Can Stricter Parenting Control The Epidemic Of Indian Teens Driving Rashly?

Posted: February 28, 2018

Kids barely out of their teens are driving under the influence of alcohol, being a danger to themselves and innocent others. Maybe we need to tighten parental control?

A fatal accident

A 21 year old loses his life in a road accident at 2 a.m. two nights ago in an accident that sent shivers down the spines of the witnesses and those who heard about it.

The accident was not just fatal, it was physically and psychologically nerve wrecking for the family and onlookers, most of whom will surely have trouble falling asleep in the next few months at least. The cause of the accident apparently was the lethal combo of alcohol and driving, a fad among our youngsters who go berserk on weekends considering it to be their birthright to party hard and then drive rash under the influence of alcohol.

Unfortunately I knew the boy and his family well enough to know their extremely liberal views on discipline and on the parent-child equation. I was sad, torn apart and grieved but above all, angered.

In fact I was infuriated at all of us- us as friends, brothers, sisters, parents or teachers or as uncles and aunts belonging to the generation before the liberation of parenting when discipline and responsibility were the most sought after virtues by our parents while imparting values to us, unlike today when privacy, freedom, social connectivity and being on top of the cut throat competition is all what matters.

Millennial parents…

The 21st century in our society in the metros has taken a sharp turn towards an incredible tolerance by the parents, towards the growing indifference and insolence by their children which indeed is a cause of alarm. An increasing number of parents feel that their children do not listen to them. Whether it may seem harmless and of trivial consequence in early childhood, this insolence and indifferent behavior slowly turns to stubbornness in teenagers and to an absolute rebellion in young adults.

The generation gap has reduced considerably. Parents are no longer what they were 20 years ago- they are friendlier, more understanding, and more acceptable to changes around them- Good! They no more force children to pursue courses they don’t wish to, they no more yank them along telling them not to play, or stop them from singing or acting or being friends with the opposite sex, and usually do not force them to get married to people they have chosen as elders. Period.

…may lack parental control

But all is still not good. Children are children. They are often confused about what they wish to do. Children are the easiest of social preys, and Parental mum (read shut up) has led to mushrooming of hookah parlors and pubs frequented by the youngest of adults. Parental permissions (read silence or ‘bacchhe sunte hi nahin hai’) to drink alcohol once kids are 17- 18 has led to major increase in juvenile crimes, rapes and accidents, leave aside eve teasing and other sexual abuses and assaults.

Why should we leave our children at the mercy of social media?

Why has parenting taken a back foot? Why do we feel our children don’t or won’t listen to us?

Why have we created a generation of over pampered kids who get everything as soon as they demand, and who don’t take ‘no’ for an answer?

Why are we not respecting the parent child relationship, and are letting them cross over their line of control by letting them sit across the table and have drinks with us when they are not yet emotionally capable and socially responsible?

Why do we let them drink and drive when we know that if they are out partying, they are sure to drink and create a nuisance as deadly drivers?

Why don’t we realize that drinking alcohol is the root cause of most of the social tragedies that occur today?

When shall we understand that most people in India have no concept of being responsible with alcohol, and that the present indifferent culture is not taking us anywhere?

Parents are NOT friends

Parents, it’s time to become sterner disciplinarians. It’s time to let the kids know ki baap kise kehte hai aur maa kya cheez hoti hai. Disciplining children must include all factors like respectful deprivation, appreciation, scolding, fear of consequences, respect for women, and instilling value for life and money among other things.

Parents are not friends. Parents are parents; they know the best for their children, something that the hypocritical social media cannot teach. Go by your instincts, protect your children- they need it as it’s pretty difficult to resist temptations of a falling society. If discipline was good for us, so can it be for our kids. Do not fall prey to your child’s whimpering- sab to aisa hi kar rahe hain!

It’s not cool to watch a whole generation of amazingly talented kids disappear behind the smoke of the hookahs, and getting sloshed out at bars and farmhouse parties over weekends as if the world has come to an end. Please parents, take control- you owe it to your children.

Image source: shutterstock

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Vibha Sharma is an independent education management professional into academic and creative writing, from New

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