The Smart Metro kids

I went out for dinner with my old roomie and his family earlier today. His boy, who is 2 or 3, was supposed to be really adorable and naughty. I hadnt seen his kid in a long time and he has been telling me over phone all this while how the boy has been driving everyone nuts with his cute little things. When we met, the topic drifted to the boy and my bhabhi was really disappointed in the way my friend handled his son. I thought it must be better than what she was portraying it to be, being a mother. As the time went on, I realized the kid was actually really spoilt and cared least about anyone or anything. To him, talking ill was fun and a matter of getting attention which he of course did.

This reminded me of a cousin of mine who was always naughty and loved by everyone for his funny bone and sweetness, however, nobody ever complained of him being off the limit. The prime reason for this was he knew when to make fun of something and when not to do it. He understood his limits as well coz I remember him getting a slap at a very early age whenever he tried to cross any boundaries. Not just that, I never remember him enjoy annoying anyone… he was always the kind who would love to make people laugh and not laugh at them. Kids today, probably, act funny for the heck of it, whether or not they are actually funny. Its more an act of attention than anything else.

Even earlier kids were upto something for getting attention but they never had as much ideas as kids today to. Its because of the kinda exposure these kids are getting – on TV, in their family. Its not funny when a 5 year niece asks me whether I was going out for a date as I was looking sexier than ever, its tragic. Whats even more tragic is the laugh this would attract from the family members which encourages the kid and convinces her that she isnt doing anything off limit or beyond her age.

I remember how many times I got beaten up (still do actually) by my maternal aunt for being naughty or being lazy or just because I met her after a long time and my mom actually laughing it off. And I dont think mothers today let anyone touch their kids even if they are caught guilty. Just think about the teacher-student relation row that was going around in Delhi schools recently. I still firmly believe that teachers should have enough rights to put kids back on track by tougher means, obvoiusly not electricuting them or cutting their tongues off but a slap or a scale on the palm is not all that bad if that makes the kid stick to the right thing – even if thats becoz of fear only.

Kids today spend so much time in front of TV sets and playing games within their house that when, occasionally, they fall on the ground, they act injured like an international cricketer.. coz thats what they see all the time. For kids in a village or the outgoing sporty types, I dont think getting a scratch or two in a day is that big a deal. I feel one of us used to fall off the bicycle everyday coz of the competitiveness when we were racing around in the streets.

I aint no parent yet, but I guess parenting has to be a lot more responsible than its being considered by the parents now atleast of the kids that I am talking about. Remember the dialogue of Susan Sarandon in Step Mom “Do you know how it feels to do it when you know that every little decision you make would impact the person you son or daughter would grow up to be“.

Hope to be a fine parent one day… and a proud one too.


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