This blog post has been contributed by Aditi Dutta.
With the exam fever spreading rapidly, I am reminded of the time I was appearing for the dreaded class twelfth board exams. It was a stressful time and my mother was hovering around me to make sure I did not waste a single minute. All my waking hours were spent studying. Outings, TV, movies and eating out were only to be engaged in after the exams were over. Sleep was the only way to stay away from the books. However, extra sleeping was also looked down upon and I ended up being called ‘kumbhkaran ki chachi’. I laugh at it now, but at that time it was tough. Now that I am a parent I can understand my parents’ anxiety as well. They were probably more tensed than me with the big question “what will people say?” running in their mind.
Many of us have experienced this type of helicopter parenting. With the pressure to perform, mostly academically, lots of us forgot about sports, hobbies and interests to win the competitive rat race. Maybe, we could have nurtured many more diverse skills and capabilities had we not been so focused on getting good marks. More of us would have possibly stepped away from the beaten path to do more of what we really enjoy. I am not saying it was wrong, we did not turn out bad and our parents did what they did keeping our best interests in mind.
Now, as I observe the new age parents around me, I see a stark contrast. Parents are a lot more ‘chilled out’ than they used to be. While in our times cable TV was considered the big bad monster corrupting kids, nowadays children are equipped with tabs and phones of their own. Parents even take pride in how smart their kids are at using these devices and indeed they are. Some people feel that kids should be kept away from these devices but I don’t think that is practical. These devices are here to stay and it should be okay for them to use these gadgets as long as we guide them correctly and let them use it in moderation.
Today’s teens believe that they are the YOLO (You Only Live Once) generation and often feel that their parents don’t understand them or they are not on the same page. Some often find it funky to turn into rebels and view parents as their enemies. But, I guess we as parents understand this very well and love our kids enough (more than they can imagine) to be patient enough to work through and let the rebellious phase pass. I am often reminded of a message I read recently which said that we are the only generation that listened to our parents and to our kids. I agree!