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Are Adults Good Role Models?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by twinsmom, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    I happened to hear a speech by Mrs. Bharathi Bhaskar the other day. She talked very beautifully about how we adults transfer attitudes to our children inadvertently. We adults are so judgmental in our day to day lives. Many of us criticize others openly. We tend to see the negativity in others, their drawbacks and comment on them or pronounce judgment on them not caring about who listens to it. Our children, who are at an impressionable age, absorb this information.

    It is rightly said that little pitchers have big ears. Like Mrs. Bhaskar says, when a mother keeps criticizing her in –laws, she is forcing her kids to form opinions that those people are undesirable characters. When, day in and day out, the child hears bad things about some one- say ... about the member of a family or a neighbour- he starts believing that it is true. I have seen families where the feud goes on for generations. There might have been disharmony related to property issues between a grandfather and his brother. The adults sit and discuss the issues. Character assassination is carried out and the kids who listen to it get automatically prejudiced against the relatives. Being kids,, they do not know how to hide their feelings and the next time in a family gathering, the adults keep up pretences acting pseudo polite or friendly whereas the kids show resentment towards those relatives.
    I have seen cases where such resentment sown in the heart of a young boy had blossomed out into such deep hatred that even after growing up, he refuses to even talk to his cousins. On the other hand, there are exceptions to the rule where youngsters do not let family politics come in the way of their respectful treatment of elder and distanced family members… But, for that, the adults had to keep such disagreements away from their children.

    How often we see parents criticizing their children’s teachers! Poor performance of their wards is linked to the conclusions drawn by the parents and discussed right in the presence of their children. Ultimately, the children end up passing the buck for their bad performance to their teachers. Someone I knew would incessantly discuss the drawbacks of her colleagues in the presence of her kids and sadly, I have seen her kids studying in our school, finding fault with all their teachers…and their complaints taken to the authorities by the parents who forget that they are to blame.

    Gone are the days when kids are banned from being around when adults ‘talk’. As kids we were just required to courtesy whenever some guests came and we were expected to disappear into our rooms and stay there till the coast was clear. If the visitors had kids we were expected to take them with us and keep them occupied till the parents finished their talks and were ready to leave. Also, we were never allowed to comment on any matter that did not directly concern us. Today we see little ones as old as 4 or 5 commenting on adults, their clothes and looks… kids having a say in the major decisions- financial or social- the ones parents should solely take! The age of innocence is lost somewhere…and no one has the time to search for it!

    How often, the adults’ comments on ‘what a bore that aunty is’…or ‘what questionable morals that uncle has’ (with a holier than thou attitude) causes havoc in their children’s minds. Like they say, kids these days are smart to soak up all they observe.
    We also give them a taste for double standards when we exhibit them ourselves. I am reminded of a story, a psychiatrist once related. As soon as the father returns from office, a mother complains to him that the son’s class teacher had called to say that the child had been caught with his friend’s pencils… The irate father scolds the son for taking what did not belong to him and says, “If you wanted pencils, why didn’t you tell me? I’d have brought a few from my office for you!” What a role model! How often we tell the kids to answer the phone with the instruction, “If it is so and so, tell him I am not home!” What are we doing here? We are teaching them to lie deliberately. And when the child does the same, we court-martial him and wallop him… Talk about double standards!

    We, as adults, parents, teachers and neighbours must lead by example. Moral values are not inherited…they are imbibed, acquired. They become a way of life because our role models have them practice them…day in and day out. We all love to emulate someone in our life. Like Bharathi Bhasker said, try to look at the goodness in people. All human beings have weaknesses, their own Achilles heels. But no one is absolutely bad. There is goodness in everyone. If we can point out the goodness in others, we set a good role model to our coming generation.

    So where do we start? We start by not being critical ourselves. I have seen adults who can never say a word of good about anything around them ever. They are cynical about everything. Politics, films, personalities…you name it, they can bad-mouth them…without batting an eyelid. These opinions are more generalizations without any bases of concrete evidence. What a waste of a life time… living in the greys and blacks of life rather than basking in the brightness of white…and what terrible harm we do unto our kids when we transfer this cynicism into them. And we declare that the younger generation has an attitude! It is we adults who have to mend ourselves…
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
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  2. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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  3. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Viju,

    What a wonderful article.And so very sensible.I agree with u 100%, that we have to mend our ways,only then can our children be good models and citizens.

    We teach them to lie, so rightly u point out.and we should keep kids out when we want to talk to our spouse regarding any matter, that does not relate to the child.

    Wonderful article,and i am so happy to see u write so well here as well.Regards.kamal
     
  4. MeenLoch

    MeenLoch Silver IL'ite

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    Nice post. I will save this matter in mind. It gets into the wet cement like minds of children. I have this cousin back in india. Her mom always belittles her dad. The cousin is 20 years old now, and she looks down on her father. It s etched deep in her heart.
    The people we trust the most are our parents. When it comes to judging people ( I know judging is bad), I take cues from my parents, sometimes.

    The pencil story was good.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
  5. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Kamalji,
    Good to see you here.... I was appalled to read that you want to leave... Your posts are great... But I read them...back there... Am doing the same thing...
    Have you seen the forums? Each has a category... and you have to publish in that category only... I am still finding my way about...
     
  6. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    hello MeenLoch,
    How sad that your friend looks down on her father! See.... this is the harm one can do... It is terrible to spread negativity around...
    Adults have to lead by example.
     
  7. Jananikrithsan

    Jananikrithsan Gold IL'ite

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    Hi twinsmom,
    That was another good one, you seem to have them pouring in on IL like the rain, may there be more to come. Adults should definitely make good role models for their kids. More than anything kids sholud be taught to behave and talks only what is correct for their age. Nowadays like you had said they get to know all that is happening in the family, which spoils the innocence, that is a essential part of the children.
    Thanks a ton for a wonderful write up.
    These are things I ponder over very often.
     
  8. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    Hello janani,
    It is a serious issue...and many parents do not give it any weightage these days... I can not stand ill behaved and critical children!
     
  9. Nivedi

    Nivedi New IL'ite

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    Dear Twinsmom,

    This is a very impressive post. Something that goes on in families everyday of their lives and people not even aware of the impressions cast on young minds. Children are like sponges, absorbing things that they see around. They have high observation skills and adults should not merely dismiss their presence. Growing up in a large joint family, I have seen the daily bickerings, back biting, family politics, character assasinations, taking sides and forming coteries. I would plead with my mother to let me go to some other city to study, so that I can grow up as a youngster and not as an adult.

    Sunkan's article on practicing praising as against cursing is also very valuable.

    Cheers!
     
  10. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    hi twinsmom,

    I had also seen this program. it was good. and it is a serious topic.

    Those days when i was a kid, i was not allowed to stand in the area where elders were talking if curious were put at place with a big stare from mom dear.

    Nowadays, i tell my kids, u are not to stand and listen when adults are talking unless you are being addressed. they do obey so we are saved:-D. and moreover, we make it a point to discuss things which are sensitive only when the kids are not around.
     

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