This is a pic from the famous hindi serial ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’ aired on STAR Plus everyday at 9:30. I did watch it for a couple of months, and then went back to my usual no-TV mode. In fact, the serial became so monotonous that it was quite easy.
So, what’s this post about? I have lived with my in-laws for most part of my 7-odd years of marriage. So, that means Saanvi was with her grand parents 100% of the time. How easy or difficult is it to raise kids in a joint family? The below is just my observation based on what I’ve experienced and they might not necessarily hold good for you. Please treat it as another ‘good-read’ only taking away if there is anything worth.
1. YOUR kid is YOUR kid. I cannot empathize this enough. No matter if you are working, at home or whatever – once the kid comes into your life, they are your ( and your partner’s) responsibility. NOT YOUR IN-LAWS. They might look after the kid when you are gone, but their job of raising kids is DONE. Take that responsibility. Always have this thought fore front.
2. NEVER expect PEOPLE to change BECAUSE you now have KID at home. Enough SAID. We all know that kids are master emulators and mimic everyone at home. So, sometimes it’s worrying on the kind of things they might pick up from different members of the family. Although the worry is a real one, it doesn’t help to ask someone to change their habits because a toddler is watching them day in and out. Instead, always encourage people to do things their way – ALWAYS. I have read and observed that parents, if they give enough time are the biggest influencers no matter what the kid does or stays with most of the day.
3. TEACH kids ADJUSTMENT : As said above, when different people in family have different temperaments, your toddler is busy observing how you react to them, and will emulate the same – towards the family members no matter what gyaan you preach them. So, always lead by example. When they see you adjusting to things and having empathy towards other family members in the house, they will do the same.
4. LET THEM get PAMPERED : This was one tough lesson for me, personally. Saanvi was the first grand child after their kids, and my in-laws go wayyy out of their way to pamper her. I thought that she might get spoiled and will not listen to me. After few arguments here and there, I finally realized that she is one of the lucky girls in this era to get so much love and attention from her grand parents. But, what to do with the tantrums that followed? I firmly laid down 1 ground rule that no one in the house is supposed to break. Read on it in the next.
5. KEEP your GROUND RULE intact : When Saanvi started showing tantrums due to her toddler age, and the pampering at home, I waited patiently until my patience well completely dried up. Then a clear rule emerged – when she throws tantrums, NO ONE will reach out and pacify her. When I try to discipline her ( which is once in 3 months), NO ONE will cut me short and she CANNOT run around to people in the home. It was met with hell lot of resistance at home, and that I was excessively reacting for a 3 year old. I cannot thank myself enough for laying those ground rules. Now, everyone has adjusted to it,including Saanvi.
6. DON’T INSIST on DO IT ALL for your kid : While I look after Saanvi’s most of the things when I’m home, there are lot of activities which she enjoys doing with my in-laws and sis-in-law. When you are tuned into your kid, you realize these things in an instant. For Saanvi, all the mornings and afternoons are on me, while the evenings she looks out for other family members. I give her enough time and the kind of time she wants with each member of the family. If you are doing your job of a mom/dad right, they will only come back to you again and again looking for the endless support and love.
These are the rules I live by. What are your rules?
Have a good day and keep rocking!!