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The new generations of kids live in a very different world from what we grew up in, and it’s time we took a hard look at our parenting.
As much as the basic education and academic upbringing of any child can be attributed to schools, it’s not the primary place for their moral learning.
No matter what age or generation we talk about, the constant that would remain in any upbringing would be that the basic morals and life values one learns are taught at home. Home is where the child is taught what the schools decide not to, or rather refrain from.
Every generation has had difficulty adjusting to the outer world. We’ve taught ourselves the art of unlearning whatever wrong or rather disagreeable elements instilled in us. No matter how this came to be, all of us have had at some point been taught some things wrong. She of us attempt to unlearn the wrongs as we grow up, but some of us remain that way all our lives.
So what is going wrong here?
With this world that we live in, we need children to be more empathetic towards each other than competitive. We need children to agree to disagree and yet play together. We need children to become adults who don’t ridicule other adults for a different lifestyle or choice of living.
What, then, must be taught or at least spoken of more openly in homes, that is an important learning to any child from any family at any time?
A lot of learnt differences between girls and boys have their roots at home.
A family with son and daughter may consciously or unconsciously treat them differently. Whether it involves cooking, laundry, more time to be out with friends or life choices in general, one can’t ignore the fact that the practice is still unintentionally (or even deliberately) present in modern households.
As a generation that understands and has faced the consequence of sexist upbringing, it is upon us to raise the coming generations without an ounce of sexism. Homes must try as hard as possible to ensure that the son and daughter are not treated differently, something that creates a sense of dominant and submissive characters in kids with regards to their gender.
A lot of problems women face would begin to reduce when we start raising our sons and daughters equally with regards to maturity, accountability and responsibility.
One must understand that any religion, no matter what it states about a certain sexual orientation, never advocates ridiculing or being harsh to another being for a different lifestyle. Yet we see teenagers growing up homophobic and harassing people who live differently.
Where are we going wrong then?
Schools must be the primary place to teach people to own one’s sexuality and accept that of others. Yet we don’t see that happening anytime soon.
Here the homes must step up and teach kids that a sexual orientation does not become wrong because it’s unlike their own. We need to raise our kids to be more accepting of people irrespective of their sexual orientation. Only then shall we see happier and lesser revenge-filled kids. Only then can we expect to have a world that creates space for fellow adults regardless of their sexual choices.
This becomes more important than ever now that casteism has come into light more hatefully.
Although a household may have their own customs, at the very least we can teach kids that there is no hierarchy of castes. That one doesn’t become more or less of a person based on the caste they grew up in.
One must admit that we’ve had generations full of people who can’t seem to be empathetic towards each other. Not all of us can acknowledge the differences between us and accept it.
While we unlearn this as adults, we must also teach this to our kids. That one must be more understanding of another’s pain and struggles and not ridicule them for what they go through. We need kids looking out for each other even when they become adults. In fact especially when they become adults.
Depression has been the leading cause of teenagers committing suicide or contemplating suicide. This could stem from any of their personal problems, whether academic or otherwise.
But the primary difference between our upbringing and our kids’ upbringing should be more understanding and friendship between parents and kids. A relationship that makes it easier for teenagers facing mental illness to run to their parents rather than self harm.
Our kids must have an open and judgment free space at home, and know that they are always going to be welcomed home with love and care even in their darkest hours of suffering.
A lot of other elements may be included with these, but none of the above can be excluded. It’s upon us as a generation equipped with an understanding of what we had to unlearn to become better people, to ensure we do not give our children the same struggles of unlearning.
Let’s work towards lesser unlearning with better learning.
Image source: shutterstock
Tarannum is a feminist who is currently pursuing her CA. She loves to read, write,
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