Why do we have children ?
Columns

Why do we have children ?

April 27, 2017

Very often people wonder why do we have children? Is it to carry on the family’s name or to raise children to take care of us in old age? The reason for having children is both to give and to appreciate. We should not ask for perfection in our children, neither should we expect them to win credits to honour the family nor should we want them as an insurance for old age…

By N.K.A. Ballal, Retd. Sr. Vice-President, ITDC

I admire those parents who are able to forge extremely strong and close bonds with their children when they were young and yet they know when to let go in a timely and appropriate manner when the children have grown up. Taking care of and raising children and then letting go of them are parents’ basic and mandatory duties. A parent- child relationship is not a type of relationship that is permanently with the parents being in control.

It is a special and profound relationship brought about by fate; we must not let the child feel deprived or lacking when they were young and neither should we let them feel stifled when they have grown up. The role of parents is a journey of love and wisdom. Not only in one’s role as parents, but also in life there are many moments that we need to understand when to advance and retreat.

Very often people wonder why do we have children? Is it to carry on the family’s name or to raise children to take care of us in old age?

Finally, I found a very touching answer: the reason for having children is both to give and to appreciate. We should not ask for perfection in our children, neither should we expect them to win credits to honour the family nor should we want them as an insurance for old age.

We should only ask for them to be healthy and to let us have the chance to walk with them through this journey of life in this beautiful world.

READ ALSO  Who will be the King and who will be the King-maker ?

A simple narration by  a friend of mine, Sarasa from Bengaluru, who runs an old age home.

Coming back to the basic question: Why do people  crave for children?   A  friend  of mine jocularly told me that people  have children to save their marriages !  When you think about this,  it is partially true too.  Children are the catalyst on which the conversations and actions of elders revolve for several years and then the  second child   follows and so the institution of  marriage continues without any hiccups.

In India, of course it is: “Putra prema, which still exists in spite of the increased awareness and education. The  lopsided sex ratio  in several States is the prime example of such a practice which exists even in this 21st century. Equal share in property  is only  in paper. The son gets the father’s surname and the dynasty continues.

One of the prime reasons given for the bonding between the mother and the child is supposed to be the pain of the child birth. Both my daughters had their deliveries abroad and it was a painless experience. Does it mean that their bonding is anything less than their counterparts in India? Why is that the doctors in India insist on painful deliveries when a painless alternative is available in the form of a spinal injection? I have asked this of several doctors and no credible answer was forthcoming.

Each one of us have our own reasons for having a child. For some it is tradition, for some to carry the name of the family forward, for some they beget children because everybody else does it and for some it is  the bliss of becoming a mother and father. But having brought them to this world it is our duty to give them the best of whatever we have. The problem arises when we start  having  expectations from  our  children. Every one  want their children to be Einstein or Abdul Kalam. Is it possible ? Of course, not. Is it possible to choose our children? IQ or colour? Of course not, it is destined. Ask an expectant  mother. They all pray for a healthy child but even then sometimes fate wills otherwise. Still is the love for the child anything less if the child is not healthy? The ideal situation is when we become their friend, philosopher and guide. With the right care and love, make them good human beings, self-disciplined.

READ ALSO  Rat race, is it worth it?

I am not a follower of the western concept where the children are left to fend for themselves after 18, but I am not  for the typical Indian system too where children are pampered sometimes even after their marriages. A balance has to be  found which blends both systems and  brings  out the best for the children. The whole system of “saas bahu” stories are built on the premise  that the mother does not want to  “let go” her hold on her son even after his marriage. Typical of business and political families. They  pray and even try to bribe the gods with huge offerings to ensure that they beget sons to take care of their businesses and political empires. The patriarch of the family does not let go the control of the business till his death and deliberately they do not give professional  education  to  their  sons to ensure they stay put in the family business.

Recently I had  been to Vishranthi, the old age home and an orphanage and was appalled to see some 4-month-old healthy babies left in the dustbins. When one is not in a position to take care of their  offsprings, why bring them to this world ?  No answers?

Ultimately what is that we want? Are we not happy to see our children grow up, be happy and pass on the same values we gave them to their offsprings?  We came alone to this world and we have to learn to walk alone. If by chance our children because of our upbringing want to walk with us hand-in-hand, in the sunset years, we should feel  blessed. “Let go.”

[[email protected]]

ABOUT

Mysuru's favorite and largest circulated English evening daily has kept the citizens of Mysuru informed and entertained since 1978. Over the past 39 years, Star of Mysore has been the newspaper that Mysureans reach for every evening to know about the happenings in Mysuru city. The newspaper has feature rich articles and dedicated pages targeted at readers across the demographic spectrum of Mysuru city. With a readership of over 2,50,000 Star of Mysore has been the best connection between it's readers and their leaders; between advertisers and customers; between Mysuru and Mysureans.