Friday, 7 February 2014

Parenting – How Difficult has it become…

 Parenting has become the toughest role for humans inhabiting the vast surface of this only green planet (?) known to mankind so far. The current era in which every awesome technological inventions stays so for a few minutes, only to be replaced or outdated by a newer, more awesome, technology! 

Before the advent of the digital entertainment era, children engaged themselves in benign (I shall pardon you if you read it as ‘dumb’ and if you belong to the technologically marinated species, you will!) activities like sand play (not the sand castle building which has become a more serious profession), drawing, scribbling on the sand, throwing stones in the pond and other water bodies, rolling a waste tyre along the roadside or even kicking stones on the pavement till they reach home walking from your destination.

I am sure for many of us it would bring back some nostalgic moments. To me, it did!

With the mushrooming of cable operators and meteoric rise in number of TV channels, all the idyllic pastimes were stolen by the fluorescent dots that adorned the TV screens.These activities were dying a slow death. But mankind decided to give them a quicker funeral than they deserved. In came the internet cafes. They ensured two things to begin with.

First, people could get all information that they needed and that they did not at all need, very rapidly.

Secondly, if your children are not engaged in positive or creative pastimes, then they are engaged otherwise as benign pastimes no longer exist!

The latter, predictably, has put immense pressure on parents. While parents were engaged in the business of money making that marked the very basic of worldly survival, the children were engaged in collecting information that they needed and that they absolutely did not need too!

As a result the gap between the parents and their offspring widened, further and further, with the older generation absolutely unequipped to face the information overload that their children possessed.

Children assumed themselves to be far smarter even in the by gone era. But in those eras they truly were not as smart as they assumed themselves to be and that defined innocence and was, in a way beautiful.

But now the complication seems to arise because parents are under prepared to face the truly smart children with the limited knowledge offered by the archaic technology (or maybe, even the lack of it)  of the bygone era.

Challenges posed by the electronic and digital entertainment looms large before every parent.
The challenge that looms large before every parent of this digital era is, therefore, to curtail the use of the plethora of entertainment avenues and engage their children productively. 

Here again, there are two hurdles – parents are unable to match up to the intellectual capacity of the children or, in trying to do so are hopelessly addicted to it themselves!

As always, allowing your children to ahead in their path towards future, while staying firmly grounded to the core values, is the way forward. Maybe when you feel the need to push your child, nudge them gently as the eagle does and be sure to steer them in the right direction.

Again, as always, easier said than done…