By Dr Jyots Bhattacharjee
We often hear of growing students indiscipline in the whole country including our own state. The students do not seem to be interested in studies, rather they are more interested in politics and other activities. They resort to any sort of agitation at the slightest pretext. Often they make a mountain out of a molehill. Cheating in examition has become a common thing for most of them. If the invigilator takes necessary action against the culprit, he may turn violent and assault the invigilator. Perhaps the students believe that cheating or taking recourse to unfair means for passing the examition is not a crime and it should be accepted as a normal activity. They do not seem to have any idea of morality. Hence I believe that it is very necessary to impart value education to the students in our educatiol institutes.
Frequently we hear of crimil activities perpetrated by the young people. Some of them have taken to drugs and other anti-social activities. Drug mece has swept over like an infectious disease. Parents complain against their children, teachers complain against their students and elders complain against the youngsters. In earlier times children used to venerate their parents. But today it is no longer so. For them it is neither a sin nor a crime to go against the wishes of the parents. For the children who have reached maturity, the parents are outdated and their ideas have become obsolete and hence valueless. The gap between the parents and the children are widening. This is what is termed as generation gap. To bridge the gap, some kind of mutual understanding between the parents and the children is necessary. I think that the parents ought to realize that they should respect the views of their children when they are sufficiently grown up to make their own decision. Mothers cannot possibly keep their children tied to their apron strings for long. Children too should understand that whatever their parents say or do, it is only for their good. If the modern children think that their parents are domineering and want to impose their will on them, they should not take umbrage. Their thought process should be positive. There is no problem which cannot be solved by frank discussions.
Every child is born with some tural aptitudes and sufficient mental prowess. It is the responsibility of the parents to help in bringing out and developing the inherent talent of the children. They should make every possible endeavour to make the children self-sufficient and self-confident. They should allow the child to put one foot in front of the other without pointing out that he may fall into a puddle. Children should be allowed to learn by the method of trial and error. Let them make mistakes. They should learn to tread the right path only through mistakes. They must face the rough-and-tumble of life boldly and learn to overcome them.
Often we find young people drifting away like a rudderless boat. What is the root of the problem? And what is the solution? Inferiority complex and the feeling of insecurity are the primary impediments of persolity development. There are many reasons for these obstructive factors. Sometimes the young people are conscious of their shortcomings and instead of trying to overcome them, they behave in an atrocious manner to bolster their ego. Their minds work in a negative way and they try to show the world that they do not care as to what others say. Because their minds function in a negative way, they try to show off to attract attention as well as to show the world that they do not care for anybody’s approval or disapproval.
We can look with distaste at these symbols of rebellion — usually clothes, hair style, dangling earrings and outrageous behaviour. But if we see all this for what it is, that is, the outward expression of youth’s tural desire to be different, to be independent, then perhaps we would not be so very shocked. We often hear of generation gap; parents grumble that they have done so much for the children, yet they never show the slightest respect to the parents. Though it is difficult to accept, yet we must admit that the times have changed. The commands of the parents are no longer regarded as divine commands by the children. Children do not regard the advice of the parents as gospel truth. Once the directive of the parents were like Vedic injunction for the children. But in this modern age those ideas have become obsolete.
Perhaps parents are equally, if not more, responsible for the shortcomings of the young people. It is hard for the parents to accept any kind of misbehaviour or defect in their children complacently. But it is also very true that they greatly hinder the development of persolity in their children. Sometimes they unwittingly compare the child with a more brilliant one, or they might perhaps rrate their own achievements to the disparagement of the child’s apparent failure. This kind of talks turally saps the confidence of the young person, which does great harm in the development of the child’s mental process. The child becomes ashamed of his/her poor performance and it becomes disastrous for his or her development. He thinks himself to be a failure and to overcome this feeling he acts in such a disagreeable way so as to shock everybody and derives a kind of perverse pleasure. In this way he takes revenge on his parents for their poor estimate of him.
But in most cases we find that the parents unwittingly do put obstruction in the persolity development of the children by over-protection and constant gging. They impose their wish on the children, thereby forgetting that their child is an independent person. I have seen parents planning the future of their children as if the children have no mind of their own. Some of the parents even do the home work of their children. turally the children become too much dependent on their parents and as a consequence lose their self-confidence.
