An individual has to go through varied phases in the journey of life. These phases of life are enfolded with challenges and opportunities. Each phase of life is laced with newer experiences and an individual with meticulous planning and well thought out strategy can make ample use of these life defining experiences to lead a life with utmost satisfaction at the individual level and at the same time has an everlasting impression in the lives of other individuals. Raising a child in
modern times is truly a blessed phase for any parent but at the same time it unfolds arduous mental and physical challenges for the parents and tests their grit and determination. The upbringing of the kids in modern times has become quite demanding and parents need to invest both time and resources to hone their kids to mitigate the challenges posed by 21 st century. Earlier raising a child was mother centric and father was largely involved in fulfilling the needs of the family members be it food , clothing or managing other expenses. The sole crusader for taking care of the child was the responsibility of mother besides doing house hold chorus . In the current times , raising a child is now considered a shared responsibility of both the parents and fathers are at forefront to do their bit in the upbringing of their child and that truly has eased the
suffering of the mother to a greater extent. As a father of two boys , I consider it an obligation and in built responsibility to extend my every possible support in nurturing them and be true support system for my better half in transforming our kids as valuable resources . We need to shun this notion that raising a child is mother centric only. Raising a child in fact is a shared responsibility and we should feel proud in discharging our duties as being caring and responsible “Parents”. The children of any parent are the most treasured gift and parents leave no stone unturned to raise their child by fulfilling their every need and desire irrespective of their financial status and want to see their child succeed in every realm of life. The fulcrum of real parenting in modern times must revolve around in nurturing the child to maximize his /her inherent potentialities and
transform his/her life emboldened with positivity and courage , where in he/she can lead an impactful life infused with family ethos and structured societal norms. However modern parents do invest their time and finances but unfortunately the priority lies in getting our wards enrolled in so called reputed schools and accomplish the assigned home work awarded to child by subject teachers. This is how our life cycle oscillates visa-vis our kids, thus ignoring the core domains of his /her development. The school authority are equally to be blamed for this fiasco by giving unjustified and extra-voluminous home work to the children thus violating the schedule of age-appropriate and class appropriate home work issued from time to time by NCERT , Ministry of Education and Directorate of School Education , Kashmir. Parents therefore are left with no choice but to toe the line of school authorities and get themselves involved in letting their wards finish their home work irrespective of when the child is going to finish the assigned home work, the parents too need to remain awaken along with their kids . Sometimes the kids remain sleepless for extended hours in the night to get the obsolete home work done. It is taking a serious toll on the mental and physical wellbeing of not only the child but of the parents as well. The nature of the home work is such that it hardly caters creativity , critical thinking , collaboration and communicative skills among children which otherwise are key 21 st century skills . The schedule of home work majorly revolves around completion of end –chapter exercises and rote memorization which are strongly discouraged by NEP 2020.
“As parents, we need develop a habit of self –help among kids . Unfortunately we are letting them to live a life of parasites and spoon feeders. We can infuse the acquisition of age-appropriate tasks and habits among our children. Lets us stimulate them to tie their shoe –laces, wear their clothes and uniform. Let them drink fluids and eat food of their own. They surely have tendency to do this stuff of their own. When we do this stuff for them, we render them even more vulnerable and dependent and at the same time we are choking and forgetting ourselves as well.”
In our times, the kids used to spend bulk of time with their grandparents and immediate family members who in turn fostered the relationship bonds and infused positivity, love, affection and cohesiveness among the stakeholders of the family. The family acted as vibrant and thriving unit of the society. It was a normal routine during those days, when our grandparents, mother and other family members used to take us along while visiting a neighbouring family and facilitated the get together with kids from other diverse families and backgrounds and in the long run fostered brotherhood, emotional attachment and humanistic bond. The society worked as a well knit unit, where in individuals contributed immensely in social milieu. Where we are heading
as a society in the current times ? Do we realize and feel the pain and suffering of our neighbours? We are deeply engrossed and restricted to our selves only. The inherent humanistic feelings and tendencies have completely dried up and vaporized. Imagine the futuristic societies, when our kids will replace us in times to come : how vibrant such societies will be ? The reality seems to be abysmal and disturbing. The upbringing of the child in the current times is leading us towards the buildup where in our children found it more purposeful to interact with digital interfaces rather than spending time with their grandparents or with other family members. Where from our kids will learn to be morally upright ? Who will teach them the family ethos and values? Are we expecting some one from the heaven to come down to earth, to render our children cultured and value –laden: As parents we are more than to be blamed? As parents we found it convenient to hand our smart phones to our children so that we can have a sigh of relief . Even scores of parents have kept reserved
smart phones for their children . This is where we are transforming our children as asocial entities . Handing a smart phone to a toddler at an early age literally renders his gray matter( cerebral cortex) as no-creativity zone. Research papers in reputed scientific journals have documented with evidence that smart phones ( digital devices) greatly retard the creativity skill among children, who are prolonged users of digital devices.
Way Forward And Conclusion : There is no denying the fact that raising a child in the modern times is herculean and demanding : physically and financially: as parents we our overburdened : But if we aspire to visualize and foresee the future of our kids as bright and evolving , as parents we need to assume lead role in this regard. Let our kids spend quality time with their immediate and distant family members. let them gel and mingle with the kids from the neighbouring families. Rather than spending bulk of their time on electronic gadgets , we can channelize and redirect their energies towards positivity and creativity . As parents we can engage them in simple but result
oriented innovative activities in the spare time. Instructional designing of the activity should be in such a way that it caters honing of mental faculties and development of gross and fine motor skills . At times story telling can render an effective tool in engaging kids , which used to be a favourite fun centric activity in earlier times . As parents, we need develop a habit of self –help among kids . Unfortunately we are letting them to live a life of parasites and spoon feeders. We can infuse the acquisition of age-appropriate tasks and habits among our children. Lets us stimulate them to tie their shoe –laces, wear their clothes and uniform. Let them drink fluids and eat food of their own. They surely have tendency to do this stuff of their own. When we do this stuff for them, we render them even more vulnerable and dependent and at the same time we are choking and forgetting ourselves as well. In countries like Finland and Japan with world’s most robust education system, it is obligatory and mandatory on part of the child to execute age –appropriate personal care stuff which in the long run infuses a degree of independence and confidence to thrive in the most challenging circumstances.
(The author a resident of Mattan Anantnag is an educator and a research scholar. The views, opinions and conclusions expressed in this article are those of the author and aren’t necessarily in accord with the views of “Kashmir Horizon”.)