The Style of Indian Parenting -Then and Now
With the older generation, the responsibility of parenting was equally divided among the family members (grandma, grandpa, uncle, aunt etc.) as there existed the system of joint family. But now with the family becoming nuclear, parenting had become the sole responsibility of the parents. The style of parenting has changed a lot over the past few years and it’s obvious from the way the new generation parents feed, discipline, play, put their kids to sleep etc. This change can be attributed to the needs (physical and emotional) and desires, the present day parents wanted to have as a child.
For example, the fathers of the older generations were mostly strict to their kids and seldom expressed out their love in front of the kids. But the new generation fathers are entirely different, they are more like a friend to their children. We can say that this change had happened because most of the present day fathers would have yearned for such a friendship from their own fathers as a child. This change has resulted in some positive as well as negative outcomes in the society. Let us see how the art of parenting has changed over the course of time and how it had affected us as social beings.
The older generation provided the children what they needed and not what they wanted. The difference between want and need was well understood. Moral values and self-control were taught when they interacted with the members of the family. The parents then believed in disciplining their kids with a stick. Any act of indiscipline, even if it was a minor one; it was the cane that spoke. The teachers were given full rights to discipline the kids and the parents never made a big issue when they punished the children.
Most of the new generation parents provide their kids all that they ask without much delay. And the result- want and need are not different anymore. The parents no longer believe in using the cane unnecessarily. When the children make a mistake, parents correct them through a friendly talk or a warning (sometimes ignore). They use the old style of punishing only as a last resort. Also, the punishments given by teachers are not taken lightly by the modern parents. A negative influence of modern parenting is that kids grow up without knowing self-control, adjustment, family virtues and other moral values.
The mothers fed their children either by showing them the surroundings (birds, animals, flowers etc.) or by telling them stories. The result – the children got to know the taste and texture of the food they ate, thus enjoying the food. Showing the nature around helped them to grow up loving nature and learning things from it.
Most of the new generation mothers seek the help of television, smart phones, laptop etc. to feed the kids. There is no showing around nature (partly because of the fear of food getting polluted by the dust and partly because there ain’t much left of the nature to show them) and there is no story telling. The result – kids don't know what food they are eating as their eyes and mind are glued to the video they are watching and not on the food they are eating.
There are many other topics to write about other than disciplining and feeding, but it would make this article too lengthy and since I am short of words, let me brief to you as of how this modern parenting had affected us as social beings.
• Kids feel free to share their thoughts and emotions with their parents
• They get a sense of independence as the modern day parents leave most of the things for the child to decide.
• The children get to choose what they want and what they don’t.
• Since the parents react immediately to punishments, abuses, the kids can approach them to talk without shame, if they encounter such experiences.
• The modern parents’ habit of providing the kids with whatever they ask has resulted in children growing up as selfish adults, who wish to acquire whatever they desire at any cost.
• The ‘giving money instead of spending quality time’ attitude of parents with hectic work schedules have given many ‘spoiled brats’ to the society.
• Sharing, adjusting, and other values have become foreign to the present day kids. The family virtues are also long forgotten.
Let’s follow a parenting style where the best of the old and new generations parenting practices merge so that we can raise our future generation to be the good citizens of the world.