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This thread is the winner of the TOW award for the week 09th to 15th June '19.
  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Are we really spoiling the teens?

    The times had gone when there used to be a gap between parents and their children and the children unconditionally followed and obeyed all the words that came out of their parents' lips.
    Nowadays parents have become friendly with their kids. Even teachers try to be a little friendly so as to introduce confidence and courage among the students in asking and solving their queries and doubts. This proved to be a little better practice in resolving the frustration and depression related issues of the teens.

    But these days it appears as if teens have started taking advantage of this friendly behaviour and they even speak harshly and rudely with their elders. Their tone has become quite informal with all the elders which is unacceptable in our society. However still many children are showing graceful behaviour but many are considering it as their parents' weakness which isn't worth considering.

    What steps parents should take in order to nurture their teenage and injecting ethical values with moral etiquettes in the teenagers?
  • #667791
    The role of parents is very vital. They should allow their children to perform well. They should teach them what is important for human life. Parents should not make them earning machines. The children should enjoy their lives. In Olden days people used to have more children and there is no pampering. They used to give respect and value to the words of the elders.
    But these days because of the advent of the internet and cellphones the children are getting exposed more to the world. Their sharp brains are becoming very useful for finding out solutions for the problems they are encountering. This has given a feeling to the children that they know more.
    This is making them overconfident and they are becoming free and not caring for the elders. That is why parents should start teaching good words to the Kids and see that they will understand the importance of ethics and values and they will feel like following them is an old brain's attitude.
    So parents from the early age of their children should start teaching them more the importance of simple living and they should also teach the ethics and values in life. They only the future generations can go without having any such bad qualities and understand the importance of values in life.

    always confident

  • #667795
    It is said that spare the rod and spoil the child. The children have a tender age. They do not understand the things as the mature persons perceive. They take everything as their right and want it as they like and immediately. They do not understand the value of time, money and material. They know only how to demand and cry for it. So, the role of parents is very crucial and they have to keep the children under control. They are to be awarded only when they obey and work as per our directions. They should know that nothing is free in this world and everything is available after the hard work done in a day. The dignity of labour is to be inculcated in the young minds and they do not feel shy in doing menial works in the household. They should understand that by doing these works only some poor people are earning their bread and butter.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #667821
    Parents and teachers need to balance both discipline as well as friendship. As parents it is our duty to teach our children what is right and what is wrong. How we teach our children depends on us. We should not be too autocratic or too diplomatic. It is always better balance both.
    "If you don’t understand my silence, you will not understand my words"

  • #667848
    To some extent I also believe that we the parents are giving too much liberty to our children and then they are going out of our control and then we end up only repenting for it. It is necessary that we should have control on them and sometimes we should deal with them in firm ways so that they remain disciplined and behave in a proper way. A house has certain rules and regulations and every one whether he is a child or adult must abide by them.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #667851
    Yes Madam. The problem is very acute in the cities, more so, in the metro cities. The consumerist culture and all the distractions of the mass media and excessive use of the cell phones are the main reasons as to why this happens. The teenagers are very keen to know everything. Their urge to "experiment" and "to be" is now so huge that the consequences are disastrous. Peer pressure is also a big problem. This is going on even in the lower middle class families. The parents have a big role to play but they are also sort of feeling helpless.

    One sure method is to constantly counsel them and, even seek the expertise of experts. The question is one of identity. If they lose these wonderful opportunities now, they will only regret it later. Let us not allow that to happen. Taking them away to native places, far removed from the dust and din of city life might expose them to nature as it were and might help them to be more balanced. This has been found to be true in a number of cases. Of course, everything associated with traditional spiritual vales are being questioned in such a big way, with disastrous consequences. For instance, in a traditional pooja, I found a Tamil Brahmin mother typically wearing the nine yards sari, glass bangles and everything that is expected on such an occasion, and the daughter some 18 years old, dressed in jeans as if she were just out of a beauty parlor. The father seemed helpless and was immersed in prayers. We seem to be having more of these experiences repeated all over. This generation never understands traditions and values. This is very dangerous.

