All my life I have always considered my generation to be moderate, we probably took some steps in our lives that broke away from tradition to some extent. I felt we wanted to explore for ourselves what the world offered instead of being under the blind influence of our elders.
With education systems improving, it was not a case of Father was engineer, so ‘son’ becomes one, nor was it, if a ‘girl’ is 20 she should be engaged to get married at the age of 21, and that too to a guy she was allowed to see only on the day she got engaged.
We evolved as a generation, we took pride that we were making some positive steps as challenging as it was because it was against tradition, BUT, this never took away the in bedded fear, that our parents were the final authority.
Cut to 20 years forward and what one sees now, is worrying to say the least. Observing what is happening now leads me to believe that if there has ever been a difficult time being a parent it is now…
“What have you done for me lately’ was a song in the 80′s by Janet Jackson and I can’t think of a better line than that for the understanding today’s generation has with their parents.
Most of us just had one relationship.. PARENT-CHILD. Unfortunately, parents are at cross roads, trying to be the best friend they should be, because if they are not, their kids won’t think of them as being ‘cool’ and if they try to be a parent, they fear they will never become friends with them.
Challenging isn’t it?
The bad news is its not going to get any better. The good news is there is always hope. . .
So, where did it go wrong? Possibly two reasons!
1) Part blame could be put on a simple two letter word ‘NO!’
Do parents today fear saying NO to their children for simply worrying about having to loose out on them? (In our childhood, a no from your mother meant a maybe, but a no from the father meant NOT A CHANCE) With the rapid strides women are making and finally venturing out to create a rightful names for themselves, more and more of a child’s demands are being given in to. By the end of the day, working parents aren’t left with any stamina to rationalise with children on their demands and this is where the problems manifest itself. By the time one realises, they have grown up and expect a YES for everything. Which leads me to the second reason.
2) Is today’s generation a reflection of the parents themselves, hence shouldn’t we be blamed? How often does a child land up being a smoker if either of his parent is? How often do you see a child dis-respecting people because they see a parent constantly being rude to their domestic help or the people around them?
In conclusion, a child is born with NO initial sense of judgement, the only people they are exposed to is their parents, hence as they grow older and observe, they probably think if their parents are doing something it must be right.
Ultimately, most kids inherit all the morals and values a parent posses!
So, the next time we think of the challenges we are facing bringing them up, probably look back at the manner in which we were brought up and appreciate that our parents only wished well for us when they used the dreaded word NO!
P.S = This time I requested some people who i really respect for various aspects to share with me their thoughts. I quote them.
“Today’s generation is more focused, goal oriented and practical. For me, they are my inspiration.” and “Do not get trapped in competition. . Live within your means because nothing is more valuable than the happiness of your family.” - Deepak Bhatia, father of 2 girls in their 20′s
“To the youth of today. Our elders taught us build on hard work and hold on to the values. Life has no short cuts, and make sure you value relationships over materialism. In the end those people will stand by you, and not the fancy lifestyle.” - Vishal Bhatia, father of 3 young girls, aged 10, 6 and 6 months.
“Today’s generation is far more clued to what’s happening around them, along with tonnes of self confidence. A dash of patience would go a long way in further strengthening their character” – Bob Thaker, Business man, Teacher to MBA students and a father of a 24 and a 20 year old.
“We cant raise our children the same way our parents raised us, and that by itself is a huge challenge, though every parent would say the same thing” – Mother of a 7 year old.
“…..cultural values seem to be hanging on a thread… the expectations of having seems to be a given and no longer of being earned. I am not blaming this generation completely the blame also lies with us parents… we give them everything on a plate without thinking about the consequences… Family values are a lifeline – the feeling of belonging is important it gives us all a place in who and where we are…… its really our job as parents to nurture and teach before we go on to preach on the degeneration of a generation…” - Namrata Wadhwani – Mother of 3 young children