Archive for January 9th, 2010

The twins are lucky…….that they have a household of people who are nuts about them 🙂

Seriously. The way everyone in my house fawns over them, I’m gonna have a very tough time disciplining them!! They are sure to turn out to be two rotten brats!!

But this post isn’t about them, really.

This is about the kids who are deprived of such love. The love of their own uncles and aunts. Of their own grandparents. And sometimes, their own parents.

There are many side issues here…like whether the child in question is a boy or a girl. Because I have seen too many instances of the girl child being deprived of love far more than the male child. Social stigmas like these exist in abundance, and sadly, mostly with the educated class( I personally know a couple of cases where the mother had to opt out of a joint family because she could not tolerate the discrimination against her daughter. I can understand. It would kill me inside to see everyone pampering SS and treating RS like a toe-rag).

Anyhow, first the flashback. I have a colleague in my office, a senior, who has an adorable daughter. An awfully precocious kid. Well, the colleague has to drop her daughter at her mother’s place every morning and then collect her back while going home. Reason being, her in-laws don’t want the burden of tending to a child. Even if its their very own grand-child!

A second colleague (at the client side where I work) has a similar tale to tell. She has to drop her daughter (another lovely sweetheart) to her mother’s place every morning and then pick her up while going back. Her in-laws too, refuse to take responsibility of the child.

Surprisingly, in both the cases, the in-laws live with these women in the same house!! And yet, they want nothing to do with the kid!!

In both the circumstances, I wonder, would the situation be any different if the kids in question were boys? I seriously wonder….!!

By the way, the grandparents I mention above, are not old and emancipated enough that they can’t look after their grandchildren. Its just a preference they voice. Something like not wanting to eat karela for lunch, maybe!

It also makes me ask, why the detachment?? Why cant these people connect with the child? Are children just a burden to be borne? Or are they just the responsibility of the parents? Actually, I agree with the last part. I would never impose the responsibility of my kids on anyone. The day I feel that there is no-one to look after them, I would gladly give up my job and stay at home. Its rather simple, really. Just the way a very close relative had to give up a good IT career because she did not receive the requisite support at her home. Its all about priorities.

But then, I’m as lucky at the twins. The GMIL and MIL are fully cooperative where the kids are concerned. When GMIL was out of town, the MIL took leave from school to stay at home with the twins. I didn’t have to ask her. She undertook the responsibility by herself. Just like the time the GMIL took responsibility of her grandchildren when the MIL was working. Though the GMIL may at times rant and be at differences with us, her heart is in the right place. She loves the kids dearly, and it shows. And specially close to the GMIL, is RS. She is her big-dadi’s pet, so similar to her in many ways 🙂 .

The connection here seems so strong, so vital. I know that the kids will learn a lot from her, and the GMIL will derive equal pleasure from the kids. Its a two-way street where love flows both ways. How can people expect their grandchild to love them and respect them if the child’s innocent love is not reciprocated.

Now, you might wonder, where exactly is this all leading?

Well,all this leads to the mother in question. The not-so-innocent party here. The mother,who plays a very vital role in how exactly her in-laws treat her children. If you don’t have a good rapport with your in-laws, chances are , they’ll be vary of tending to your kids. Maybe if something goes wrong, you might just go for their jugular. Its a defense mechanism, actually. Their trait to play it safe.

The GMIL has her old-fashioned ideas about bringing up kids. I have mine. But I implement my ways ONLY when I’m looking after them. When the kids are with their big-dadi, she is free to do what she wants. In the last one year, I have never called up even once to check up on her or the kids. The issue here is not my callousness, but my trust. Because, unless she is assured of my trust in her, she would not be able to give her hundred percent. I respect her judgment (which I should!) and she reciprocates by accepting my ways too (like the time I gave a flat NO for applying kajal in their eyes).

Its all about making the in-laws feel that they are also an integral part of the child’s life. Initially, I was hesitant, but then gradually, I used to ask the FIL if he could mind SS while I had dinner. Unused to handling babies, the FIL would grudgingly take SS in his arms. And now the scene is such that the FIL is a pro at making SS sleep. And SS, on his part, makes sure that he sleeps ONLY when the FIL takes him on his lap. They have forged a strong bond (mA) and it gives me a deep sense of satisfaction to see them both. SS is his grandfather’s pet 🙂

I wonder if the colleagues I mentioned above, ever took the initiative to involve their in-laws in the child’s upbringing? It just might make a dent in the wall they have built up.

It might, equally, not.

But there is no harm in trying, is there?

So, for all of you, who have differences with your respective MILs , please sit back and think. Did you really make that last effort to involve them ? Trust them? To make them feel that their influence on your child’s upbringing is vital?!

If you felt that your daughter was mistreated, did you make an effort to confront your MIL about it? Did you ask her kindly as to why your daughter doesn’t receive the same love as the boys in the family?

Everyone has love in their hearts to give. Some keep it locked tight. Its only a matter of fitting the right key into it. And once you do, there will be no joy greater than seeing the love being shared across generations.

Try it.

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