  • #667878
    I agree with the writer. Now a days, many have only 1 or 2 kids are have less or no time to give them. They replace their presence with money or gifts. They tend to ignore each & every thing that their children are doing.

    It has even started between parents themself. When mother shout, fathers takes support of his child & shout back at his wife & visa-versa. These become an habit & at a stage they both start ignoring the wrong being done by them. If they call their father by name, its being told that they are kid & every notorious act is covered by the kid stamp.

    This eventually spoil the kids and when they are corrected at later stage, make them arrogant & angry. The responsibility of parents is to inculcate good habits & teach them to respect everyone.

    “Each day provides its own gifts.” —Marcus Aurelius

  • #667880
    I think we judge based on our own perceptions of what we think is right and wrong behaviour. In this case too the author has provided no example and made just a generic observation. Children today are brought up in a different environment and what everyone considers rude, may just be the child giving his opinion. There are different ways of looking at it. The parents might not see it as rude behaviour and may consider it as communication, while an outsider who is not used to the way the family functions will see a child responding to the parents as rude behaviour,

    We are so guided by what we think is right that we begin judging others. Take the response given by ABSivakumar, where he describes the 'misconduct' of an 18-year-old, in a family puja.

    I look at it differently - my perception is that if I am at a puja I should be concentrating on the rituals and not be distracted by what is happening all around because I am invited to participate in the ceremony. I have no right to comment on someone else breaking traditions when I myself am doing so. I see a puja as a religious activity which requires concentration, participation and piety and not distraction.

    There are different ways of looking at it.

    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

  • #667908
    Madam, I have never used the word misconduct. We had a tough time telling the girl that her attire does not fit the situation. Well, she was on her own and the others just concentrated on the mantras being recited, literally immersed in the spiritual thoughts. Whether the girl even was involved at least one percent was not known. We are totally against this sort of behaviour. A temple is a temple. One cannot dress like that. We cannot allow that. If it were a wedding reception, that is different. It is not misconduct. It is indifferent. In our way of life, it is one thing to be deeply spiritual. It is another to be up with the modern times. The latter is now allowed, on occasion in most families. The context is very important.

  • #667909
    Sorry. Read indifference.

  • #667911
    Misconduct was used as an expression and not as a quote.

    You are entitled to be steadfast and hold on to your beliefs. However, I feel that it is all a matter of perception. And it is such differences in viewing things that create conflicts.

    I don't want to infringe on your way of thinking but still feel the need to put my point of view.

    A place of worship should not be guided by personal interpretations of behaviour. There are many temples that follow a dress code, and people follow those rules, but as far as I know, not every temple has a dress code. So, when people say 'we are against something', they impose their views and preferences and interfere with another's freedom.

    I don't know the circumstances and my reactions are based on what is shared here. I realise that you are old school and it is difficult to change deeply ingrained concepts. The thing is that the girl wore what she chose to wear, and none present could impress on her the need to dress as per the demand of the occasion. 'We cannot allow it', you say, but neither could you stop it from happening. The girl becomes a topic of discussion just because she didn't agree to fit into a mould.

    We look at just the trappings and think that it's enough to read a person. A dress doesn't decide one's spirituality. You read the angst on the 'helpless' father's face, which brings me to the point that he was perhaps distracted, as were others in the audience who noticed the girl in the jeans and the helplessness of the father.

    What is sad here is that none bothered whether the girl participated in the event. The whole purpose was lost with the focus shifted from the puja and participation to how she was dressed. We don't allow traditions to be broken – was distancing of the girl also in keeping with the traditions? Mature adults should have involved her rather than letting her be on her own.

