Thursday, 18 December 2014

Smart Parents For Better Vacations


I lovvveeee kids. Well, that's an exaggeration. But yes, I love them. Usually. I mean, for at least 5 minutes. Or until they break out screaming and crying. Or until my head explodes listening them whine. Yes, I know what you are thinking. You must be thinking being a whiner myself, why can't I stand whining kids? Well, because I hate competition. I can whine and rant for hours. I don't need kids to overtake me in this race of whining.

Unfortunately, this sentiment of mine is not reflected by women of my age. I don't know about men because I haven't spoken to them about their kids. But women! Let me tell you this, they love their children but they love their freedom more.

No, I'm not kidding.

Is my statement jarring with your image of Mother India that we usually expect to see in any Indian mother? That's too bad.

Wanna have a proof of what I'm talking about? Well, just look at any couple around you. How much time they give to their children when they go on vacation or just to dine out? Most of the times, they let their children run freely and wildly, harassing people around them, while the parents will be busy making cow eyes at each other.

Sometimes I really think I’m an unpaid nanny of their children because their children are already sitting with me and I’m trying to keep them from harm’s way.

Looking back at my childhood, today I really appreciate the way my parents brought us up (I’m the middle child. I have other 2 siblings.). We were a handful lot and still we were never misbehaved in the company. And when I say never, I do mean never, ever. Period.

No, my parents were neither saint nor God. They just had one simple policy. They let their children, that’s us, do whatever they wanted to do at home; but when they went out to dine or on any vacation, they couldn’t move an inch without parental approval. Or they would just miss out on their privileges in form of cartoon shows.

I know it’s downright cruelty to ground children but it’s a necessary evil, especially when your children only understand reward and punishment system. Like we did.

Last year when I went on vacation, I came across one family from hell. I say hell because not only children but parents were bad mannered too. They would talk to each other in loud voices on the breakfast table; children would run helter and skelter all over the hotel’s restaurant, lobby and even near swimming pool (few times I was worried about the kids falling at the deep end of the pool and getting drowned) and parents would just lay back and keep on smiling. (I’ve a strong suspicion that they were laughing at my irritation silently.)

This lasted for two days. On the third day, I totally lost my temper and yelled at the parents. By God, do I still remember their expression when I did that! I think they thought that I wouldn’t yell in my good manners and they could get away with everything.

To spare you the details, after my yelling, the parents finally faced their responsibility and started on activities that kept their children out of other guests’ hairs. During my remaining stay of 5 days, I saw them playing with the kids either in the pool or on the beach and making sand castles in the mornings and evenings.

The most astounding moment was when they rounded up all the kids of the hotel and held a drawing competition. I never thought them to be that imaginative. And thinking along those lines, now I wonder why did they ignore their children in the first place?

Anyway, I wish all parents understand that their children are their responsibility. Even when they are on vacation, they need to arrange for the activities that keep their children occupied and happy, so that people around them too can enjoy their own vacation.

This post was written for Teddy Travelogues campaign in association for