A sixteen year old slit the throat of a second standard kid to get a holiday, while another trigger-happy teen shot the Principal because she scolded him in front of other students.
Yes, yes! True it’s the social media to blame – you tube, internet, television – the list is long. But while we are busy pointing fingers, do we realise, that we have three fingers pointing back at us? Is only the new age and social media to be blamed?
The fingers that point at us become invisible for some reason. And these are the ones that point at the glaring faux pas that we, new age parents, are committing while raising our children. By making them the most important part of our life.
Whether the reason is single child families or some other sociological deep-rooted cause; it cannot undermine the one big reason for so much upset amongst young children; ‘we’ the parents!
From the time we hold the bundle of joy in our hands we set ourselves on an automatic rote. The BEST is what we want to give. We want things to be right. Not the instinctive “right” or experience wise “right”. It has to be the theoretically correct, psychologically balanced approach in every aspect of their life. So, every single movement of the new born is dissected under the microscope. As they grow, we open a world to them where they are the most important being. And this gradually fills them up with the notion that the world begins and ends at them.
We are so busy trying to give our best that we do not realise that the child is growing in a way where he cannot accept sharing the space with anyone else.
Would the scenario be different if the child who shot the Principal took her scolding the “right” way? Did he need to feel angry or resentful? Did this happen because he was not taught to be tolerant and that he can be reprimanded by authority if he goes wrong. How was it so easy for him to take his father’s gun and walk out of the house? No supervision at all?
We were never given any overt expressions of assurance by our parents. There were no parenting blogs or theories for them to follow. Yet it’s true that our parents very naturally and subtly gave us an environment in which we grew up to accept and adjust much better than today ‘s kids. We were much more secure and oblivious of the ugliness of life.
No way am I denying the importance of supervision of the child, her emotional health and wellbeing. In that aspect, we are perhaps, more knowledgeable and hands on than our parents.
But humbly and subtly our parents made a world for us which not only accommodated people but made us more tolerant and understanding towards various situations. We were able to adapt and compromise easily.
Why then, are we restricting our child ‘s world to her own? Why do we have to be helicopter parents protecting them from reality and building a world around them where they are the almighty.
Won’t such children get angry at a simple scolding or slit the throat of someone to postpone exams? Is that not because their world is limited to themselves?
Is it time to adopt conventional and so called old parenting methods where a parent could scold a child without the fear of the traumatic psychological effect it will have on her? Where they taught children tolerance, accommodation and even how to compromise. Where being aggressive, competitive and rebellious was channelized constructively…
Perhaps…just like cooking in aluminium and iron vessels are trending today, old school of parenting might make it to the blogs and books alike.
Written by: Pragya Bharati. A freelance writer with 27 years of writing experience. She started her career with the popular magazine ‘Femina’.