Given that Pari (nearly 12 now) has been mostly unschooled (except for an year of kindergarten), she’s had choices always. Choice to eat when she’s hungry. Choice to bathe any time of the day or night! Or, not have bath when she totally didn’t feel upto it. Choice to eat pasta for all three meals. Choice to share her mind with me – the good, the bad, the ugly. Choice to quit a dance/music/any class when it started to feel dull and drab. Growing up in an environment where they have always been their own unique selves, they are finely tuned to their sensitivities – both Pari and Sufiana. They catch people’s vibes in an instant and can make out a sincere greeting over a fake one. Pari will come up to me and share her feelings of been disregarded when another adult walks past without a greeting or eye contact. She never liked to be patted on her head or pinched on her cheeks even as a 2-year old kid. And, things like complimenting somebody to just please the person or trying to make herself extra love-able is not her thing. My girls have a voice of their own. And, their fiercely thinking personas.
So, when our vegan journey started, we could have gone all out saying “you can continue eating all that you were eating before, as much as you were eating before. You have the freedom. It’s your choice”. Or, we could have said, “no you have to stop, this is the only way. We know the old ways were not right.” Honestly, both the approaches would have been lose-lose.