In the Persian poetry, human development has an analogy with seed plants, which with care, will grow to trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, and vines.
Flower life is considered short; yet, the beauty creates a deep impact and it depends on a good soil. To raise this tall, stable and flowering tree, it needs a nurturing soil and a caring gardener while nature has to provide for the sufficient amount of sun shine and water.
In raising an independent, happy, and healthy child, we do follow the same concept. However, there are always exceptions depending on the existence of that “good soil.”
Considering human development, our child needs a sense of belonging to their communities, plenty of love, attention, and hope that comes with sun shine of good parenting.
It is obvious that our children need stable adults too. With combination of many factors our children will be able to cope with the constant changes in any given environment. We are hopeful that our children will become responsible adults that will help their communities in their unique ways.
The comparison between human life and the green life tells us about the role of the parent and the gardener.
However this beautiful formulation does not match our Iranian reality. Our families are on the run all the time. We are immigrating. We are moving, searching, seeking, reaching out, hiding, fleeing, changing, asking, and arguing all the time. We are dealing with huge number of issues concerning our home country, our identity, our hopes and dreams for a safe future, and the human right issues back home. We are connected and disconnected. Stability, safety, and connection to the nurturing soil are out of reach for many of our families. Immigration has become an integral part of our Iranian life. Our families back home are constantly worked against to raise those hopeful and creative children that they dream for. For newcomers sake, it is important to realize the cultural baggage that each family carry with.
Our children and youth see all this ambiguity, anxiety, and rapid changes. Our children and youth are with us when we are doing all these things and when all these things happening to us. Immigration hit us hard at times, without knowing.
Despite all the odds, our Iranian families are resilient, strong, and brave to offer their best in helping their children become something they never were.
When it comes to parenting, it is clear that our children are impacted by our Iranian life that is constantly influenced by horrible situation we are facing right now.
For that reason we have to appreciate our children more and let them find their ways in life more independently. We have to remember that our immigration, although it is being done for the sake of children, still we parents are making the decisions. Do not put that on your children shoulder saying that it was because of them you made all these sacrifices. You had a say and children did not, in most cases at least.
For that reason we should be concerned of our thousands of young children who are leaving our home country Iran, that nurturing soil that is for now contaminated, with the reasons that are unknown to them, yet known to us as adults.
With the recent wave of families fleeing Iran, because of the worsening human conditions, there is this huge concern about the broken attachments that will lead to much pain and suffering.
Children deserve and need explanations in everything that is happening around them. Knowing will alleviate unnecessary pain.
Note: This article was also published in EzineArticles May 12, 2010 by this author.