A child is what we make of him and what he sees of Us – elders. He can never learn by our criticisms of him but the examples we give to him. A child needs models is evident from our lay research and survey of the last two generations. This study will confirm to us that a child continuously learns from what he sees and not from what is said to him. A study of the present two generations, the younger and the fuling generation will prove the point that a child needs models, and from these models he automatically learns, without any specific classes or the rod etc.
Each younger generation is such a true picture of their senior generation that there has to be no scope of discussions to the effect of models set for the young. Whatever model the children have in front of them, they just inherit all the qualities thereof.
Now for this statement to be proved correct, the best judgement can be made when we study the growth, development and progress of the present younger generation. There is a huge cry often heard everywhere that, the present younger generation is going haywire. It is quite true and evident to all but, let us look into ourselves, and assess for ourselves, what are the models in front of the younger generation? If we do this, we will not have to go very far to find the source of the behaviour of this generation. We will find it all in us, if we are impartial. At home, the parents either pamper out of all proportions or neglect the children. This inculcates in the child an attitude of indifference, as, he feels that there is no consistency required in behaviour, seeing his parents out to love him at one time and out to admonish him at another, without any obvious difference in the child’s achievement. At school the child sees teachers also pamper some children and discard some, for no obvious reason for the child, so here again, the child sees lack of cohesion in the behaviour of the teachers. So, the three ideals of the child, the two parents and the teacher all behave as per their moods it seems so, the child without being taught, learns being moody and his behaviour becomes unstable. Thus his ideals are uncouth and unworthy of their roles in all sobriety, what will happen to the child, is not far to seek.
Do not the children see the difference in the behaviour of the their parents outside home and inside, do not they see their disgraceful behaviour with their old parents, do not the children see their parents hanker for money, and do not the children see their parents’ indifference to their neighbourhood, society and the nation? As we know that they see all this, then what can we expect them to learn.
The parents are their role models, and they follow them implicitly, without any change. So, no matter how much the same parents and other adults or society cares to criticize them, flout them or mock at them, they will not change, or to say they cannot change. Why blame them, they are following verbatim the role models in front of them, and I suppose this is what is expected. Does this not go to prove that children need and only use models to copy, and that no amount of criticism can change them or mould them.
Besides the parents, the next and closes friend and model for the child is the teacher. Here also does the child not notice favouritism of students among teachers, don’t they see teachers sometimes even changing marks for no obvious reason. At the college stage do the children not see the college teachers and University teachers selling question papers, passing undeserving students for the small buck? What then can they learn at the feet of such Gurus? Except to indulge in malpractices wherever possible.
The influence of other models comes to complete the disgraceful growth of the children is, other examples from the adult world. This comes from the Television and the cinema. In this also a visual picture of the adult world the children get from the media is not very inspiring or encouraging. Here also they see none else but a depiction of their corrupt parents and teachers, earning of money by foul means, crime and nothing else. So with this gets completed the picture of the adult world for these children, and they know well in time that this is all that they too have to do as soon they enter the adult scene.
The final blow given to the bringing up of the younger generation is by the politician of our times. He is such a complete picture of immorality and corruption that, the young get the impression that, if they wish to become a politician, they have to follow their footsteps and corrupt practices. This now completes the horizon of the training of the younger generation in its entireity.
The present scenario goes to prove beyond all doubt that children do not only need models, they can learn also from the visual aid of live models of the world of elders. Thus, if we want the younger generation to be good, or even better, we have to produce, to train them, better role models, and only then can we expect better results. A word of caution will not be out of place at this juncture. If we elders want to see a generation of good and promising young men and women, we will first have to change ourselves to goodness, and then only we can hope to see a better younger generation, and hence a better future.
We have to remember that the child must be taught what is right by means of moral lessons, but that would not be enough, this must be followed by showing what is right by live example by elders around the child. Even the latest and modern techniques of teaching and education lay stress on audiovisual aids, which goes to confirm that the child learns more and better by what he sees around by way of examples in front of him, and what he hears in the world of elders. No amount of lecturing and ordering can imbibe in the child any value of life. A child learns all that he sees and nothing that he is ordered.