Last weekend my niece returned from her long summer break. She had been to her maternal aunts. Most of us when we were kids, desperately waited for our exams to get over so that we can have a long holiday at our granny’s house.
I love spending time with kids (which I suppose you all might have noticed by now). After dinner I usually hear their everyday stories and today it was about how they enjoyed their holidays? What all they did? Which new game she learnt from her cousins? What special did granny cook for you?
She shares with such intricate details that I am totally left mesmerized. Apart from playing with the pets, eating out, understanding how to play new board games, sucking on those juicy mangoes and sleeping late, I noticed how kids define relationships to us.
Jenny (my niece) was sharing about how long were the hair of her uncle’s daughter. But the way she started to explain it to me goes like this. “My sister has very long hair. See my hair, aren’t they getting longer?” I smiled and agreed to her. Did you ever observed how your kids address their siblings? Kids will always address them as their brother or sister and never as ‘Cousin’ brother or sister. The word ‘Cousin’ never belonged to their dictionaries until they heard from you. They are over joyed when they tell their friends that they have so many brothers and sisters to protect them. Again, unless their friends tell them, “Stupid, they are your cousin’s, not real brother and sister. Jenny you only have one real sister.” That moment their brain is stuck to this word. Still unaware of its meaning, they come to you to get enlightened. After this the whole sweetness of the relationship starts tasting a sudden pinch of sourness.
Just like society has bifurcated all humans into religion, caste, creed and color they add a word cousin to elaborate relationships. Till now all they knew was, what all is tangible is real. But no, relationships have a sub head too ‘Real’ and ‘Cousin’. It was rightly said in the movie ‘3 Idiots’, that grades create divide. But we divide everything that we possibly can. It has become our habit. We have started appreciating handful in everything rather than wholehearted. But don’t spoil your kids with such beliefs. Don’t do this to your little ones. Let them be free to understand what a healthy relationship means. Don’t ask them to be friends only with the rich or upper middle class and not with children below par. If you’ll provide them with thumb rules all the time, they’ll lose curiosity and they’ll become more judgmental.
These days you’ll notice more couples are getting divorced than getting married. Are your kids soon going to get a new word in their dictionary which would be, ‘Cousin Father’ or ‘Cousin Mother?’
Think about it!
Keep it healthy.
Make them healthy.