    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

  • #667941
    The precise point was that she was not at all involved. Being dressed in the way she did, she possibly attracted the crowd's attention. We really do not know. As I have already mentioned, this is one community where certain traditions like praying in temples is still followed very strictly. The same family may not mind any kind of attire in certain other places. They are maximum exposed to everything. We have amongst us, the members of this particular community who go abroad, and even possibly get married to Americans. But within India, most have very deep rooted religious practices like what I had mentioned about the "valaikaappu", the bangle function during the eighth month of pregnancy. Now, this is done very religiously.

    Well, things are changing, but slowly. This is one community most often based in USA, Canada and most of Europe. Right from the likes of Sundar Pichchai to Raghuram Rajan to Dr Subramanian Swami, everyone belongs to this community. For your information, the social changes are the subject of many a doctorate degree in sociology. But many things are taboo. Like not touching non-vegetarian food. I guess this will continue.

  • #667942
    Let me have my own opinion which may vary from others.

    It was not that earlier ( at least 20 years back), the parent weren't friendly. However, those time were different, for almost everything the kid or teen had to come to the parent to ask about their doubts, no matter whether they had friendly relationship or not. Parents too had to come to the kid for the help (Its not that they don't come today, I am just talking about earlier situation and now). Kids were misbehaving at that time too or having stubborn attitude.

    Today, the time and situation is not like earlier. Just think, how much informations are available to the kid? We have TV and internet which can provide any kind of informations which actually not require for a kid or teenagers. But, they know it today, meaning the knowledge or informations they are getting, it taking them ahead of their age! Naturally, the behaviour of the kids will change if you have world of the informations on their hand!!

    I don't think that parents are changed today, they are the same as earlier, but, the time has change. I only worried thinking of the future what will happen when a teenagers will have the informations of entire life? What excitement will be left for them to live there life ahead.

    The science and technology today taking us unimaginable situation, it will be only to see where it ends.

  • #667945
    Partially it's correct. I have seen lots of kids still are scared of their parents and they don't utter a word in front of them especially in front of the father.

    In my opinion, it's good for the growth of the kids that the parents behave like friends. I remember in our times we never used to tell everything to the parents because of the fear that how the parents will react if that was not our fault.

    I believe it's a good thing that the parents are friendly and kids don't feel shy to tell what they experienced in a day.

    As time is changing and daily we read incidents of child molestation so it's good that kids these days don't hesitate to tell their parents if they have experienced the same unlike in the past when kids used to feel shy and fear how would their parents react when they listen about it. I think it's okay that parents and teachers have become a little bit friendly to the kids these days.


    " We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
    – Abraham Lincoln

  • #667969
    I would feel claustrophobic in such an environment, no wonder there is rebellion. Traditions must not be forced, that is too rigid a stand. Let it come voluntarily, and it does when there's logic attached with it. To me (and the girl in this whole saga) the freedom to decide is of paramount importance. And as long as there is nothing morally wrong in the action it should not be condemned. Acceptance of another's rights is the need of the hour.

    Coming to communities and traditions that they follow. I have moved in the company of people from different communities for more than half my life. Sharing meals and conversations, so my experience is wide. The taboos in the communities are often just a façade maintained for the family – people eat 'everything' when no one is watching. And by everything, I mean all the taboo stuff.

    No one can peep into other people's kitchens to see what is being cooked, especially when they live across seven seas. I have had the opportunity to dine with people and see what they eat – these are some of the best-kept secrets.

    I currently reside in what on the outside is a very conservative community, but some of our very close friends, from the community you mention, don't cook non-veg at home but eat it. They eat non-veg at my house. They order it online …

    My first cousin is married to a Tam Bram and he eats everything. He served as the First Secretary and the Indian High Commissioner in many countries and took a liking to non-veg food. Another first cousin is also married to a Tam Bram, they are settled overseas, and this brother-in-law of mine hides the fact that he eats meat, from his family.

    My husband's college mates from the same community eat meat.

    Stuff happens.

