Be as shabby as you like when you're shopping for groceries or running errands. But when you go to your child's school, dress up.
Ambika, mother of 7-year-old Sanaa, cannot get over her daughter's material hang-ups. "I was wearing a perfectly fine pair of leather slippers when I went to pick up Sanaa's report card, and as soon as we were in
the car, she turned on me in anger, and asked me how I could come to
her school wearing these slippers. 'You should have worn your silver
sandals instead,' Sanaa wailed. What is happening to the children today? We were never so materialistic!"
Ambika tried to explain to Sanaa that such things don't matter, but Sanaa was adamant.
"That's just too bad," says Ambika. "Sanaa
will have to learn to accept people as they are, and that she shouldn't
care what her friends think. It's not good to be so influenced by peer
Perhaps Ambika needs to rethink her philosophy.
Although the wisdom in what she is saying cannot be denied, taking the
trouble to dress well for her daughter will not hurt her. Wouldn't you
like your daughter to be well groomed when she comes out with you? Many
a parent spends time dressing up their children,
making them wear their best clothes and making sure their hair is in
place when taking them out with family or friends. Why shouldn't your
child expect the same from you?
are concerned, little things matter far more than the big picture. It
doesn't matter if you are classically beautiful and men go wild over
your almond eyes and chiseled bone structure. In your child's eyes,
none of that counts. What counts is how well you dress. Don't wear torn
shoes and shabby clothes to your child's school. Make an effort. You
may think it's superficial, but you're dealing with children
here. Don't expect them to have a lot of depth. It's not realistic, and
it's not fair for you to expect your child to overlook the fact that
you're wearing Hawaii chappals because you love her to pieces and are
very intelligent and that should be enough.
Be as shabby as you like when you're lounging
around, shopping for groceries or running errands. Wear what you want
to work, although you will probably need to dress formally if you are
in a job that requires client interaction. But when you go to your child's school, take the trouble to dress up.
Many parents, especially with an intellectual bent of mind, don't care
how they look or how they dress, and they don't think it should matter
to their child. They lay little importance to these things, and shrug
off a child's request that they carry a better bag or wear nicer
True, some children
don't give any importance to how their parents look, but if your child
does, then don't try and convince her otherwise. Just because dressing
well to impress your child's friends isn't a big deal in your eyes, it
holds a great deal of importance to your child. Don't dress up for yourself, dress up
for your child. If you can't do this for her, then don't expect her to
drop everything and come running to you when you need her. Many children, who grew up ashamed of their parents, are not very close to them.
In addition, if you think about it, it takes so little to make your
child proud of you. You don't need to be a hotshot career woman for her
to brag about you. Even if you make a delicious sandwich your child
will be proud. And if all it takes a sassy pair of sandals, put them
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- The Indiaparenting Team