Many teenagers would fondly remember playing ghar-ghar as little kids, when parenting and running a family seemed to be a very easy thing to do. However, in real life, parenting comes with numerous responsibilities. Raising a child is not a small or easy task. With an increase in awareness on parenting and the related duties, teenagers today seem to be having a differing perspective on parenting in future. We spoke to teenagers from Mumbai colleges to find out their thoughts about parenting.
Until it came to looking after his brother eleven years younger to him, 19-year-old Krissh Khedekar never really thought he could deal with children. He has always been fond of kids, but would wonder earlier whether he could pull off the responsibility well when the time came. However, now, he says he is rather confident about parenting a child a few years down the line, all thanks to his experience with his younger brother. “I share a great bond with my brother and have been taking good care of him. So, I don’t think parenting my own children would be too difficult for me,” he says.
Like Krissh, Advait Maduskar, 18, loves children and most certainly wants to be a father. His desire, he says, is somewhere deeply rooted to the kind of childhood he has had and is influenced by his relationship with his parents. “I have been raised and nurtured with great love and care and I wish to experience fatherhood myself,” says the engineering student.
Nineteen-year-old management student Aakash Jhaveri also dreams of becoming an “ideal father” a decade on. Though of course parenting isn’t exactly on his mind at present, he is sure he would be ready to take it up sometime in the future. “I know parenting is a huge responsibility, but 10 years from now, I think I’ll be in a position to parent a child,” he says.
Shreya Jaokar finds children cute, but states she is unwilling to compromise on her ambitions because of kids. “I don’t mind taking up the responsibility of a child, but I have my goals to accomplish in life. With a child, there won’t be much freedom to do it all,” says the 18-year-old economics student.
Harshi Shah’s story is slightly different. She did wish to be a mother once and had had conversations about building a family with her boyfriend. However, a change in circumstances left an indelible mark on her, altering her plans entirely. And now, she shares, she doesn’t believe in either marriage or having kids anymore. “When I thought about it back then, it actually gave me immense warmth. It excited me, but it is no longer the same now,” she says.
Eighteen-year-old liberal arts student Sanika Govekar finds kids a nuisance. “They look good,” she says, “but that, in my opinion, is no reason to like them.” She says she prefers mothering a dog than a child. Sahil Parsekar, a 20-year-old political science student, agrees with Sanika. Though he believes in the institution of marriage and plans to settle down with his partner, he isn’t very keen on having a child. “Kids are really annoying,” he states.
While some appear to be clear about their decision on parenting in the future, many seem to be least bothered and wish to go with the flow instead. Since parenting is a big decision, some wish to take a call depending upon the situation they would find themselves in in the future.
“Frankly, I am unsure,” confesses psychology student Tanisha Mayekar, 19. “I have been told by many, including my own mother, that parenting is harder than pregnancy and child birth. But I might think of parenting a child in my 30s,” she says. “I am very sure I don’t wish to get into parenting before crossing my twenties,” she clears.
Tanay Agarwal, 18, echoes Tanisha’s sentiment. “It depends upon the kind of situation I’ll be in in the future, and I don’t even wish to think about it now.”
Much like Tanay, CA aspirant Yash Bhatt, too, prefers focusing on the present and going with the flow. Though he is unsure about parenting in the future, he thinks he might become a parent because “in India, you have to marry as it is a way of life. Also, according to culture, it is necessary to marry and have kids”.