Nature of an individual is god given which can not be changed but behaviour can be learned as it does not occur by magic or is not inherited. A well behaved child is not the result of sheer luck. Children learn good or bad behaviours. Be encouraged – if children learn behaviour, then children can learn to change behaviour. We see children creating many challenging situations, occasionally amusing, often frustrating & sometimes embarrassing. Children are considered as a measure of parents’ success & worthiness. So parents are judged in the society by the behaviour & achievements of their children as Oscar Wild has said, “Child is the father of man.”Have you ever observed people buy apples? It is held up to the light, examining the reflection, rotated to look for blemish & squeezed for firmness.
Everybody wants the perfect apple. In the same way all parents want perfect children. We want them to be happy & well adjusted, loving & respectful to others, well behaved, self motivated and independent. All parents have same goals & aspirations. To reach upto these goals parents need to nurture their children since childhood itself; following the fundamental that child’s mind is softer than the teenager’s mind.
We often hear from our grandparents & parents that they used to be disciplined rather over disciplined by their teachers at school & by father at home for the education & precious values in life. But with the advent of DINK (double income no kid) or DISK (double income single kid) norm, each child is a precious one, loved very much rather pampered at home & disciplined at school.
If we think retrospectively, a few doubts arise in our mind – why doesn’t the discipline work the same way it did some 20 – 30 years ago? Why don’t the traditional methods work? Why is being a parent so demanding & confusing? Our parents survived their adolescence, we grew up well then why can’t our own children do the same way?
The reasons being parenting has become more difficult task because the childhood has become more complicated. The children are under tension that seeps down constantly from peers, school, media & parents as well. Thus, this pressure on our children, may it be at subconscious level, translates into problems for us.
There are several changes occurring in our familial life. Our family trends have a tremendous impact on discipline and our role as parents. Our economic & social development has created financial disparities. Parents, if both are working, come home stressed& if they bring office to home, their fuse is off which reflects on their children adversely. In some cases single parenting whatever may be cause, is stressful. Twenty years ago, everyone in the same town or neighbourhood had same values & beliefs. No matter where we went to play, the rules were the same. This is no longer true. Now-a-days every family has its own standards. So the children experience many versions of right & wrong which confuse them. Today’s problems are more complicated. Hence they require refined solutions.
Being a lovely child in the family childhood passes goody-goody, but they should know that love does not always light the way. As they enter into adolescence, suddenly the conditions are changed. Teenagers are expected to be disciplined & well mannered. In the schools already the groups are formed as high & low scorers on the basis of academic performance; good & bad students on the basis of behaviour. A few are labelled ‘bad’ without their active participation in problem behaviour but due to just being with so called bad group of students. This sudden change in the environment affects teenagers negatively. They become stubborn & as the parents & teachers enforce the discipline even more, vicious cycle of misbehaviours sets in.
At this stage, parents are wide awake as their child’s future is at stake. Hence, before such circumstances arise why not to start preparing ourselves & our children to embrace their adolescence confidently!
Dr. Mrs Prajakta Kaduskar
Consultant in Adolescent Paediatrics
Dr. Ajay Kaduskar
Dr. Mrs. Prajakta A. Kaduskar