Monday, 29 February 2016

Lets leave the kids alone!

There are a lot of things that we are told when we are kids. It's by parents as well as by other people around us. Almost everyone told us something. And rightfully so. We were just kids. We had to learn everything. We were knew to this world. I mean, we are super curious and everyone around is super excited to teach us stuff.

But have you ever wondered, did the teach us the right thing [What is the right thing?] or did they just enforce their prejudices on us? Shouldn't we teach children how to make decisions on their own? Shouldn't we teach them to decide what is good and what is bad for them?

The hardest part about being a parent is deciding which mistakes you let you children make and which ones do you help them avoid. 

Let's make a list of things that a lot of kids in India are told:

1. Mahatma Gandhi is the best example of a human being. Questioning his actions, even for the sake of understanding, amounts to blasphemy. 
2. Politics is what people engage in when they have nothing else to do. Don't even think about joining it. 
3. If you are a naughty boy/girl, police will come and take you away. Police is corrupt too. Stay away from them. 
4. Everyone elder to you is always right about everything. That's the end of discussion. 
5. Marks in school are everything. Its the yardstick with which we will measure your success in life.
6. Government system is always going to be slow and bribing is the only way to make it work faster. 
7. Respect your teachers. Don't ask why. But no, you can't become a teacher. That's what losers do. 
8. Poor people don't have a lot of values. They steal/fight/get addicted to harmful substances more easily than rich people. 

Ofcourse this is non-exhaustive list. There are a lot more from where that came from. Lets take them one by one.

History books will tell everyone how Gandhiji was a great man. He struggled hard to get India Independence. But hey, wouldn't it be nice if we let the kids decide on whether they like him or not? Everyone doesn't have to do something just because Gandhiji did it. He was not universally loved when he was alive so lets not force everyone to love him now. Even he wouldn't approve it.  

Politics is bad. It's like a sewer line. A quick sand kind of a thing. I am sure everyone has heard that. I am also sure that most of us looked down upon all our elected representatives. But let me ask you one thing, if good people don't join politics, how will it improve? Its a cliched line but it still asks the most important question. Engaging with the politicians and the political system is what keeps them accountable and efficient. 

Police are public servants. They are meant to protect us. They put their lives on the line. They don't take a lot of holidays. They try to see to it that you are safe. Don't they deserve a more positive introduction in front of young impressionable minds? If we plant the seed of disdain towards them in our child's mind, it will only grow over time. Anyways the media around them will highlight all the problems that the police creates more than the good things that they do. 

Ah. The 'elders are always right' card. This had been used on all of us once in a while. Guess what, inexperience is awesome. It helps think of newer and better ideas. It helps us innovate because we aren't bound by the mental restrictions that previous generation is bound by. It helps finds new solutions to old problems. Experience doesn't always mean wisdom. 

I am curious, smart and have amazing thirst for knowledge but it won't matter unless I get good marks. It is going to be the one major yardstick for measuring my success in life. It starts with marks and then as you grow older, it changes to the amount of money I earn. It doesn't matter if you enjoy studying or working unless you get marks or salary. 

Government departments face the same problem as the police. Everyone tells you that bribing is the only way the government department works. Everyone in the department is lazy and not competent to do the job. Most of them love the job security and that's why they take up this job. No one none of the youngsters ever want to get government jobs if they can get private jobs. No one even hopes to get work done fast if a government office is involved. 

Teachers are supposed to be respected as much as parents. All elders will ask you to respect teachers and listen to them. But as soon as you tell them you want to become a teacher, their stand on teachers will change immediately. I don't think I need to explain this further.

The poor- rich divide is made so apparent right from the start that I am not surprised that children grow up to being isolated from children from other economic strata of the society. Rich kids will almost always play with and hang out with rich kids and poor kids with other poor kids. It build in children the mindset that rich people are very different from poor people. This is good for neither the rich kid or the poor kid. Poor people are also always portrayed as people who would commit crimes easily or more likely to be addicted to harmful substances. So rich kids are taught to always keep their distance. Just to be safe. 

The entire point of the post is that, we are teaching kids how to do things instead of teaching them how to learn how to do things. Parents should teach their children how to think for themselves. Sure, the kids will make mistakes from time to time but that's a part of the learning process. 

Don't force your ideas upon them. Leave them free. Teach them how to think independently and you won't have to teach them anything else. 

Most of the prejudices in this world are because of stereotypes that are put into our heads when we are kids. If we stop that then we can get rid of a lot of problems from this world.

Lets leave our kids alone.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, i agree with your post. We should let the kids have some their alone time too. If we kept being close to them they will become rude and annoying