by Sameer Majli
There was an era when parents were quite oblivious to the educational profiles of their children. Courtesy the prevalent social practices and lack of overall sensitivity to the issue of the population there were just too many kids at home to keep a tab on. Kids grew up to be successes or failures rather accidentally as much was left to chance. The one good aspect of society was that the cities were small, almost to an extent when everyone knew everyone and society as a whole also kept watch on other people’s children. Upbringing was almost the responsibility of the entire township.
Times changed and the subsequent generations began to plan families. The Governmental campaigns regarding population control had their effect and the numbers dwindled to one or two children per parent. Joint families split up and the nuclear family was born. Cities grew expansive and lifestyles moved from busy to extremely busy, so much so that there isn’t even time to catch up with neighbors and relatives. Although this is typical of metros, the culture is also a reality in places like Belagavi.
The present day is an age when quite a lot of parents are quite obsessed with the education and upbringing of the child. The new generation almost considers this extra attention to be intrusive while the parents consider it their bounden duty. The concept of privacy has crept in and even children are busy creating their own private spaces. Parents coming to school, parents deciding who one’s friends are is almost considered a violation of the self-proclaimed fundamental freedom of children. Somewhere in the midst of all this attention, the millennials seem to have found a solution to it. They have mastered the art of camouflage. Many seem to lead dual lives; one that their parents know of and the other that’s so secretive that it’s impossible to gauge the depth and deeds of this alterior personality.
Peers are the larger influence although parents seem to think that their child is well within their control. Advice to these kids stems from their friends and other rather unreliable sources that include the internet and social media. The ensuing paradoxical situation often does not emerge as a truth unless something ghastly befalls the child. Accidents, addiction, secret indulgences that lead to a downward spiral, suicides and shocking anti-social deeds are among the few forms that these connection-less families are leading to.
As a parent, it is time to take stock of the situation and nip the problem or the likelihood of a problem right in the bud. One cannot afford to wait until it’s too late. While some conveniently blame western influence, it is really a question of what sort of a society we have allowed ourselves to become. It is time for parents, educators, and society to realize that children need more than just provisions.
About the Author: The Author is an Academic Counsellor, Trainer, and Career Advisor presently working as a Training and Development Officer, KLE Society, Belagavi. He is also the founder of Green Saviours, an organization dedicated to tree plantation and environmental conservation in Belagavi. Author can be contacted at [email protected]