Parents turally want the best for their children, but the children should be consulted regarding their choice of future career. Of course when they are very young, the parents should keep an eye on them, but not with an iron rod and ruthless disposition. Wealthy parents overwhelm the child with expensive gifts and diverse things for their entertainment, thereby destroying their sense of economy and constructive faculty. Children are not clay models — they have unique features and various tural tendencies, which would develop only under the wise guidance of the parents. For the growth of persolity and a successful future what are needed are wise guidance, a loving home and a little poverty. Children should not be given whatever they demand. They must understand that the parents cannot afford to fulfill all their demands. Even affluent parents should teach the children the importance of economy. They should also know the implication of poverty.
Children are a vibrant part of the family; they are vociferous independent individuals. I believe that the children are of vastly different inclitions and capabilities — they should not be treated as the rubber stamp of the parents — rather they should be accorded respect and consideration, though observation of certain rules have to be insisted upon. Children should be given sufficient scope for their development. It does need enough patience and tolerance on the part of the parents.
Freedom to pursue own interest should be given to each child. Every child has some potential talent and he should be given the chance to make it actual without hindrance. One may be an intellectual, who wants no company other than his own reading; another might be an athlete, whose ambition is to shine in sport; the other one may want to be a painter, some might want to excel in music. The possibilities are endless — and the children should be allowed to pursue their own choice. Because the father is a doctor, he might want his son to become a doctor. If the son does not want to follow his father’s profession, he should not be labelled as a misfit. After all, it is his life and he has a right to follow his own chosen career. If he gets thwarted, then there is every chance of his becoming frustrated and as a consequence he may behave in such a way, which might be ruinous to his future and persolity development.
I think that the primary duty of the parents is to encourage the child to be self-dependent and make his inherent talent actual. The children should be allowed to promote their self-confidence. Unless the child has self-confidence, he would never be able to become successful in life. In some affluent families it can be seen that the children are not supposed to do any work. There are servants to serve them and the pampered brats of the wealthy families behave like morchs of all they survey. I think the children should not be allowed to develop a bloated ego. They should learn that self-help is the best help and God helps only those who help themselves. Circumstances may change and the children should be trained in such a way that they can face any situation, good or bad, without hesitation. After all, parents may not be always there to protect their children from any untoward circumstance. So it is important to build up the positive thinking of their children.
Wise parents never go criticizing their children. Parents may be disappointed if the child has not done as well as the neighbour’s child. But criticism is suicidal and it will only make the child rebellious and he might develop an inferiority complex, which is very harmful in the long run. To overcome frustration and the feeling of incompetence, they might take to drugs, drinks and other evil ways. They may also indulge in diverse anti-social activities to prove their worth in a negative way. They deliberately go against the wishes of the parents to take revenge on them, since they consider the parents to be unfeeling and inconsiderate. We should note that we are not above criticism. Why should we think that only our way is the right one which cannot be improved or changed? Parents talk as if they know everything, which turally the children resent.
Only loving and wise parents can help their children in persolity development. If the child does something wrong, then of course he should be corrected, but with tenderness and love. They should know that whatever they do, even if it is bad, their parents love them. Parents should enforce discipline in their children from early age. They should also be taught the value of morality — but by example and not by precept. Only a person who leads a moral life can teach morality to others. If the father is dishonest then how can he advise his son to be honest? Children must learn to think in a positive way, since negative thinking is disastrous to a person’s peace of mind. To encourage positive thinking children should be allowed to follow their own convictions. They must have some ambition. Let them choose their own career without interference. An idle brain is termed as devil’s workshop. If the young person’s will is frustrated he may discard positive activities due to depression. So I believe that the children should be given sufficient stimulus to keep the minds busy in a positive way. And last but not the least, I think parents should be aware of the disastrous influence of television on the persolity development of children.
I think it is important to keep the children busy with some constructive work. If they have nothing worthwhile to do, they may indulge in any kind of devilry. We all know that an idle brain is a devil’s workshop. They can pursue some vocatiol course after their examitions are over or in their free time. I think that it is very important to train the children to do their own work. Self-help is the best help and who knows what the future has in store for them. We should remember that today’s children are tomorrow’s tion-builders. Every effort should be made to boost their self-confidence at the early stage and it is also necessary to bring out their hidden talent. In this aspect the parents and the teachers may play a big role. The prosperity of the tion and the country depends on them. So the children should be helped and encouraged to think positively so that they become responsible and honest citizens of the country in future.