Is it important to teach our kids how to outsmart others in wit and academics more than it is necessary to teach them compassion, wisdom and courage? Parents need to take a call now
Earlier it used to be the job of television crews and press photographers to film and click pictures of devastating incidents like accidents, natural calamities, etc. With the advent of smartphones and their smart cameras, everyone who owns one thinks of himself as a ‘citizen journalist’ or something close to that. Thanks to social media, there are scores of networking sites where they can just upload those videos and pictures for the world to see. For the content, it doesn’t really matter what it is. So, there are videos of girls being eve teased, someone being bullied, ragging, accidents and what not. The recent amateur video of a mentally unstable man jumping into a tiger’s territory at the Delhi Zoo is one such recent example. While technology is an important weapon today, out of instinct most people use it first instead of first helping the person in need. So we see many videos and wonder ‘why was this person busy shooting the scene instead of helping the victim’. Is that what it has come to now? More importantly, is that what we are teaching our children by being such role models ourselves?
The world technology has made the walls crumble. Now there is nothing that is hidden from the public eye. Armed with a smartphone or just about any phone with a camera, anyone can turn into a ‘citizen journalist’ or ‘bully’ depending on the intentions of the person wielding the power. Newspaper reports are full of news about girls being blackmailed for their objectionable pictures by unwanted men in their lives. And these men are supposed to be adults, grownups with families and jobs to take care of. If they can turn into unfeeling, creepy people, just imagine what this power can do to naive minds of children. For them, what they see is what they believe and what they follow. There must be cases of children bullying other children or blackmailing them for God knows what, all thanks to the smartphone in their hand. Only that most such cases do not get reported. They maximum come to the notice of the parents, school teachers and diverted to the school counsellor.
So then, what can be done about it? One can’t just snatch away the phone from the kids or disallow them to watch TV or be online lest they get to see or read about other people doing it. How much can you ensure for the kids to be safe? Our sleeping beauties have to face the real world too. All that one can do as a parent is keep the lines of communication open with one’s kids. It is for their own good that they get to hear the right thing from the parents themselves, and not the world around them which also includes their peer group.
Today’s world is very competitive. But, it is important to not just focus on making the child intelligent and smart by scoring good percentage alone. It is equally important to teach them compassion, wisdom and courage. They must know how and when they can make themselves useful for others. Try and teach them good manners. Teach them to do and say the right thing which does not hurt others. Teach them why and how to stand up for their rights. For all this to happen, parents needs to walk the talk first. We are our children’s first role models. What they learn from us in their most formative years of life will stay with them forever and turn them into the people they will become in future.
There are good people and bad people in the world. How one wants their kids to turn out, depends on the parents alone. It is a huge responsibility and needs to be borne with all one’s heart.
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