How does animal learns to nurture its offspring? How does a bird train its chicks to build nest? How does a fish know it has to hatch its own eggs? Where do they get that child rearing drive to take care of its progeny? Of all, how do they assess their descendants are ready to live alone?
Do they also read parenting books, talk to their friends, and learn from its folks? Absolutely NO! Then how?
For every species, it is a natural instinct and human has an innate ability to love and feel compassion, these coupled with solid common sense or acquired skill is the way to good parenting. This beautiful feeling of parenting doesn’t happen in a day, when the baby is born and given in the hands of a mother, but rather a slow and steady process with lot of trial and errors, and a lifelong learning process. No doubt.
Today my thoughts are not on how to obtain parenting skills, as we either did something because our parents did it, or we did it because our parents did not do it and we wished they could have, or we didn’t do it because our parents did it and we wished they could not have.
But my question is “Why do humans never acquired the most important parenting skill of letting go?” – Humans are notable for spending longtime in each and every stage of childhood and adolescence compared with any other species.
Bird & Mammals quickly equip the younger ones with survival tips, warn the dangers, teach to hunt/ find food and help understand territories. Young adults old enough and are “ready” to move out are encouraged to stay on their own.
Humans create more dependent childhood, and when these adults are free to face the world they are anxious and find it difficult to adapt. With nuclear family this concern has elevated in the recent years.
Research shows parenting goals include: ensuring good health & safety, transmitting cultural values, encouraging empathy and respect, preparing children with essential life skills to be productive adults. But there is a huge imbalance today and focus is more towards intellectual development. A person’s success in life is always linked to his academic performance.
Another most common outlook, is emphasis on raising ideal kids, best of all. This is more dangerous as frustration in children starts as early as 4/5 years of age. They are hard-pressed to know everything under the sun and compared with peers & siblings. “Does a dog compare its puppy with another one” or exclaims “That mom dog definitely knows how to handle the puppy “or “what kind of a mother is she? Can’t handle her kid?? “. I don’t speak dog’s language nor understand, but I bet they don’t do that comparison!
As humans we are just being used by nature as a channel to reproduce! Does this mean we have all rights on them and can influence their decisions?
Readers might think, assessment with animal parenting to be crazy. I only can’t understand “why not”?
Since my childhood I have been taught to learn good things from other people, now I realize it doesn’t have to be always people, learn from nature, plants, animals and any other creature, everything teaches us something or the other. And today I am fascinated by the way, animal’s parent! It is with wonder I see a bird bringing worms to hatchlings, or an elephant guarding its baby, or a cub been caressed by a lioness!
The smartest are ones who talk about helicopter, authoritarian, uninvolved parenting etc. but finally digs into trivial things, raising the bar every time with very high expectations, bombarding and pushing to the brim and sadly we hear children committing suicide post their exam results and due to high work pressure.
Do animals commit suicide?
Can we answer this question with our hearts open? Who is the best parent here? Someone helping their young ones to lead an independent life by letting them go at the right time or the “smart and educated” pushy parent driving their children run away from home/ or end their life! The answer is open…
If you are like me trying to connect dots and exploring answers for simple everyday questions, then join me and provide your valuable opinions.
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