Parenting Today : Bringing Up or Letting Down??

Last month, I had shared about my concerns for the Teens of today. Today’s post is inspired by Prats’ response to the Teen Talk. He had shared “ I will tell you an instance, I know a couple from an upper middle class family. We were going to a picnic in a large group and that couple has two kids both below 10 yrs of age. The husband and wife were having Breezers, and very casually the kids asked for it and the mom passed it to them for having sips, all under the pretext of “Breezer mein kitna Alcohol hota hai.. almost nothing.”
I was shocked, disturbed, enraged but then they are the parents. In our era we were sure that parents knew the best but today I have my doubts.”

Well, I agree completely. I too believe that our parents definitely knew what was/is best for their children. But the same cannot be said for all the parents of today’s generation. Have come across some gross parenting errors by the New Gen parents…

  • I believe, parents of today should know what games, toys, books and activities are needed for a child’s developmental growth and learning.  This I say, considering there is so much of exposure, awareness, research, discussions, information on a child’s development including prenatal, physical, intellectual, language and social development.  A friend had only guns (of different types…small/big, simple/sophisticated), bows and arrows, sword and even a Hanuman ji ki gada as toys for her kid (and not a single constructive game/toy!!). What shocked me was the role play the kids got into when they were ‘playing’ with these toys.
  • I believe, parents of today know what food a child should eat and when and how… At a lunch party, a mother gets a completely loaded plate of food for herself and the child. Both of them sit and just then the mommy asks, “Baby do you wanna eat gulab jamun?”. Baby says, “Yes!”. So, mommy rushes to get a plate of gulab jamuns. And when the baby takes the first bite of the dessert, Mommy asks again, “Baby, do you wanna eat pappad?”. First gulab jamun instead of rice/chapati with dal/veg and then a pappad with the dessert!!! No, the child had not had lunch earlier!!
  • I believe, parents should stop or deter their child from speaking anything wrong/ill or any misbehaviour. An acquaintance’s 4 year child is a spoilt brat who uses foul language not only with kids but also with the adults around. The parents never tell their child to behave. In fact, I get a feeling that in case they’d make an attempt to correct/stop the child, they themselves would get to hear some unsavoury remarks from their very own child!!
  • I believe, parents should know the aptitude, interest and capabilities of their children and guide/direct them accordingly. Yet another acquaintance make their kids (in class 2 and 4) study as if they are preparing for IAS exams. The parents have themselves become so competitive and their mantra is whatever the kids participate in, they have to excel… even while swimming during the summer vacations. Nothing is fun for their kids, it’s all competition. It’s ‘family in mourning’ time when the kids do not excel in an activity or school test. Wonder, how the kids would turn out when they are in senior classes?
  • I believe, parents have to invest a lot of time in instilling the right habits, etiquettes and even right attitude in a child. It’s very easy to say, ‘he doesn’t likes to share his things or she doesn’t like eating dals (pulses) or my kids can’t sleep early’!! But it takes immense patience and efforts to direct the child in the right direction.
  • I believe, a child needs to be obedient to his parents and not vice versa. It’s common to see parents giving in to the tantrums or unwarranted demands of the child so very easily. A mother of a 6 year old laments, he doesn’t eat anything, he just drinks 1.5 litres of Coke/Pepsi and 4-5 packs of Chips/Kurkure every day!! (My question: Who buys it for him??) A 5 year old will not go to even a next door birthday party or to a mall without a new dress and matching accessories (My thought : Who initiated her into this kind of habit and fashion consciousness at such a young age??)

I believe, our generation of parents are all educated and well read. We have more exposure than our own parents ever had. So don’t we understand that…

  • We can mould a child the way we want!
  • As parents, we can’t dodge all tantrums, but we certainly shouldn’t be giving in and meekly letting the child have his way. Read somewhere that parents should make rules and then stick to them with determination and consistency. Bedtime is always to be at a certain hour, only certain TV programmes can be viewed, cold drinks and chips cannot be staple diet etc etc.
  • We all love our kids and certainly want the best for them. If we can give them the best of the clothing, footwear, toys, gadgets, education et al, why not the best of behavior and attitude? Why not instill the right habits from the beginning? Why can’t we be better coach and guide to our children?

“Some parents really bring their children up; others let them down”
It’s all about the choices we make!

PS: I am not an expert on parenting, I am not a Hitler Parent, my child is not an epitome of all goodness and I do not hate children.

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17 thoughts on “Parenting Today : Bringing Up or Letting Down??

  1. Thats a very well-rounded post Shilpa… Kudos 🙂 I know the kids of today were too Smart… and they have access to computer, 24-hours of TV and what not..

    they pick up behaviors from what they see and hear and parents should have control over them… else everything will go wrong..
    I feel the kids were exposed too much which makes them hot headed and a lil disobedient 🙁

  2. Very true thoughts Shilpa. Parenting is a very serious job and takes a lot more analytical, management and mentor skills than any other full time job.
    Specially loved the “kind of “disclaimer in the PS statement at the end 🙂

  3. I think the mother was taking the path of least resistance. The parents of the foul mouthed kid are scared of their own kid, and the competitive parents – eww, seen more than my fair share of them. They are so pushy, and they feel that their sense of self worth depends on their children’s achievements. Yes, any one can birth a kid, but to be a parent – that takes commitment and hard work

  4. Presented very well. Totally agree with you. Parenting is not at all an easy task. Sometimes I think I’m awfully strict with my kids. I get easily flustered sometimes especially if my kids act defiant / stubborn or try to hide the truth. No foul words accepted, timings (whether it is getting up, eating or sleeping) are strict, junk food only once or twice a month and such. As for Studying, I don’t have full control over weekdays, bcoz of work. And my 8 year old daughter takes advantage of grandparents (where she gets off after school), which annoys me! I’m just hoping and praying to God to help me be a good parent, to bring up my children in the best way possible. I’m sure millions of other parents have the same prayer too!

