After serious deliberations and contemplation, I could come to a conclusion, to discuss this issue which has been disturbing me for the last couple of months. But a few experiences of the recent days compelled me to write perhaps prematurely. However, I am sure with the feedback from the teachers, parents and the focus group that is the students, we shall be able to reach to some conclusion and also find some solution. As many people feel that the children are the reflection of their parents and the teachers, this worries me more. I happened to interact with a few children in some matter related to discipline and following the norms which help them to exploit their potential in the best possible manner. There may be a few kids who tend to get influenced by negative thoughts of the people around them. We all are human beings and all tend to commit mistakes which most of the times is done unknowingly and without any ill intention but sometimes deliberately. Some of the students who came to me because of some act of indiscipline were asked simple questions related to the things which they had brought to the school. They knew it very well that mobile phones are not allowed in the School but still got them. The first reaction of most of the kids is that it was left in his/her bag by mistake. When probed further they stick to the same statement till the parents are asked to come to the school. In many a cases, it was found that the parents had not provided the mobile phone to the child and he still had it. The parents are taken by surprise in the majority of the cases because they think their child to be very sincere and honest who shared all secrets with them. In most of the cases, the parents have been very supportive and they helped us in the best possible manner so that the children come out of the habit of telling a lie. We promote that the children should admit whatever they did and the matter should end once they realize their mistakes, rather than lingering it for long. We are not at all fond of any type of punishment and that should be avoided to the last till it becomes mandatory for the betterment of the children. Punishment may not be the best of the solution of such problems in all cases. My worry in such cases has been that despite the fact that the parents are so much concerned about their children and try to be as easily available to them as possible, then why such children also tend to tell a lie? What is that which makes the kids to do what they should not do and they may not like to do? Whose fault is this and if somebody is to be punished who should that be? These are the questions which need to be answered. We tried to search for the answers but without much of success. Though the psychologists and educationists advocate that the children should be handled carefully and I fully agree with them. But the problem is that when children demand for certain things which may not be age appropriate and of proper use to them and the parents say no for that, then the reaction of the children is very unpleasant and negative. Some parents have told me that they tried to be very polite to their child but that did not make any difference rather made him more arrogant and he become a habitual offender. The incidence of a big city in which many children were found in a place abhorrent for them, should be an eye opener for all of us.
When I discussed this issue with the teachers, parents and the students, most of them seemed to be in agreement that there was a quandary and that needed to be tackled immediately. The reasons told for the cause of children resorting to not telling the truth or avoiding the parents and teachers were also shared and I would like to cite a few of them. Some teachers and parents felt that as there is a lot of competition in today’s time and the parents expect a lot from their kids so they tend to tell a lie when they could not perform up to the expectations of the parents because they do not want them to feel bad or let down. This appears to be correct because the children who do not perform well in test/examination avoid sharing their performance with the parents. If the parents would not have been very fussy about the grades/marks then the children would have not avoided sharing the true performance. In some other cases, the aura or the position or the status of the parents is so big that their children are not supposed to perform or behave below a particular standard and they are always expected by their parents to be at the top without fail. This also contributes to the stress of the children. The other reason shared by the parents, teachers and also the children was that, as the adults also tend to tell a lie at times either in personal life or the professional, so they feel that there was nothing wrong in doing that. The other factor mentioned by many was the overall environment in the society. The children mentioned that even media was also responsible for that because the negative characters are projected more prominently than the other ones. The behavior of our representatives is also a major reason because the kids listen to them and tend to follow them considering that this was the easy and appropriate way of succeeding in life. Many of the children feel that the peer pressure is also a major cause because showing off is also considered to be one way of becoming popular amongst the friends.
These reasons are some of those which might be forcing our children to get involved in those activities which may not be good for them as well as the society but we must think beyond that also. At times, the parents and the teachers reach to a point of frustration which further aggravates the problem. The most important remedy for all this can be to have realistic expectations from our children so that they do not come under undue pressure. The education system should be such that it gives opportunity to every child to grow. The education should not be considered as the mere means for earning money but also learning to live the life in all kinds of situation good as well as appalling. They should be told firmly about the things acceptable in the society. They should also be made aware of their duties in addition to their rights. The children should also be encouraged to respect the rights of the other people. The use of electronic tools should be limited to the minimum requirement. The parents should become the role model for the kids because the kind of values received in the family play a noteworthy role in the life of the children and this cannot be overemphasized.
Though the issue raised may appear to be not very significant but this is the one which causes rest of the problems and disturbances. So, this is the responsibility of all to address this issue and make our children healthier citizens of the nation.