    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

  • #667972
    I am not getting into the topic at this juncture but I think the girl referred to by the author at #667851 was, first of all, expected ( and why not?) to dress to the occasion as per their tradition and secondly, taking the hapless face of her parents into consideration, I think she did not heed to the suggestion by the parents but preferred to go by her choice. Clarity on this point, I feel, will help in guiding the discussion in a better direction.
    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. -Aristotle

  • #667973
    Bringing in the 'hapless face' of the parents amounts to emotional blackmail. Traditions are made by people, to follow or not should be a choice. I myself am a parent but I never impose traditions on my child. That is too restrictive. Everyone should be allowed to live their life on their own terms. There should be no ganging up against someone who chooses to do something different.

    If we keep traditions in mind then the really downtrodden of our society would still be expected to clean everyone's s*** because traditionally that is what they were supposed to do. We'd still be having 'devdasis' and young girls exploited in the name of tradition.

    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

  • #667986
    Yes, Madam, I do know so many from this community who eat everything. It is just not correct to do so, but they have the freedom to do it. As I had mentioned, things are changing. With regard to the last point, the practice is dead in most parts of Tamil Nadu. I do not know anything about other States.

    Whether breaking traditions by eating non-vegetarian food is fine or not is a very debatable point. But breaking rituals and practices cannot happen overnight.

  • #667993
    To give one example, the servant maid who works in my house is not educated. Many from her caste are. They do white collar jobs in IT companies and a few have even migrated to Australia. So, regardless of caste, if the person does not study or does not have a special skill, he or she is doomed. In fact, I had motivated a couple of guys to do the short-term hardware courses. They both belong to the SC and ST communities. They are pretty decent, Both of them have small shops and they provide all basic hardware services, earning a minimum of Rs. 600 per day. The smarter guy who had gone to a Chennai college, impressed them with his skills. They have given him an annual maintenance contract. So, for days on end, he is there and stay's in the hostel itself. No one ever asks him what his caste is. His skill is the main driver.

    Examples of this kind abound. All over T. Nadu. This is also the reason why the lowest category jobs like washing the vessels in small hotels is done by the Hindiwallahs, who know nothing except the Hindi language and are totally unskilled and also uneducated. They have not studied well, for whatever reason. At the other end of the spectrum, we have the smartest guys from IIMs, right here in Chennai. They occupy senior positions and are too good.

    Hence, everything is changing in Tamil Nadu, at least. Am afraid we will have none to work in agriculture, in the next ten years. Irrespective of castes.

  • #668049
    We are, if I am not mistaken, discussing whether parents are spoiling the teenagers. Let us stick to the topic.
    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. -Aristotle

  • #668576
    The thread has taken a different course and ended up in caste, culture, and traditions. In fact, time has changed everything in our life including the behaviour of children. It is the technology and education that spoiled our children that the parents cannot control and take charge of their wards effectively.

    [Do not put in needless religious references to threads.]

    No life without Sun

  • #668676
    There is nothing wrong with being friendly to our children. It gives a kid immense moral support, which helps them to discuss, argue and share their thoughts with their parents, and it is the need of the hour. Earlier parents, especially fathers, used to maintain a distance with their children, which created a fear in the minds of the young ones, that is unacceptable. It might sound awkward when a child protests or show a great indifference, but it should be taken very sportingly because it will allow the child to open up.

    To guide properly, we need to know the mind of our child very clearly, but if he/she is in fear then, would not have an open discussion, which may lead to a wrong direction. Every time a child has to accept what the parents or the elders say is expecting too much in this modern era, where everything is open. Giving guidance time to time is enough, and the parents must lead by example, which will instil the good qualities in the children too.

    We must not burden children with a list of dos and don'ts rather teach them by setting an example, which makes the relationship between parents and children quite healthy. The parents spoil when they don't show a mirror to their children or explain the difference between right and wrong, but raise a child without any ifs and buts. Such parents are limited because most of the parents try to convey the need for moral values. Their process may differ, but usually, parents do not spoil their children, rather it's the surroundings in and around that influence a child a lot.


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