Parents are always on their toes, making sure we make the right decisions in life. Sometimes they overwhelm us but I'm so thankful to mine that they let me be my own person. And while I grew up as the times changed, so did they. 

*Feeling lucky*

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They keep telling me, I've grown so much. Sometimes they like the fact that I talk wisely too. But what I never told them is that they've grown up with me too. And I am thankful for that.

I remember when I was little and wanted to play outside in the park with all the boys, and hang out with them all the time, they let me be. In spite of grandparents and neighbours telling them things like,’Ladkiyon ko ghar ke andar rehna chahiye’, they didn't let them dictate their parenting preferences. I understand there was undue pressure on them from everywhere but they didn't let it get to them.

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They grew up getting scolded and spanked for doing something wrong because that's what the idea of parenting was at the time. But soon enough after I started growing up, they realised that there are other ways to deal with problems and hitting me wasn't one of them.

Instead of spanking me, they grounded me. Instead of yelling at me, they gave me a task to do. The generation before them would have never considered these measures but they adapted to a new parenting style and it worked. It worked so well. For all of us.

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I know it wasn't as easy as it sounds. The first time I saw some hesitation on their face was when I asked if I could invite some friends over - girls and boys both. But I saw them both discussing it with each other and eventually agreeing to my request. 

But don't think I didn't realise how big a step this was for them. They understood that times were changing and in order for me to get educated about the world as a whole, interacting with everyone was important, even boys.

They adapted to my generation without forcing me to be just like them because they knew that would be unfair.

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And it's not like they knew everything like the back of their hand. They learnt new things as they were introduced to them and also let go of old ideas that didn't fit in today's world.

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My friends’ parents thought they gave me too much freedom but what they never understood is that freedom was mine to take. They didn’t treat me like an 8-year-old when I was 18 and I am so thankful to them for that.

When I told them I have a boyfriend at the age of 16, it came as a shock to them. We had our fair share of arguments. They thought I was "too young" to fall in love. I hated them. They probably didn't like me a lot either in my rebel years.

But they soon overcame the idea that any relationship needed to ultimately culminate in marriage. That their daughter could fall in love and out of love too.

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They let go of the things that were taught to them in a different time and adapted to the new-age world for me.

I saw my friends at war with their parents because there was no communication. But I considered myself so lucky because all we did and still do is communicate with each other.

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Since then, I’ve known that it's not just us kids who mature over time, our parents do too.

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All they wanted was for me to be as open-minded as I could because that's not a liberty they had. 

When my friends were struggling to take permission from their parents to go on that Mumbai-Goa trip in class 12th, they realized as a teen, it was an important life experience for me to have. They of course gave their list of rules to follow and kept checking on me.

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As I grew up, they grew up with me and that’s exactly how a parent-child relationship should be. 

"Change is constant" – something they always told me to follow.

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They aced it all when I asked them to let me go to a college in another state. My friends fought battles to go to co-ed colleges and they on the other hand didn't even want me to stay in my hometown. I'm sure it pained their heart to let go of me. But they took that difficult step. For me.

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They wanted me to explore the possibilities that lied outside the city I grew up in and I am so thankful to them for that because it has made the person I am today. 

They knew that as the times changed, so would my preferences and they had no problem with that because when I was maturing, so were they.

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If I had to keep going, I could write a book on all the things they've ever done for me but today, I want to thank them for growing up with me. If I didn't have them to guide me, life would have been very different. I'm glad that's not the case.