When Pepsi had launched the commercial with the jingle Ye Dil Maange More, little would they have known that this would encapsulate the philosophy of the times to come. The ‘more’ has crept into every aspect of our lives. We want more variety in what we eat, we want more embroidery on what we wear, we want more options to choose from in what we buy, we want more channels to choose from in what we watch….and in this throng of options and choices, we are becoming victims of chronic dissatisfaction.
One of the forms this is most visible is in the superlatives that are now expected. It is no longer enough to be told that one is looking nice; it has to be fabulous or awesome. Every time I see a bride in an uncomfortable heavy outfit, grimacing in pain under the weight of her colossal hair-do and bulky jewelry on the most important day of her life, I wonder why she goes through it. When did how she feels become less important than how she looks on her wedding day?
what do you mean
This more has crept into our parenting attitude too. We want our children to get more marks, participate more in activities, win more accolades, study more, pay more attention…and so on and so on. The children are just as afflicted by the more bug. They want more toys, more gifts, more time with Dad, more appreciation from Mom, more friends at birthday party and so on and so forth. In some cases the need for healthy positive strokes has also metamorphosed into a need for constant exaggerated feedback and validation.
A mother recently confided in me that her daughter on being told that her painting is ‘nice’, was very disappointed. She exclaimed – what do you mean nice, isn’t it awesome, amazing, beautiful, brilliant? Maybe the always being surrounded by an eco-system that makes wanting more to be normal, the new normal has become exaggerated for the kids too. I mean how many times have we all experienced and expressed the anxiety of whether we are serving enough dishes for a dinner we are hosting? This ‘more’ has almost become the yardstick of how special our guests may feel, whether it be evaluated by the number of dishes served or any other effort made.
We may need
Though it is hard to say what is normal, since each person’s definition is different. A very fine line exists in helping children explore and find their calling & manifest their potential versus making them obsessed and stuck with the culture of more. So as parents we need to once in a while evaluate how we are stacking up against our own version of normal.
To do that we may need to take a hard look sometimes at our own environment as well as approach. Are we setting up unrealistic targets for ourselves as well as for our kids? Are we raising chronically dissatisfied kids due to an obsession with ‘More’? In the hankering for more this and more that, are we losing out on the possibility to teach our kids to savor the moment, live contended lives? If yes, it is never too late for course correction. But the thing to remember is that we cannot expect children to listen to our advice but ignore our example!
Ye Dil Maange More by
A Spiritually Inspired Coach, Counselor, Artist & Guide, she writes on issues of parenting as well as interpreting traditional wisdom in the modern context. Her work can be accessed on www.annukalra.com
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