The parents of today are also better informed that their parents and obviously less hesitant that their predecessors about giving their children true information about the ‘brids and bees’. Channels like the ‘Discovery Channel’ or ‘National Geographic’ give detailed viewing knowledge about nature. This helps them at their development stage giving a broader perspective of the universe.
Being interested in the ‘birds and bees’ is very much a part of growing up, but never before has the mass media changed the equations between parents and children as dramatically as they have done since satellite television made its appearance in our country.
Suddenly our children are growing more intelligent and knowledgeable and mostly for the better. Their worldwide views and concepts are a world apart from what was their parents in their grown up years. Our generation had reservations about what we could ask our teachers and parents. Intimate questions were simply a strict taboo. We as children were supposed to be seen and not heard. Sermonising children was the order of the day for our parents. Today’s children have more freedom and no qualms about asking intimate questions from their parents and this has a lot to do with the what their parents to them.
Single parents are getting to be quite popular today and they are answering more questions to their offspring’s about their status. The varied influences they come across, interacting with their schoolmates belonging to different cultures and strata of society also makes them more inquisitive. Together with this, an exposure to a wider world and latest technologies mean that these children develop a sharply defined worldview.
A U.S survey conducted recently put their attitude in a nutshell : “The young generation of Indians are more focused, although the focus is more on money and they want to get as much and as soon as possible. They are very much aware of what they want in life and unlike their parents they do not want to sit back and wait for things to happen, instead they want to make things happen quickly for themselves.”
The best advantage the children have today is the sense of camaraderie they share with their parents. Fear has given way to friendship and they are less prone to make the mistakes which their parents made while growing up. The survey makes another point “The explosion of new media has made these children a few years older mentally, than their real chronological age which makes them end up visualizing things normally beyond their purview. They are becoming more precocious and impatient. The young today have plans of which long term plans last for about an hour and short term ones for five minutes.”
Interestingly the grandparents of todays children, who never allowed their own children ‘to wander from the right path’, allow great leeway to their grandchildren. Its not because of their doting nature only, its just because they have woken up to the realization that their grandchildren need that space. However the young ones do believe in the old values and respect their culture. They may be addicted to foreign channels on television and scouring the internet all the time during holidays and free time, their viewpoints today may be no different from their western counterparts but they do not find the old values and our culture outdated – as many experts tell us.
The unfortunate part of modern trends is the need for both parents to be in the job. The need for materialism and expenses entails to be in the job. The need for materialism and expenses entails working parents. The days of joint families are fast getting over especially in the metros. So with both parents away, the poor child is left in the care of ayahs. This is definitely a bad influence. The affluent families have the same problem albeit slightly different. Parents in this class are more interested in their business, clubs and kitty parties and the children are left at home in the company of servants and attendants. These children do not get proper intelligent answers to their questions, instead they get distorted answers which are extremely detrimental to their psychology. They are dissatisfied at home where they have a feeling that they are being ignored and this frustration gets reflected in their studies.
The other problem is the lower middle class family and the economically weaker section family. These families do not practice family planning resulting in a large number of children. The children of these families are also a dissatisfied lot as they ape the children of affluent families but cannot afford it. They have no rapport with their families and are a disgruntled lot.
The other factor is indiscipline which they see all round them. Children grow up with some ideals but the period when the principles should be entrenched in them, they see the examples of their parents before them. When a child grows up observing the corruption which their parents indulge in, in the form of bribes and tainted money, how could his young mind remain untouched. Similarly, he observes his parents and teachers resorting to indiscipline, not attending to their allotted work and still insisting on their rights, which leaves a lasting impression on their gullible minds. How can children living in such an atmosphere be anything else but corrupt and indiscipline. They bunk classes and indulge in rowdism.
How can we blame children when we set examples of school officials, government officers and political leaders who talk of idealism but are corrupt themselves. The child is the product of the society he lives in and if we dream of our next generation to be principled and idealistic, our society has to change. An ideal society will enable development of ideal children who will form the base of a glorious and prosperous India in the future.