SajanSpeaks

Thoughts that originate deep within

What ails our Children? Are we Parenting Right?

Have you ever wondered if you are parenting right? Are you one of those parents who do not interfere much in your child’s growth and allow them to find their way, or are you one of those who help their children in everything and guide them to perfection?

Get-Your-Teenager-talking

Whatever category you may be, here is something for you to chew upon. You may thereafter make whatever corrections you feel right.

In the past 4 years I have had the opportunity to train nearly a thousand students from ages 7 to 16. I have met them in all ages, sizes, shapes and nationalities. The best among them as far as satisfaction level are the young ones from 7 years to 10 years who are bubbly and open. The older lot of are far more inquisitive and a bit guarded. One has to earn their trust before they open out unlike the young ones.

Recently I was involved in a Training where children had to build and program Robots. It was a 7 day 4 hour per day course. I had two batches to handle in a day. Across the batches I noticed some common behavior traits. And this got me thinking.

Robotics as you would understand in a mix of technology, hardware and software along with oodles of logic and reasoning. This means that what can go wrong will go wrong. The things that go wrong are usually very simple and can be easily resolved or overcome with a bit of patience, reasoning, logic and thinking.

Every day we did encounter such issues. As a policy I never went forward to resolve the issue when it occurred. I used to ask the children to resolve the issue themselves. One child even went to the extent of complaining to his parent that I wasn’t helpful when they faced a problem. The common behavior that I noticed was that they were a very impatient lot. They wanted the Robot to work in the first instant almost like the ATM giving money when we insert the card. Failure was not acceptable in their rule book. They used to blame the kit, blame it on their group, blame it on the software, but never ever took the blame on themselves. Very few had the patience to go through the process and rebuild or reprogram to find the fault to understand, why something that ought to work, did not work at all. Many just gave up. Few lost interest in no time. Some children wanted to do everything themselves as they did not trust their peers. Only few displayed true leadership and good communication to get everyone to work as a team. I kept observing the various reactions, day in and day out.

I only stepped in when I felt there was no progress. And very soon the issues were resolved and lessons were driven home. My observations about the behavior led to some revelations regarding how we bring up our children in today’s world where inter personal interaction has become more through gadgets than face to face. Where material things have taken over human feelings.

Most of these behaviors stemmed from the fact that parents in our enthusiasm to protect our kids, to save our time, have been delivering ready-made solutions to our kids rather than they discovering it themselves. Kids have been over protected because we wouldn’t want them to be disappointed. That has made them wanting to win each time. There seems to be a refusal to accept that they could fail once. There is a need to drill home a lesson that failing is not a bad thing and what is important is to try again and be patient to get the work done or reach the goal.

Single kids, being brought up in neighborhoods with even lesser kids, hectic schedules of books and homework, have caused kids to remain at home instead of going out to play. This had led to lack of communication skills to resolve issues, to work as a team and get things done. This behavior could be a cause for a big failure when they grow up.

It is time therefore for us to be less of a parent and more of a guide allowing them to explore, make mistakes, learn the consequence and get hit by Life, rather than giving them Life in a platter. It is essential that we do not help them out every time they get stuck. We just need to show them the way and they need to walk that way, rather than we doing everything for them. We need to be tough at times, so that their life becomes easy later.

Little did I realize facilitating a Robotics Class would involve much more than mere technology. Along with Robotics I ended up imparting the much needed Life Skills and learning from them as well.

What is our parenting style? How well equipped are our children with the Life skills crucial for a Happy , Successful life?

Let’s pause and reflect a moment.

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14 thoughts on “What ails our Children? Are we Parenting Right?

  1. Food for thought observations. My parents always say that while in their time they were told to do a task/ work and then they had to do it, figure out what, if anything, went wrong, and keep at it until done; our generation has a habit of either having things done for them or the option of giving up at the first hurdle.
    If we look closely at the whole system, we can see kids today joining 4/5 classes a week for extra activities but most of these kids don’t end up anywhere in these activities. While everyone seems to be learning dancing or an instrument or karate, we don’t see many dance degrees or good music players or black belts. In a race to do more things, they are also doing incomplete things.

