NB: This is the first of two parts.
Children do not come with a manual; says every parent there is. It’s either you make them or you break them, the choice is yours. That used to be true, and to a certain extent, it still is. However, children are given options from as early as during their toddler years, and slowly, they develop into this thinking and rational being who can make choices. I guess it is safe to say, that they (children) too will have a say in how they want to be. We always tend to give our children a ‘free pass’ because they’re still young. In my opinion, there is always an appropriate reprimand regardless of age.
Back in the day (during my time, at least), it was “cool” to be rebellious, to break the rules, and to not have a relationship with your parents beyond allowance. I was not immuned, I got there too, but contained. I did not reach the part where I packed my bags and spent the night at a friend and came back home after a couple of days, with my tail between my legs. It was the trend and everyone was doing it. We did not have the best home, I would have loved to try running away back then, but in my mind, I was determined to hold it together so I can finish school on time, move out of our house and do whatever the hell I want to. The thing is, I was 14 or 15 and the people around me were doing just that, hence, were the “cool kids”, and I wasn’t. Or so I thought. Some 12 years later, I smile when I look back. I was not carried away so I did not become the lost lamb my father would have looked for.
These days, I see my nieces, nephews and my brother, who are all at ‘that age’ and are cool with being non-rebellious and enjoy their parent/s company and are openly affectionate to them. Parents too, are starting to adapt to the changes of time – gone are the days where fathers should only work while mothers raise the children. I do not know if I have lived long enough to see the transition of the stereotyped ‘cool guy’ from (I know it sounds sexist) a hardworking (even worse, lazy) but womanizing and beer-drinking pain in the ass to the recent ‘coolness’ when a guy is hardworking, a hands-on father and a monogamous partner. And with women, it has slowly been a thing in the past when they used to be known as the nagging, overbearing, zero-career beings to these full time homemakers/mothers while at the same time juggling a full time career. These are welcome changes in time, and I see it every single day.
It makes me overwhelmingly happy that this has become our standard of “what’s cool”. And that society has adapted along with the rest of us. Negativism is being loudly discouraged as well as indifference – and that everyone is as responsible as anyone else – young and the not-so-young, parents and children, husband and wife, etc.
P.S. I hope to see more young adults being openly affectionate to their parents – it’s a really cool thing to do.