Mumbai : POOJA BEDI shares her thoughts and parenting style, while SURABHI RAWAT takes notes…
I’m not a friend to my children. I am their mother; it’s a very specific role that has been assigned… I mean, everybody can be their friend but there has to be one mother and one father, and I take the role of a mother very, very seriously. Having said that, I am me and I am real. So there are lots of boundaries, a lot of spaces where she cannot go, but yet a lot of openness that we share because that’s maybe because of who I am.
But my role, the defined role of that of a parent, is firmly in place. Yes there are many days when I allow them to take my case but then I guess that again is a part of parenting where you say that either our child can feel it and suppress it or the child can feel it and express it. So my point is that my child should feel it and express it.
As a parent, if I had to define it, I think I would be a very responsible parent; I attended to their every need – perhaps not all that fancy but definitely to every need of theirs. I make sure I give them every experience in life. I’m not a controlling parent but yes, there are many boundaries in the sense that if Aalia is out past 12 o’clock in the night then she has to call me every half an hour to say that she is fine; if she has to go out she’ll go out only with our driver. In terms of support I make sure that I’m always there when they need me in every aspect–emotionally, mentally, physically, financially– they are covered and are sorted.
Aalia’s age, which is 17, is very difficult age for parents to deal with. Like in ‘Eff N Bedi’ (their show on YouTube) she does take my case quite a lot and some of them are considered to be slightly rude… (Laughs). But then you know, teenage is difficult and it’s better if she expresses herself and I get to know what’s going on in her head rather than her emotions being caged. And I want that space to be created between us where even if she says something which is upsetting to me I’m able to deal with it and show her that instead of getting angry, which is what most parents do, I would rather ask her ‘Alia, so why do you thing so and so about it?’.So it’s about explaining to the child; it’s not about authority, it’s about sensitivity.