I am a socially active person giving due coverage to my children on social sites, sharing my views on growth, development and on many more. Most importantly, I seek these sites when stuck with my mothering skills. I have some good friends who are not on any social media and gather all their strength in a simple, traditional and harmonious way. So, I can see, we all are a good mixture of parents and care-takers who are trying our best in our own ways. But recently , having observed a few hundred kids for a week and kids, in general, across various countries, I feel ‘principles’ are termed as baggage. 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 above-mentioned qualities actually act as confident hindrances in children. Self admiration leading to self gratification is found every where, across all the cultures that surround me. 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 of the 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 I imply not to appreciate the achievements. We should be ‘proud of’ the act the kid does but not the other way round – golden parenting rule, I read a while ago. Parents these days are self indulged in boosting confidence in their own 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 display of praises.
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 early 80’s, over 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 foundation and whose children are nurtured well and very caring towards 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 who are under constant pressure & push to win everything and anything, are not taught how to face a failure. Winning and losing are part and parcel of a balanced life and sooner or later, every one will have to face the 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, which is 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 one has to! Why is it that many kids are given an extra-ordinary academic push but no guidance on their positive personality? This will mould them cope up with various ups and downs in their lives, while we may not be around to fill them in constant shower of praises!