if he can find the time to teach you, why can't you find the time to learn?"

M:"No, I don't like it, I am doing it just for you."

She is too young to make informed choices and I will just have to deny her the right to do so for the time being. But the germs of defiance are already evident.

That is how it works nowadays. My kids consult with me or at least inform me of their choices, likes and dislikes. When it is necessary, they show defiance and get their way.

My father was an autocrat. He decided after I passed S.S.C., that I should be in Science, not Commerce, and I obeyed him without asking a single question. Because, of course, he knew best and it was unthinkable for me to argue with him.

So here I am, stuck between autocratic ancestors and defiant descendants. Shouldn't I have the right to make decisions for my kids, like my father did for me? In turn, they can make the choices for their kids when their time comes.

And what if THEIR kids deny them those same rights? I guess better I be the loser here than them. I will let them make their own decisions and choices, and when the time comes, expect them to happily extend those same privileges to their offspring.

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