I have a little garden, which I tend to very lovingly; I had a rose plant which had a couple of roses when I bought it and then I waited and waited but no more blooms. I started doubting my gardening skills wondering if I am doing everything right. I did water the plants religiously without missing a day and clipped the branches, added manure at regular intervals and so on. But nothing….
Then one day my dad visits us and sees me watering the plants every day. He tells me that I need to occasionally water the plants on alternate days allowing the roots dry a bit. (At this point of time I have to tell you that he was born with a green thumb, as they say). Needless to say, I reacted with an exaggerated horror on my face. What good is letting the plant dry going to do, except may be kill it? I did know that overwatering potted plants can damage the roots, but letting roots dry a bit was kind-a news to me.
Then it so happened that I couldn’t water the plants for a day as I was out of town and to my surprise, nothing adverse happened to my plants as I expected. They are resilient that way. So this just prompted me to act on my dad’s advice and thought of watering the rose plant on alternate days and see how it goes. Now, the rose plant which didn’t bear a flower for months together under my expert care sprouted five buds all at once and started blooming gloriously in just a week or so since I started the new routine. What do you know!!!! May be this is coincidence or just what the plant needed…No one will ever know.
But I got a wonderful insight from this; a completely radical perspective and I am sure all parents out there will agree…. Somehow the first thing that came to my mind after this occurrence was “children”. Children are just like the rose plant; They sure need love and care and all necessities in life but…and it’s a big BUT, they need it in the right amount to blossom into well-rounded human beings. Anything in excess, even smothering them with too much of your attention to make their life comfortable and too much of amenities, can hinder their growth and incapacitate them to blossom to their fullest potential. We helicopter parents are doing just that, I think.
The logic behind the rose plant mystery is quite simple. Firstly, when constantly watered, roots of the plant won’t be able to breathe and start rotting and secondly, roots need to go in search of water; that’s their purpose and that’s how they grow. Similarly, kids need to learn to yearn for various things at various times; if everything is given in a platter even before they ask for it or as soon as they ask for, then they don’t learn to stretch their roots. Just like the rose plant…