I usually reserve my views on parenting as it is a subjective term. While on one side it is very fulfilling, as a parent I am aware of its pitfalls too. It’s a constant battle to make one’s children’s world a better place. But today I felt the distinct urge to express something.
‘Disturbed’ is the word that comes close to describing my state of mind after reading an essay written by a teen. I realise not a lot of thought or planning had gone into the written work because he’d written explicitly about all that he does on the net to while away his time. I also realised that he obviously didn’t think he was doing anything wrong or else he wouldn’t have expressed all that he did. And trust me, I was disturbed. Considering the fact that in my line of work I have to go through a lot of creative writing pieces, and deliver corrected ones within a set deadline, this one made me put down the paper, close my eyes to shut out the world, let out a deep breath because it had suddenly caught in my throat and lean back to mull.
The teen who is all of 12, talks about a game he plays online that is not for children below 18, contains bad language, violence, drug intake and nudity. He goes on to say that the graphics is splendid and how the game is addictive and how it takes time to master it. He ends by saying he has mastered it!
I am sure no parent who knows what such things are about would allow their children anywhere near it. My question is do they? Most of them prefer to believe their wards are incapable of such things. In most cases it is probably true, but there are a few who live in denial. While I understand the state of mind of the parent, and their belief that children have to pave their own path, I believe it is solely the responsibility of the parent to protect them until they can fend for themselves. Some do think they need to trust their children. Having faith in the child is one thing, but being blind to reality is another. The world our children are living in is not a safe haven it was for us. It is a darker, murkier place! We read about so many dreadful things happening to children across the world and sit in our living room sipping coffee and shaking our heads in disgust reading about it believing that such things happen to people far away, while it is probably happening in your own child’s bedroom across your hall!
Our children will be the parents of tomorrow. Have we equipped them sufficiently to be a good one? How many of us really know the contents of the games our children play online? Have we checked it and okayed it? Yes we trust them not to do it, but have we explained the dangers and the negative influences of such games? If we have, if we have faith in the values we have instilled, and if we know for sure that it has registered, then yes we can rest assured that our children will not cross lines. But we need to ask ourselves, honestly, as parents, have we? Have we found the time to do so? Or do we prefer to live in denial? I also wish to implore, are we as parents leading by example? Let us remember, that is how children learn, by watching us.
My dear parents! You cannot walk the path of your children, true, but I am sure you can walk behind them to ensure they are walking down the right path. We want the best for them. Let them find their path yes, but let us be there in case they stray, to pull them back.
Goes without saying, they didn’t ask to be born!