Thiruvananthapuram: Parents should remember that providing money for children alone is not the most important thing but finding time to spend with them is much more valuable, author and Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murthy told an audience at the four-day Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters (MBIFL) here.
Murthy, whose daughter Akshata is married to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, said parents should make efforts to understand the pressure today’s children face and assure them of family support. ”Today, the economic situation has changed and the family structure fractured in a way that children hardly get time to spend with their grandparents like in the olden days. No one has the time to sit with the children and talk to them,” she said.
”Do not compare your child with another saying ‘he or she got better grades in the exam’. Every child is unique and they have their own talent.” Recalling how her mother used to make her write 25 lines about anything and everything that happened but never insisted her siblings to do the same, she said it used to make her angry but finally decided to go along with the instructions.
”Years later after I became an author, I asked my mom about it and she said she realised I had the ability to express things but was lazy. So, she made me do it as a routine,” Murthy recalled.
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Parents and teachers should learn ways to instil values like truthfulness and integrity to build their character. Instead of conducting sermons, they should do it through stories and examples that they will remember later too, she advised the crowd that consisted mainly of parents, teachers and school children.
She asked parents not to get flustered when their kids made mistakes during exams as that is natural. ”By getting angry at them for making a mistake, you only add to their pressure. Make them understand it is normal occurrence and make them confident about their ability to face such adversities,” Murthy said.
Replying to a query from a school student about relying on modern technology to deal with academic and peer pressure, the author said in most cases the mother is the best adviser and friend one can get.
”You can put a price on almost everything else, but a mother’s love is priceless,” she pointed out.
Murthy, who along with her husband Narayana Murthy features in the list of the wealthiest in the country, advised parents not to pamper their children too much and avoid buying too many goodies like sweets and expensive mobile phones.
”Gifts are something you look forward to and if you get it too often, it will deprive you of the pleasure,” she opined.