If you are a young boy or girl reading this you just mentally visualised this scene and if you are a parent your just about scandalised with the title.
I’ve been taught from my earliest years by my parents and subsequently been scolded and given the occasional tap on the bottom till I was about 6 to make sure I understood my mistake and I sure did. For whatever it is worth I think I’ve turned out above average as a person and the full credit goes to my parents.
However, the other day I was met with Modern Day Parenting and I was shell shocked at what I was witnessing live. I saw a young lad aged not more than 12 on a two wheeler start the vehicle and move out of the society gates. I had never seen him before nor was he a part of our society. I was about to stop him thinking it was quite possible that he had sneaked out with the keys of the vehicle as most naughty children would so that he would confess this misdemeanour. I never made it that far because a minute later I saw his “mother” come out from the other end of the building and say, Beta please bread bhi le aana! (Son, get the bread too.) He happily sped away with the money in tucked in his shirt pocket.
I may not have been as appalled with the boy as with his mother. However, I couldn’t correct the child because it wasn’t the child who was at fault at all. It was the mother who had given him this freedom in excess.
The third incident worth sharing at this point is of a little girl aged 10 whose mother stood talking to me after a book launch some months ago. Her complaint, “My daughter just doesn’t listen to me. She wanted to get a Nike bottle for school and she made sure that she got it when we went to get her sports stuff.”
The price of that water bottle; 850/- INR. When I asked her why she didn’t stop the child, her immediate response was, “She goes out of control!”
All these instances have made me ask some simple questions : How can we blame the current generation of children of behaving brash if we ourselves are to blame? Am I to believe that children are getting out of hand or is the problem really somewhere else?
Are we so engrossed in earning and making ends meet that we have forgotten to erase the line of discipline and understanding just so our kids are happy? Are we starting to become slack as teachers and parents in correcting our kids.
The law says no corporal punishments but it hasn’t stopped parenting from functioning correctly nor has it stopped parents or teachers from correcting their children from doing the wrong.
If I meet the lady again I will definitely talk to her and ask her how she has the courage to play with the life of her young son.
This post is for the significant part of the population of parents who have lost their connect with their children. It’s not too late. Giving in to every whim and fancy of the child will have you both crying at the end of it.
Love is shown in a million ways; stooping to your children’s adamance is not one of them.