The first thing I saw on Facebook today which got my attention was this picture and what it says –
My respect for Jackie Chan went up several notches because even if he does just 50% of what he says, he would set a great example for his son and other parents. Out of curiosity I went through the comments and most people seemed appalled that he would do something like this. Some comments were about how charities are all a sham and thats why it made better sense to leave the money to his son, and some other comments were about how parents have to make sure their children are provided for.
In the Indian context, this would probably never happen !!! How can any father leave not a penny for his SON and give it all to charity? Parental indulgence is taking on gigantic proportions and is really leading to a lot of children feeling “entitled” to the good life, not hard earned, but provided for by their parents. Krishnan wrote recently on this – https://vgkrishnan.com/2016/05/27/parental-indulgence-and-its-serious-consequences/.
Even lower middle class families tend to go overboard if their only child asks for something. I find that unacceptable. My dad would clearly say “I cannot afford this. I won’t buy it. Feel free to buy it when you start earning.” Yes, I cried, my mother tried to convince my dad, but he stood firm and I realise he did that to ensure I have no sense of entitlement. I knew that he will bend over backwards to buy any book, however expensive, he would always ask me to enrol myself in a library wherever we got posted and he would encourage my participation in all extra-curricular activities like debates, elocutions, sports but he would never spend money on buying new clothes, or toys or jewellery or fancy shoes or anything that was frivolous.
I find today’s child has a wardrobe full of clothes and another wardrobe full of toys …. they outgrow their dresses just like you, me and their parents did before them. Its ok to buy a few clothes, but a wardrobe full of clothes? The toys are expensive, clothes are expensive and education is expensive. A child who goes in an air conditioned bus to school, sits in an air conditioned classroom, has someone picking up his/her school bags, then will have to go on a Tata Jagriti Yatra to understand the “real” India. What happens when failure hits this child ? as it would… either at work, or in their personal lives.. how will they deal with that? What if daddy dearest goes bankrupt ? And they need to live in a one room tenement with no air conditioning…
As parents you need to let the child experience life in all its glory – there are challenges, there are difficult times, there are failures. Teach the child to stand up and face life responsibly. A little boy who grows up watching his mom slog in the kitchen while his father puts his feet up and watches TV will not suddenly grow up and help his wife. A child emulates you, period. If you are honest, chances are your child will be honest. If you are hard working, chances are very high that your child will be hard working. If you are a slime ball, don’t expect your son or daughter to be any different… We see that everyday. The Bihar MLA’s son who killed a young boy for overtaking him, did not grow up with Gandhiji as his father ! His mom is a known offender and the son is following her footsteps.
That brings me to the question that should really bother all of us – all the violence in the world is because of someone’s son or someone’s daughter…. who needs fixing??parents is my guess.
So do what Jackie Chan intends to do – let your children build their muscles to face up to life and let them not grow up “entitled” !
The closing quote is also from Facebook and very appropriate –