Friday, April 8

My First Lecture

Sometime in the past month I had to give my first lecture to a teenager. For obvious reasons I can't really go into the details, so please don't ask and please be extra vigilant if you decide to comment.

Now naturally hyper-critical as I am, I actually found this whole thing quite difficult. I had it all in my head beforehand but you can never really rehearse things like these since you can't tell how the person being lectured to will react. And then there was the niggle that it wasn't actually my place to say anything (I'm too young for this!) Add to these things the fact that I might have been a bit nervous and not particularly articulate at the time and you end with what I thought was quite the ineffective attempt at disciplining.

Growing up, I always thought that my parents were the pinnacle of development and principles, as I'm sure most kids did about theirs. You don't realise until you have to take their roles and responsibility how human they are - that the whole thing was a learning experience for them too. Did they feel as ineffectual as I did? Looking back, the similarities are there. Ok, the age differences and relationships were different in the two cases, but the issues are the same.

I guess the lesson here is that parenting, growing up, and more generally, personal development is ongoing and since none of us would have done it before our first time, mistakes might be made. Heck, I can't ever see myself as being an effective parent. And that's ok - the human being has an amazing ability to adapt and step to the mark when it's demanded of it. And adapt it will; I'm sure that the ongoing challenges that my parents faced while raising my brother and me makes them different parents now than the ones they were when I was born.

And of course the mistakes may not be as bad as you think, and could even be the opposite. Maybe I was effective and the recipient of my first lecture will change, or at the very least consider the points I made. Either way I will be keeping a close eye on them, revisiting the whole thing if necessary and hopefully in a more effective way for both of us.

Heck, I could do with the practise.