With changing times, people change too. I think no generation can be the same as the earlier one. That said, some things can remain the same. It is important to make sure children understand the importance of having good values. People think that the line between pampering and the sense of being entitled is a thin one. I think otherwise. That line is quite clear but many cross into the latter and claim to be doing the former.
One of my friends shared an observation about children today that makes me write this post. She observed that children in their teenage years give their heavy bags to grandparents or maids to carry and walk ahead with a smug, pompous attitude. It is something I too have observed. Till I got my first bicycle, when I was ten, I remember my grandpa would come drop me and my sister at school. While he took my younger sister’s burden (quite understandable) or maybe my lunch basket (not always either), I took my own bag, no matter how heavy it weighed. It showed me my things were my responsibility. My sister shouldered her bag when she grew up too.
Maybe it is unconditional love…
It’s a small thing. Grandparents give unconditional love to us. And it’s not something parents can control either. But such small things can help teach values to children. It might be about shouldering their own responsibility, or it might be about showing respect to elders. It might be the difference between going to another’s place and respecting their space or going there and walking about like they own it. I’ve seen many teenagers and 20-something students come to my office with the latter attitude and wondered where they went wrong. It’s never too early to demarcate the difference between what is acceptable and what is clearly wrong.
… but children might understand the difference better!
It might not be possible to tell the elders to stop doing it. They do it out of that unconditional love and that’s difficult to change. But perhaps it’s the right time, and the right age, to talk to children and make them understand what they are doing. A parent’s words can be the inspiration the child needs. At times, they might not realize they are doing the wrong thing. It might be that these children are being guided by the actions of other children too. I speak from experience here. My parents told me when they felt I was becoming more demanding as a child just because other kids had things I didn’t, and they pushed me to demand it of my parents. It took a few tries from their side, but I understood them in the end.
So let’s speak up where we can?
I’m not a parent, and I don’t know how easy it is to talk to children at that age. But if not the parents, who better to tell the children and guide them toward a better path? Pompous or humble, the choice is better taken at the right age. If not the latter, then at least somewhere between the two would be good. The former, or worse, shouldn’t even be an option, right? If possible, when we see such children in our circle, let us speak up when we can?
(© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason,
5th October, 2018)