  5. Fantastic post, Shilpa!

    Everything you say makes perfect sense. We as parents should know better. Uncontrolled behaviour is definitely more due to the parent’s style of parenting(or rather the lack of it). Some parents are actually proud when their one year old plays with their iPhone, only to realise later what they have done.

    Simple discipline, and rules make a lot of difference. Today, one of my daughter’s friends is here. She wanted to play with the PS3, and daughter explained to her that they could ask her daddy and if he allows, they could play. Even little children can understand all this – if we tell them, and tell them consistently.

  6. Your observations are pertinent. It is true that parenting must have always been something that needed an effort, half a century ago, like in these times.
    However with the changed environment around and the information explosion the pressure and the responsibility on parents have increased. Unfortunately many do not realize that. Nuclear family , taking the place of joint family systems have eliminated the influence the aged sagacity grand parents and grand uncles had on many of us .Bed time stories from grand parents have been substituted with late night movies and computer games. The formative age is being vandalized by many of the so called modernity.
    Parents have ridiculous amount of vanity that they think life is full only when the sibling graduates from a Medical college or an Engineering college. Other professions are considered mean. The pressure put on children is very much that some crack or are scarred for life. Parents are directly responsible.

    I can only blame parents for the wayward life style the child chooses. It might require a separate blog post to elucidate.
    However you have dealt the matter with relevance.

  7. I blame the parents for the situation. There is no doubt that both the parents have taken to taking up jobs for a better living. Is this better living?It is not.It is my complaint and I will repeat this 100 times that the day joint family system broke up in India so did so many other aspects of life.Children need to be looked after, cared, taught,told of family ties,cultural changes being seen so rapidly etc, etc.
    But, what I see is—spend more on a child, give him/her freedom and they start loving you. Sorry it is not so.
    Get into any pub in Delhi and you will know what am I trying to say.
    Children under 18 are quite happy with a drink while parents are checking their bank balances and professional rise.
    I suppose,they know what they are doing.

  8. Very well said! In raising kids now more than ever we need to instill the right values, before one could even get awya with them learning from example as examples were quite good! Now it has to be a concentrated effort and I swear, it’s not getting easier with each successive generation I have told my kids it’s the good people you will be that will give me sukoon or peace not just knowing tht u r financially ok, later in life!I hope I’ve done enuf to ensure tht they will be!

  9. Parents giving their below 10 kids breezers ?!!! Quiet disturbing.

    Other day my wife’s friend was complaining that her 1 year old baby eats only McDonald’s french fries and refuses to eat any home food.

    and then there is this friend of mine whose 2 and half year old baby is a nightmare for all their visitors and themselves. His vocabulary of abusive words is amazingly disturbing.

    Yes, as you mentioned and as am experiencing parenting takes immense patience and efforts and most parents for their own selfish comfort and easiness take the short cut and pamper their children in an unhealthy way.

    I can’t still get over the thought that a parent can give their children breezer… *sighs*

  10. Hi Shilpa,
    I think parenting is a responsible job but one should not forget to enjoy the journey while trying to bring up sensible kids.
    Discipline goes a long way, a few basic rules: fixed bedtime,good manners, eating whatever mum cooks, school work done in time, all these stand you in good stead. Actually i believe kids thrive on discipline and the ones who misbehave are not given any good rules to follow!
    When they are teens, you notice that the rules that you made for them in childhood have become their habits!
    With kids one should remember to choose ones battles, no point harping about every little issue, save rules for the imptt stuff.
    Sorry for the long reply..

  11. Oh yeah! I know some parents like you mentioned as well. Though I am not a Mom myself, I have a little sis who practically was mothered by me. So I know how difficult parenting can be and how excruciatingly demanding.

  12. Such a thoughtful, well-presented post. You’ve covered all the important points. Yes..A 5 year old kid’s father gets him a xbox and all war and fight games..The kid completely takes the same destructive character at home…
    Parents are completely responsible for every step a child takes.
    OMG..cant really imagine how a mother just allows the child to live with just 4-5 chips pack!! They’re not fit to be parents at all!

  13. Whhhhaaaattttt ? The parents gave Breezer to their kids ???? OMG !!!! This is the problem with today’s parents – in order to explain and expose everything to their kids, they make this worst mistake.

    – That was one terrorist mother I tell u – all toys are weapons to hit and kil !!!! 😯

    – Oh…I can go on and on abt eating habits….its not that my girls are angels and they eat what is being served on their plate…they do have their likes and dislikes….but, they do see reason and logic, when things are explained to them. And no junk food during meal times.

    – OMG!!! I hate foul lang…esp when used by children….the parents need some strict lessons here…

    – Being competitive in everything is another extreme….these ppl just cant learn to enjoy their life.

    On the whole, its a post that hits the nail on the head…let those parents take heed and learn to be better at parenting…

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