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.