Mon, 15 Jul, 2019

Spare the rod & spoil the child

Along with the hi-fi headways witnessed these days, there has been a discernible change in the social attitude of youngsters which is quite worrying

Story: PACHU | MENON | 08th July 2019, 02:55 Hrs

PACHU MENON

Impeccable in manner, fastidious in their appearance and an epitome of diligence, the youth by their very demeanour exemplify everything positive in life. Yet, with every passing year, more and more youngsters are developing an appetite for life in the fast lane with no inclination whatsoever for shouldering responsibilities. So much so that it’s quite common for elders these days to attribute the rashness observed in youth to a serious lack of discipline. 

Even before they are on the threshold of adolescence they manage to get themselves accustomed to mannerisms that would otherwise be inviting the strictest of reprimands. Society too has come to accept the arrogance and brashness associated with the teenagers today as an inevitable aspect of child development in the modern era. 

‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ is no more a healthy adage considering that the use of the rod to discipline a child comes with a lot of its own legal implications. 

The use of corporal punishment as a means to deter undesired behaviour in students is shunned upon by school managements these days as it is purported to be a crime with experts averring that it breaches the rights of children. This in turn has allowed the youngsters to get away with wrongs which, if not corrected in their formative years, would lead them astray in later life. 

While it is not for prudent in the present times to debate on the merits of such ‘punishments’ to instil in the children a sense of right and wrong, let us also not forget that effective discipline is that which is self-enhancing for the child. Discipline, it is said allows children to develop self-control and helps them become emotionally and socially mature and secure adults. 

The practice in some countries where it is mandatory for the male off-springs to serve in the nation’s defence forces on attaining 18-years of age for a minimum of five years has been a helping factor with  the disciplined regime inculcated in one’s lifestyle serving one well after the stint in the services.

That is not to say that only a stint in the defence forces will help the nation build up a generation of disciplined youngsters. 

But while in the services discipline comes as a natural way of life through the strict training imparted; for us civilians, it will be the teachers and lecturers in the schools and colleges, besides the parents, who will have to be the guiding hands. 

But is that all! Peace still eludes the new generation of youngsters. A restlessness characterizes their approach to life. It is difficult to say whether it is over-dependency or a wish to break free of the shackles that bind them to customs and traditions.

A distinct dislike for authority characterizes them. Palpably, they are afflicted by ‘compulsive irreverence’ leading to increasing defiance of parental authority and revolt against established social norms. 

Relationships, as we all know, play an immensely important role in one’s life. As we go through life, we meet a variety of people and build relationships with them. But, along the way somehow, for the modern youth, relationships have gone on to connote an abstraction that has no bearing on the essence of the subject. 

The degeneration of our cultural ethos has had a pronounced effect on our youth. In a general sense, our youth have lost qualities of civility, respect and responsibility. However, the parents too should be held equally responsible for the ‘fall in values’ we so easily attribute to youth these days. 

The alarming trend of divorces has been a hot topic of discussion in recent times. Marriages that don’t even last a few months after they are solemnized have left many doubting the veracity of the socially and ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses. 

Today, the condition manifests itself in a very different manner. Being cynical about everything and everyone in general, life itself has been a complaint galore for the modern day youth. Susceptible to strong emotions, young men these days are more prone to anger.

Along with the hi-fi headways witnessed these days, there has been a discernible change in the social attitude of youngsters which is quite worrying. Suffice to say that a generation addicted to everything that goes in the name of social networking is quite conspicuous by its lack of communication! 

The travails of cyber-age which allows one to move around inconspicuously, in a perpetual state of invisibility, responding and reacting to everything that is posted on the internet, has established a new genre of ‘pals’ that defies the very concept of the bonding between friends. 

In spite of spending hours ‘chatting’ on their cell-phones, the uneasiness felt during the course of a one-to-one dialogue is quite apparent. 

Actually speaking, online social networking has redefined all parameters of friendship! ‘Accepting’ friendship ‘requests’ at the touch of a mouse, and boosting one’s tally of ‘friends’ cannot be called anything but an internet-fad considering that even during chance meetings, these ‘friends’ do not recognize each other! 

Friendships, as with any relationship, bring support and joy. A bond that runs deeper than blood relationships, it is said that there is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. 

However, a fondness for cultivating more on-line friends is slowly, but surely, eroding the essence of friendship. 

Relationships, as we all know, play an immensely important role in one’s life. As we go through life, we meet a variety of people and build relationships with them. But, along the way somehow, for the modern youth, relationships have gone on to connote an abstraction that has no bearing on the essence of the subject. Relationships have come to mean nothing more than ‘relative connectivity’! 

As truly said by Eric Hoffer, “Youth itself is a talent – a perishable talent!” 

Picking up children in the period of physiological and psychological development and fashioning their future would be the right way to enrich this talent. Through proper guidance and appropriate discipline, things could well change for the better!

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