Children – II

In a comment on my post “Children”, Nitika said “I do believe I belong to my parents.” This post is inspired by her comment and is addressed to her.

But of course, children who believe that they belong to their parents are blessed.

My post was addressed to parents dear Nitika. The more parents let go of their children, the more children would want to belong to such parents. The problem arises when parents do not let their children go. This is not the physical letting go that Omar Khayyam talks about, but the morbid attachment that most parents develop for their children even in the latter’s adult life, and the power games that they play with their children.

Let us take the cases of many unhappy marriages of today. Aren’t most cases about the inability of the husband to reconcile his relationship with his wife and the demands put on him by his mother? Or the husband with his wife’s parent/s? I have seen both types of problems and I can assure you that, this is entirely due to the parents’ inability to let the children go and build new lives and form new relationships.

In India particularly, the process of breaking up of the joint family and setting up unitary families is not as complete as in the West, and even where due to paucity of space, such break up does take place, the emotional break up does not fully take place.

When someone as young as you says that you belong to your parents, it is a tribute to your parents. It is however not a tribute if the parents claim that their children belong to them. That is the message that Omar Khayyam conveys, as I understand it.

I salute your parents.


I cannot read any newspaper without some comment on Amy Chua now. My own take on pushing our children or not is well known to my readers.

I just want to revive a memory.

Your children are not your children,

They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.

They come through you, but not from you.

And though they are with you,

they do not belong to you.

Who they become has less to do with who you are,

than who they are.

You may give them your love,

but not your thoughts or values.

By your example, you show a way that is yours,

as they search for theirs.

You are the bow from which your children,

as living arrows, are sent forth.

The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and he bends you with His might,


His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending, in the Archer’s hand,

be steadfastly true to yourself.

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so too does

He love the bow that is strong and stable.”

– Omar Khayyam