I am a socially active person giving due coverage to my children on social sites, sharing my views on growth, development, and many more. Most importantly, I seek these sites when stuck with my mothering skills. I have some good friends who are not on social media and gather all their strength in a simple, traditional and harmonious way. So, I can see that we all are a good mixture of parents and caretakers trying our best in our practices. Having observed this generation of kids across various countries, ‘principles’ are now considered baggage as a holistic approach. And the disciplinarians are outnumbered by those who believe only in success and achievements, undermining the role that principles and behaviour play in raising emotional intelligence in children.
Modesty, manners, and respect sound so dated, almost pejorative. These days I also have the privilege to hear that the qualities mentioned above actually act as confident hindrances in children. Self-admiration is paving ways to self-gratification. Kids who can brag are allowed to demean other kids. Parents find their “own” kids’ achievements satisfactory, and discipline is a forgotten word. “I am proud of you”- an everyday dialogue of most households as soon as their children fare well in anything they participate. So, can we not be proud of our children for just being themselves? If they lose in any competition, are we still not proud of them? Of course, by no means do I imply not to appreciate the achievements. We should be ‘proud of’ the kid’s act but not be proud of the kids because he or she has been an achiever- golden parenting rule, I read a while ago. Parents these days are self-indulged in boosting confidence in their kids using “You are the best,” totally ignoring the surrounding kids of the same age. My children, who don’t receive such praise, are not bothered. But my conscience says they might hate my parenting when they constantly face this bombardment by other pubic displays of flattery.
Having vented it all out, I am blessed to be guided by many friends who follow these dated principles as a rule of thumb sans fail! There are many more friends for who discipline and good manners come second to none. In the early ’80s, over the summer holidays, my dad taught the Sanskrit verse of the same to me, my sister, along with all my cousins, “Vidya dadhathi vinayam“- Knowledge and education bless us with humility and being grounded. Luckily, I fondly enjoy meeting families with similar foundations, nurturing children well, and caring for other children around. We can prosper well as a generation only when we care about the society around us. Alone, we cannot. Prosper and let prosper!
My only worry is that children are under constant pressure & push to win everything, and anything but a lacuna is left facing failure. Winning and losing are part and parcel of a balanced life, and sooner or later, everyone will have to face reality. Are we not breeding an emotionally weak generation? Yes, it looks rosy to share our children’s successful life on our social sites, and happiness doubles when shared, but it shouldn’t be because we are ‘proud of ‘ them only because of their successes.
Why is it in this part of the world, a cultural hub of so many countries, kids are not taught to use their Ps and Ts? A polite Please and a Thank you carry as much importance as an “Apology” when you have to! Why are many kids given an extraordinary academic push but no guidance on their upbeat personality? This nurturing will mold them to cope with various ups and downs in their lives, while we may not be around to fill them in a constant shower of praises!
I totally agree – I am concerned that our children are having their self esteem eroded by always being compared to others, parents making me feel anxious because I have no desire to push my children at the expense of teaching them to be kind and modest. As the parent of 2 children with special needs ( one profoundly physically disabled but not academically ) life cannot be a competition against others – as dr Seuss said’ we cannot always be the winningest winner of all’. All children are special and valuable no matter what they do or do not achieve. Good mental health, the ability to manage and deal with change and adveristy, the acceptance of difficulties all make us stronger more rounded human beings. I make no apologies for my parenting. Mentally healthy young people with good self esteem will make good choices in relationship, in careers and in all areas of life.
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Mental health and happy childhood definitely a strong foundation for a happy life. I am glad, I have your support in moulding myself. Thanks Kellie ❤