The Grand Home!
Pakistan has a culture of breeding joint family structures that are unique probably to the subcontinent only.
Of course most of the people living in the Zoo we call a joint family system yearn to be free and independent and it takes quite a few decades of experience and experiment before we truly understand the value behind it!
I have some very definite opinions about the system and why the integrity of it should be preserved but today I am writing to talk about kids and the houses of their Grandparents. This topic came to mind because just this weekend past I had my niece and nephew camp over at our place and it was a pleasure. Being the one and only puphoo and the oldest among my siblings the kids were invited over to spend the weekend with me and my daughter. My nephew who is seven years of age has been camping over and been our movie buddy since he was four. However the little one my niece has just turned four and is quite a ferocious character. It was essentially the first time that both of them were over together.
The one thing that prompted me to write today was how kids who camp over at their grandparents think they have access to a parallel nirvana worthy universe and the positive role that it can play in their future.
Since my dad was in the army my time at either of my grandparents’ house was infrequent and fraught with the presence of my parents and a blur of annual holiday activities. On the other hand kids who come and live with their grandparent’s house for short or long intervals are blessed with the attention of elders who have nothing better to do but to lavish their progeny with love, attention and lots of positive and constructive advice.
This is something that usually is tougher for parents in general as they have so much going on at all times that constant and consistent attention is difficult for even the most patient ones to manage.
Grandparents on the other hand have had decades to go over their parenting skills and often at an advanced age welcome to rectify the mistakes they have made earlier by embracing patience and love and giving freely of what they have most: time and unconditional love.
The second really awesome advantage that kids have is the freedom to ask away and wish for whatever they like from their grandparent’s and aunts and uncles. This they can do without the formality or good manners instilled in kids that bars them asking away for anything that catches their fancy from anyone other than their parents.
During the process they are also exposed to newer ways of parenting by their aunts and uncles which appear novel to the camper and makes them more responsive which in turn goes to making lasting and positive changes to their personality.
It is common for us to, in our ignorance, be upset with various sections of our family and that often results in us barring our children from the homes of these beloved relations who can bring diversity and happiness to the lives of our kids. My advice: don’t do it!
Blood is thicker than water and in the end you will forgive your beloved for whatever transgression might have transpired between you. In the meantime your kids can lose out on some precious memories that is their right. To say nothing of having the chance to strengthen ties with cousins who can be the best of best friends in later life.
Fight away if you must but let them firmly enjoy the perks of being born to the Pakistani way of life!