All of us have reasons for doing and saying whatever we do or say. But we elders normally fail to understand that children also have their own worries and their own reasons. We somehow refuse to believe that the child is, besides being a human being also an individual with his little aspirations and egos.
This little individual is, let us accept, never treated as an individual. He is always looked upon as somebody who must do only what his elders tell him to do, behave only as his elders tell him to, and so much so, even like and dislike what his elders want him to. In this very domination of sorts bring the gap between the generations I daresay, it is a bridge that cannot be crossed. It does not mean that elders should not lead the child. This, they have to but, with some caution of remembering that, the child is also an individual with his own will and brain. We elders should not try to impose upon him our likes and dislikes to such an extent that either he revolts or he loses his own power of thinking and planning for himself. This in turn makes him a mentally maimed adult.
When we try to bring up a child we have to be very careful about what we do and what we teach. If the two are identical, then the child just mimics and learns but, when there is a gap between what we do and what we teach, the child begins to reason out for himself and does what he, as an individual thinks is right or what he, prefers to do. In this way he has his reasons for doing whatever he does, leaving the elders unaware of the why and what of his action. This is because, remember, he is an individual also, besides being a child. For example as elders we teach him continuously that, he must not tell lies but, when he sees his parents or other elders telling lies, he starts reasoning out why lies should be spoken or not spoken. He has his own reasons which come out of his own capacity as an individual to understand, act and react. Then when he takes a particular path of telling lies or not telling lies, we do not understand why he does so, this in itself proves that, he has his own reasons.
Talking of a child let us be clear of whom we term as a child. The child who is very young say about 2 – 6 years old, copies his elders to some extent, intermingled with his own little brain thinking planning and opting for what he, as an individual thinks appropriate. Even after the age of say 6 to, we call them as children. Now this category of children who are on the threshold of adulthood start becoming aggressive as they start reaping the results of their behaviours. For example we often hear elders say that, children these days are not obedient. It is easy to just condemn but, do we adults ever try to understand why they are so. The answer is quite clear when there are no clear cut paths to tread upon, when there are no clear examples to follow, the children first do what they feel is correct or is result oriented. Now, for instance, when we tell them to obey, it is very well said but what they see all around is disobedience for excellence. They see their parents, teachers and others of the adult world flouting rules and regulations at every step so, they analyse in their minds, reason out and wonder why they are being instructed to be obedient. When obedience is a missing number everywhere then, there is, a very justifiable trend of disobedience. Wherever they go, they find disobedience to rules, to norms and regulations and to cap it all, no one ever seems to be punished for this out and out disobedience. Then they have their own reasons for being disobedient. They feel that when disobedience is in the thing everywhere then why should they not follow the same.
We tell them all the while to work hard as, success comes to those who work. This is all very well said but when they see some people getting places of esteem on a platter what respect can they ever have for hard work and diligence. Their power of reasoning tells them that may be diligence paid dividends in the by gone past, it has apparently no value in the present scenario. Their attitude of indifference to work is then quite justified.
Seeing these few examples, we have to accept that whatever the younger generation is today, it is our making. We must remember that in dealing with them at any stage of their childhood that they and individuals like any one of us and are thus bound to have their reasons for all that they do. Our duty as elders is to help them to reason correctly and not to subdue them to such as extent that they revolt.