    The mentality of blaming the guru is also a disturbing one. Fb is filled with memes where they show how where once bad grades were the responsibility of the kid, it is now the responsibility of the teacher. All a kid has to do is crib that the teacher doesn’t give him/her enough attention or isn’t teaching well and parents don’t even bother to wonder how other students in the same class are doing well. Having a 14 year old sister gives me a perspective into this life… Most kids today are unfortunately lazy, not willing to put in any extra effort.

    In a system where a just passing student scores 90%+ in boards and even language subjects get full scores, is the problem even deeper?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sivanathan on said:

    Need to put the parents too in schools!

    Impatience is the catchword and you got that right.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Divya on said:

    Such a relevant issue which has crossed my mind endless times. I have always wondered about the same being a teacher and still concerned about the work around solution being a parent. Unfortunately the availability of so many luxuries in life, which used to be scarce back in the days has made the children insufficient in so many aspects rather than self-sufficient.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Sajan

    Totally agree with you.. i am trying my best to make
    My kids find and out and resolve things by themselves
    I often doubted if i was wrong for not giving them
    Enough.. but your article is supporting me well.
    I shall continue being what i am.

    Thanks ..
    love shan

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The most important statement you’ve made here is that we must allow them to make mistakes. This is where Indian parents fail miserably. Explore-fail-try again- fail again …… Go on till you succeed.
    We’ll written!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mulknad on said:

    Sir really educated thanks will send in original to my friends

    Like

  7. Manvi Kaur on said:

    I am a class 10 student. My father made me read this article. I think that parents need to give us exposure and let us make our own decisions, but if we make some mistakes sometimes they must be there to correct it and support us if we need. Just leaving us completely to make decisions could end up spoiling our future. The real way to make us keep trying even after failing once is to give them freedom. And if we fail in the first go, the freedom mustn’t be taken away. To improve, we need self control and for that we need motivation, which is something every parent can give. Since our childhood we need exposure, because if we get exposure, we make decisions and when we make decisions, we suffer the consequences which in turn build a sense of responsibility. As it was mentioned in the article, children need to be tough and for that parents shouldn’t always help the children out of the mess their decisions and actions have created for them, but every child deserves to be helped at least the first time they make a mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear sir , it was a very well written and precise article.all relevant points have been touched.i think parents also need to grow and change the power equation with children as they grow. Childhood should be made happy but happiness should not be by blackmail by the child but truly a happy and nurturing home environment. As the go to school they need to be disciplined and made responsible for certain chores at home.rules of the game needs to be clearly laid down and enforced with love and power. As they enter adult hood it’s more of dialogue and friendship. Parents must stop trying to live their childhood through their children. Parents need to give them freedom to fail, get up and move on.it is a teamwork and give the credit to children to make them achievers.

    Like

  9. Bindu Cherungath on said:

    Excellent read….

    Liked by 2 people

  10. All aspects well brought out.
    Here is my take on parent child communication.

    https://rejinces.net/2016/07/22/importance-of-parent-child-communication/

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Cdr Rahul Malik on said:

    A very well articulated & relevant article 🙂

    Like

  12. shailendra singh on said:

    Thanks for a very insightful article on a contemporary subject. It looks that we have become impatient individuals and accordingly impatient parents too. We want our children to be the best and are getting too much involved with them, thereby not letting them develop naturally. We want them to be prototypes and in the bargain interfering with their natural growth. Student teacher relationship is at its lowest ebb for the commercialisation of education.

    Like

  13. Sukhjit Sanewal on said:

    Great read …well coordinated and precise…I fully agree with you that children should be told the way …rest let them tackle with difficulties and way h from side can guide when they are struck … Lots regards …Anju

    Like

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