Sometimes the mood to say something arises completely out of nowhere. And right now I need to vent out this to someone, who would be better than my dear mute readers. I was just watching one of the popular talk show on Vijay TV on the pressures that the teenage kids face these days. The topic is an ongoing war between the parents and the kids. I dont belong to both sides and probably that makes me the best person not to speak about it. Anyway am going to give my piece of mind, and here is my two cents.
The kids (so called) are facing tremendous pressures these days! Yes probably, but from where did it all start? I mean we were kids not too long ago. We were pressurized too. But not this much, I hear you say. Why so? What is so different these days? The thing is the kids are not anymore kids. In my opinion, once they cross the age of 10 or 11, they are not kids anymore. I remember that limit used to be 15 when I was 15 (I remember irritating my cousin telling I am not a kid anymore). They are perfectly capable of making their opinions and ideas about things. I guess it is the parents who face a hard time to deal with the fact they are grown up. But for the topic sake, let us keep this opinion aside and lets deal with them as kids. So what has changed so much these years? Let us not start about the rise of technology, TV and stuff, we will come to that later
Exams were there since ages, we aced a few, failed a few and merely escaped the most. We hated them and I have not found a single soul who liked taking up exams. Oh, none of our parents have given us the option to fail them. Nor the teachers. Beating - yes! Kneeling down- Yes! sent out of class - Yes! We accepted that with grace. I don't even want to talk about the friends I had, who would spend a sleepless night if they were not scolded by one teacher or the other. But what has happened now? complaints on teachers for hitting the students? Suicides for scolding in front of girls? Have kids become so sensitive? I am not even sure if I could call that sensitive!
I remember having uncles and aunts and cousins and of course grandparents, who could actually beat me up (luckily I was the good kid at home, so faced none) and who could criticize me all they want. There were times when I used to think my Thaatha had a full time role to scold me and he was the most calm person in the whole family, so imagine my plight. Still I survived, so did all my cousins. Maybe that molded me and helped me face the world I face now - the world that criticizes me, that throws negativity all around. Everything that doesnt break you, makes you stronger.. I am not talking good old stories, reliving in nostalgic times nor I am hitting at the old story on importance of joint families - we have passed that point of making that choice, so better adapt to the choice made instead of going back to "we should have lived in a joint family life". Most of us dont or cant afford to do that - for various reasons.
I am just trying to point out the relatively too much of "my kid"ism that is going on among the parents - I can talk on this - I am seeing many of my own friends and friends of friends entering the parenthood and reminding to me thank god for m single-dom. What is exactly this "my kid"ism ? Oh it is just like all the I me my stuff that we have been obsessed over, for the past few years. "I am obsessed over my kid. He never does anything wrong", and he gets caught doing that mistake "isnt he adorable doing that?". Oh please knock off your vanity! He is your kid, not an other toy to show off. It is just this same vanity and "adorableness" that you show off today ('is he not cute when he hits Dada'? or 'You know He says kill you when you scold him!') turns into disrespecting elders or things even as much as banging his room shut when you start to panic - oh it is matter of just ten years. And when one person in the family, probably from the older generation, steps in to try to reprimand the kid's mistake, it turns into family drama and accusations on "overstepping the boundary" and "minding their businesses".
Yes, let your child live the prince / princess life - the one you could not have. Save them from small small things like words of their grandparents or better go have a word with their teachers on being lenient with them. But what you are doing to them is letting them actually face a problem unprepared, like blows as minor as failing in their tests. Not to forget the pressures from the parents side on winning.
But on the other hand, the parents of the current age are the children of the recent past generation, a generation that had no less pressure for winning and the competitive world. At least the kids of the current generation hear words about other co and extra curricular activities here and there, but those of the previous generation never had time for those even. They had their IITs MSs and MBAs to chase on, and to find MBAs and MSs are no longer sufficient - which were the dreams of the then recent past generation. So we cant just blame the parents as they are themselves products of competitiveness and goal seeking. In the middle of their struggle to match their careers, personal lives to that of where they want to go - it is no longer just sufficient to have a kid who aced the tests. We do need our kids to be someone who could match or outmatch our glories.
No longer we find satisfaction in the 9 -5 jobs or non challenging works, the competitive streaks in us is here to stay. We do things to win something, someone, not because we want to do them. When was the last time we had an outing and didn't bother to update the event proceedings on every damn social network? Posting the picture of us eating the ice cream in FB is giving us more joy than actually eating it or actually eating it with friends. Who are we competing with, in posting the photos? This trait is just passed on to the kids.
They want to be the center of attraction wherever they are (just like we do). They seek attention - throwing a tantrum or raise a hell seems an easier option to do this than actually be obedient and hold the parent's hands. The adorable has just started becoming the rebel we suddenly seem to notice. FB and twitter with their Followers and fans make each of us feel like the stars we are probably not in the real life. But what kids probably dont understand it is that they have fans in the virtual world but duties and responsibilities in the real world - oh as a matter of fact, many adults I know have not understood this either (including the undersigned - till some months ago).
I sincerely hope I read this when I reach that "my kid" age. just to remind me of my childhood and to let them have their childhood on their own. While I realize the need for them to buckle up for the competition ahead, they need to enjoy the smallest iota of innocence they probably have still left. I am not going to make their lives easy for them, they can survive with that. I can hear my friends screaming at me for being an irresponsible mom already :P
I guess I have made my point loud and clear and I could go to bed now peacefully. Good night people :)
P.S I always had a secret wish to rant at "the children these days"! :P At last I am grown up enough to write this post
Labels: 2013, blah blah, rantings