Modern Family

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There is a beautiful Saiva Adheenam in Kauai, Hawaii whose previous pontiff was Sivaya Subramuniya Swamy. We called him Gurudeva. He was an embodiment of love. Once, while talking to us, he asked us if we knew why the North Indians fared very well in business. He then continued to say that N.Indians always spoke about business matters with their children around them. After school, the children also helped the father in the business. So they grew up watching their father in action and when they inherited the business did better, with the knowledge acquired from their father all along. You can see this culture in the N.Indian households even now.

The S.Indian kids grow up in a more sheltered environment. (I am talking about the middle class and the upper class and not the poor here) The parents strive hard to get the kids what they want. They also make sure that they realize that studies should always be their  #1 priority, even going to the extent of making them give up their passionate pursuit in sports or arts if they did not do well in their studies. The sad part here is, parents even hide a bad marriage from the kids and the kids are oblivious to such facts until suddenly one day they realise the problems the family is facing and then it comes as rude shock to them. True, parents should strive to preserve the innocence of child hood but not at the expense of the child not learning from life’s experiences at the appropriate time. The child is a part of the family and he/she must be aware of what is going on around him/her.

Children of Indian origin growing up abroad lead an even more secluded and exalted life. They have their own room, iPad,  iPod, iPhone X-box and what not to keep them happily in their room fully occupied. This is the same situation in the rich people’s household in India as well. These kids spend less time interacting with real friends at school and more time on Gchat and Facebook trying to forge a relationship with unknown people. They spend hours together in front of a computer and with electronic gadgets that they lose touch with human contact and pretty soon begin to think of them as unnecessary. They don’t have any thing to speak for even two minutes when a visitor visits their family. In fact they are now more comfortable wishing people through SMS and other social network sites rather than even picking up a phone to verbally communicate this. This is more convenient since it is a one way communication and they do not have to make an effort to respond to what the other has to say. If this trend continues it will have a huge impact on the future society as communication skills between humans may have to be retaught!

To avoid all this children should be made to realise that they are not the centre of the universe. They should be brought up in such a way that they can empathise with what is going on around them. Both parents have to work for financial stability these days but it is also their responsibility to make sure that televisions and computers do not take their place!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Viju
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 20:10:43

    Perhaps the presence of a grandparent will entirely change the way the kids (and the parents) grow up? At least the grandparents of this generation surely make a difference. Don’t know how the next generations (including me) are going to be as parents/grandparents. Quite perplexing!

    Reply

  2. amas32
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 20:36:28

    When my father-in-law pased away my son was unconsolable here in the US, as he had grown up with him. A lot of give and take is required from the present generation if their kids have to enjoy that love and closeness from their grand parents.

    Reply

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