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Parents’ role in preparing children to face the real world

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In today’s rapidly changing world, parents play a very important role in holistic development of their children. How the parents may inculcate moral values and to use technology rightfully in their wards, observes Virender Kapoor for Elets News Network (ENN).

Virender KapoorToday, world is in transition. Though technology has given us comfort and much better health care, we are facing challenges of different type. Natural resources are depleting and competition is becoming fiercer by the day. We are becoming greedier, self centered and because of the comforts and over all effluence becoming softer – unable to coop with stress and any kind of deprivation. The next generation wants everything very quickly and we have become an instant gratification society. This is more so in the urban youth who are lucky to have everything easily available – thanks to the progress and their affluent parents. This has also set a sense of complacency amongst the urban youth.

Role of parents: I feel parents play a major role in building moral and mental strength of their children. Please note that even the rich and mighty send their children to school- though they can afford best teachers to come home – only because at school you learn to live with all kinds of people. Handling peers, seniors, juniors and good and bad is a part of life which you can only learn when you go to school. More than academics the interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence is built when you are in a big group, and school is the place for dealing with this. Let us not shut our eyes to the reality. Your child must learn to fight his/her own battles. Handling bullies or naughty, criticism, teasing as well as failure and rejection is a part of life. Parents cannot be in a denial mode all the time and unfortunately many are. Neither parents nor schools can provide a hundred percent protective environment. The larger question is , why should they?

You may protect your child now, but what about the rest of his life? Will you be able to help him to handle a nasty colleague or an impossible boss at work place? Will you be able help him when he is to handle pressures of day to day life as an employee or problems at home once he gets married?

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I have seen parents coming from outstation along with a twenty plus year old boy to drop him to the college! How long can you hold the hand of your children? College students are adults who at the age of twenty one can vote, drink, get a license to drive, and even get married. And yet parents don’t let go. You are prepared to give your car for him to drive, but don’t let him handle his own problems. Western world doesn’t behave like this; they let their children handle their problems. We want to follow the world in every which way but don’t learn this stance of parenting from them.

Schools a crucible of learning human behavior: As parents you must understand that schools are the best place to learn how to deal with people and to deal with yourself, which are the most important aspects of emotional intelligence. This is the best learning ground for your children. Great engineers and toppers are failures in life just because they never learnt all this. What good is a great mark sheet if you do not posses these worldly abilities? Handling situations, bouncing back after a failure, taking criticism in your stride, handling difficult friends and colleagues fall under emotional intelligence domain. Would you like to make your child to remain sissy who cannot handle his problems? I am sure not.

Guru is a Guru: We are so proud of our heritage where Guru is treated like god. How can we forget our basics? But are we doing that today? It is sad to see that parents, media and the powers that be do not give adequate respect which a teacher deserves. Let us be clear on one point; teachers are not paid anything as compared to the corporate jobs. If we can’t pay them at least give them respect and have faith in them. Teachers are under tremendous pressure. Their work load must be appreciated. Today there is an over monitoring of the school environment- by government, parents and media. This must stop if you as parents want schools to perform in the interest of your children. Where do the principals and teachers go? Is there anyone to understand their problems? I am afraid not ? What about their self esteem and morale?  Not the media, not the administration and if parents also don’t cooperate what do they do? Their freedom is being constantly stifled and this is not in the best interest of the entire society.

The rural wave is coming: Children in the rural India still do not have what is available to those in large cities. They are fighting with their back to the wall and have already started challenging those who are better placed in the cities. Unfortunately the urban youth has little resilience, will power or willingness for self denial. This makes them more susceptible to failed will power, inability to handle failure and is a major reason for depression. The number of suicides in recent years has shot up and is an indicator of this malady.

Most modern parents who take up demanding jobs have little time for the children and that is a reality of the day. As if to compensate, many take a soft approach and are even inclined towards pampering their children. Today surplus income of urban parents allows them to get their children expensive clothes and gadgets. Nothing wrong with this. But parents must know where to draw the line and when and how to say no too. Else you are yourself doing a great disservice to your next generation. A bit of self denial, handling pressure, anger and human emotions has to be taught by the parents.

Remember, my experience tells me that teachers and schools are always the well wishers of students. Please trust them. Let them discipline your children for your own good. If you have a problem, let them do it on your behalf. Outsource this to those who are best at it. (views expressed by author are personal)

About Author: Virender Kapoor is an eminent author, educationist and a motivational speaker.

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