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What Are We Teaching Our Kids?

Posted: March 31, 2020

It was the evening of 25th January, just a day before the Republic Day or a ‘dry day’ for people who want to store liquor to be consumed on dry days.

My husband and I went for a walk and some window shopping, when we noticed huge crowds of men and women in the neighbourhood Drops store (liquor shop). While we were waiting to get our food parcel ready from one of the take away eateries, I was amazed to see the behavior of people inside the Drops.

People of all age groups, from teenagers to old couples were there to buy something for the approaching ‘dry day’. What took me to writing this article was the presence of young kids in the store.

While parents were busy selecting their brands of beer and whiskey, the attendants at the store had a tough time handling and running behind the toddlers and other kids who were below 10 years of age, as they were running around and touching the expensive bottles on the display.

What surprised me was the hypocrisy that we, as parents, have. On one side we are complaining about the increased immoral behaviour shown by our kids, the wide range of inappropriate content that young kids are exposed to through different mediums in our society. The way we behave or point fingers at other elder kids who behave in an ‘unacceptable’ manner.

Is it acceptable on the part of parents to take their young kids to such expensive liquor shops? Is this exposure not influencing their young minds!?

I just remembered one more incident from the past when one of my neighbours was teaching her kid to not to talk to certain bhaiya and didi as they were not good. She told her kid to distance himself from such grown up kids who talk about drugs and drinks. Are these teenagers really to be blamed?

Another incident, that shows our double standards took place a while ago in our apartment complex.  There was a drive by the association of our apartment which aimed at inculcating the sense ownership, responsibility and cleanliness among the teenager individuals of our apartment. As parents we wanted to channelize their energy to do something constructive and learn the importance of giving back to the society and thank the helpers who work hard to keep the apartment clean at all times. We also wanted them to participate in maintaining our apartment by cleaning their play areas, different courts and football ground. The President (of the RWA) called for a meeting with these young individuals and he agreed to build a new play area specifically dedicated to kids between the age group f 10-15 years as they wanted to have a place where they could play and perform activities without being disturbed by the parents of toddlers. The kids also asked for installing age appropriate swings, and other equipments, etc for themselves.

These kids were so happy to take the responsibility to clean and maintain their basketball and tennis courts, cricket nets, and other play areas dedicated to young kids. They even painted the fences around the pet area and other play areas. Everyone in the apartment was happy to see their efforts and parents were happy to see the young individuals using their energies in the right direction.

The association also kept their promise and built a dedicated play are for them.It was a total win win situation for all. The young individuals were happy to inaugurate their play area and promised to keep it clean at all times.

But they were hurt when a couple of parents tried to hush them away from this play area saying, ” Can’t you see, young kids playing here, don’t sit on these swings”.

After keeping enough patience one of them said, “This play area and the equipment is not suitable for little kids, please ask your kids to be careful while playing here”. Saying this they started cleaning up this new play area as it was littered after the inauguration ceremony. Again one parent started scolding them to clean the area once his kid was done playing there. Few parents joined and started giving moral lecture to these teenagers on not behaving properly.  This left them enraged and led them to making and pasting posters around the park specifying- Kids below 10 years, not allowed.

This again led to another argument between the teenagers and the parents of young toddlers.

All these incidents made me think that is it really the kids who are at fault? Are we not wrong in scolding them for doing the right thing?

So before we lecture and comment on others, we should see ourselves, and analyses our behaviour instead of complaining. If we do our small bits, I am sure we won’t need others mediums to blame for inappropriate exposure. We should always see for ourselves if we are setting a right example for these young minds to follow. As we all know that kids learn by seeing, they imitate their elders and they notice even the minute details that we tend to ignore.

Image via Pixabay

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