‘Mom, can you please buy me black nail polish?’ asked my sweet 13-year-old daughter. ‘Black nail polish! No way’, said I. ‘Imagine going about with black nails. You will look like a witch and people will think you are a wild child.’ ‘But Mom, nobody bothers about such stuff anymore,’ she said. ‘All my friends wear black nail polish and their parents don’t care.’ ‘I don’t care about your friends or their parents, but in this house you must not wear black nail polish.’ I retorted angrily.
Good in academics and in extra-curricular activities, my daughter was also of an extremely sweet disposition. Although she was a strong willed person and quite an independent thinker, we always got along well, until this point. You must be wondering what’s the great deal about black nail polish. Well, black in my family was quite the dreaded colour, associated with the devil and his doings. Why, my grandmother didn’t even own a single piece of black clothing! Although, by my generation black clothing was accepted, black nail colour was still taboo. Added to this was the Hollywood generated perception where a rebel or wild child is usually portrayed as dressed in dark colours, with black lipstick, black eye makeup and of course black nail enamel!
Well, I stuck to my guns for a few months, until my daughter brought up the topic once again. Only this time she told me that a trivial thing such as black nail polish was not worth damaging our relationship, and that she was fine not wearing black nail enamel if it hurt me so much. This set the bells ringing in my mind. Was it really worth to bring a rift in a relationship over something as silly as black nail enamel? Aren’t we as parents supposed to impart good values such as hard work, honesty and kindness, instead of just sticking on to old superstitions or outdated customs?
Sometimes we need to lose a few battles to win a war. So that’s what I did. I chose to lose the battle and went out and brought my daughter a black coloured nail enamel with added glitter. She was absolutely thrilled and tried it on at once. To tell the truth, it did look quite striking and not at all ugly or witch like as I imagined it to be. Most important however, was the fact that I had won the war- the war of a harmonious parent-child relationship.
Very often, I see parents and children struggling over small, silly and insignificant issues. It may be the choice of clothes, a particular food choice or even the length of their hair. Your daughter may want to cut her hair short, whist your son may want to grow his hair long! Whatever it is, remember it is the core values that are important. Giving in to a few insignificant issues will not make a difference in the long run. Choose your battles wisely. You may lose or win a few battles in your life and in your journey as a parent, but the wise thing to do is to always win the war.
What differences in point of view have you encountered with your children? Do share your stories and experiences below.
About the Author
Mabel M. Jesudian
Mabel M. Jesudian, was teaching Communicative English at a city college, when she discovered the joys of writing for the web. A writer from her school days, she has now turned her hobby into her profession, and specializes in writing blogs and other website related content. With her husband being an avid traveler, she chronicles all her travel escapades, and a few have been published in magazines and newspapers such as Lonely Planet, Outlook Traveler, AutoCar India and Deccan Chronicle. Apart from traveling and writing, her other passions include quilling, crocheting, cooking, baking and most importantly, being a hands-on mom to her teenage daughter.