The other day, I and my wife were strolling in a mall, just to while away time, rather than intent on any purchase, and we saw a girl child about four or five year old, creating a ruckus in a clothing stores. The child was crying in hiccups, breathless, nevertheless on top of its voice, rolling on the ground and the embarrassed mother trying to pacify, told the child she had already purchased her many dolls and the beautiful dress, left with no money to buy the ‘flying plane’.
The child retorted,” Why…you got the card you know? Swipe it!”
We were astonished on the child insisting to use the credit card. Of course the child neither knew the credit card has a limit and her parents might have already run it out nor economics, ‘Demands are limitless and supplies scarce!’
As far as the child thinks, everything comes in a trice by the swipe of the card!
A parent told me his daughter studying in the fourth class demanded to open a Face Book account in her name! When declined, the child refused to eat the whole day. Somehow, the child was made to understand such luxuries have to wait till she reached at least the +2 class.
Another friend employed in New Jersey who had two teen aged girls, abandoned his job and returned to Chennai, got employed compromising for a lesser salary and perks. Reason? He said there was this Prom thing, where the school children had to wear new clothes and dance, the boys and girls, the parents had to send them in, themselves barred the entry. Naturally, this friend refused permission to his daughter and she promptly called 911! The police came, strictly ordered them not to fringe upon the rights of the child, else they would be charged. The beleaguered parents had no other go than oblige. Hence was this hasty retreat to Chennai.
Indian parents in the U.S. or for that matter, in here are nonplussed as to how to adjust their tradition and culture with the onslaught of the foreign culture.
The children are now more demanding and assertive than the previous generations. The technology and opportunities have opened up innumerable avenues for consumerism and commercialization; we are constantly driven in search of doing so many things at the same time. A haste, unprecedented in enjoying pleasures, driven by passion to achieve more success, more money and recognition; to be famous by shortcuts.
The values are there by given a go by. In our urgency to enjoy life, we seek pleasure incitingly, never satiated, run unmanageably beyond our capacity marathons burning ourselves up within this short period of our life. This ravenous, poisonous consumption infect our children. They imitate us, becoming copycats and want to reach the adulthood without maturing, misguided and mistrusting the very life itself; they desire to reach the top floor without climbing the stairs. The consequence, they lose their childhood, their innocence, ripening before the time is due.
We are placed in a dilemma to lead our own lives. In our misplaced convictions about life, we thrust our avariciousness and confusion upon our children. We are so selfish we fail to register the changes of nuances of life around us. May be we are rearing our children to become machines, automatons and robots constantly goaded by the ‘Manthra’ of achievements, eroding our emotional and intellectual needs and there may come a time the imbalance effaces the humanity of its humanness. The schools are merely concerned to pattern the brains of the children . We have done away with moral classes and religious teachings condemning them as dividing. Do not money, status and ego divide? We do injustice to justice in the name of doing justice to injustice. Religions and morals inculcate the goodness in the impressionable minds of the children. We forget to instill the care and concern for others in our children in the name of competition to achieve; to teach to look at the beauty of the nature and be inspired to learn to care and love.