Have you wondered why don’t children get it these days ? A toy breaks and they want it replaced. They don’t like a food, they push the plate away. Clothes are worn for a few hours and thrown into the laundry. Pencils are lying around like they were at a conference. Blank pages in notebooks left at the end of the year, stacked in the garage. They use the phrase “I lost it” without any guilt. There are many such examples I see in my house and around.
The most difficult question I am trying to find the answer for is “how to teach children the value of money?”
My generation and every generation prior to mine lived in the scarcity of material objects. Everything was precious, whether it was food. A phone call, clothes, stationery, toys… everything. If we lost a lunchbox we really felt bad, we were taught to use every paper, made to feel the pain of trees that were cut to make paper, food was not to be wasted, toys were meant to be taken care of and a thousand other things. All credit goes to our parents for teaching us the value of money. There were no lessons, no textbook that differentiated between this and that, but still they knew. They were also first time parents just like us.
There were other things of moral value like being honest, respect for elders, offering a seat to an elderly person, talking respectfully, understanding important values like integrity, self confidence etc. By just living their life openly in front of eyes they displayed the values we have at least partially imbibed.
So what happened to our generation. Why is it that we are passing only a negligible amount to our children? Or why does it seem like a daunting task when it seemed so simple for our parents. Why do we have to watch every word and action of ours and our children to make sure we are in line?
After much thought, my direction of thought leads to a few reasons –
1. Abundance of resources – everything around children today are in abundance. Our education leads us to think will restricting of abundance lead to restricting their freedom?
2. Lack of seeing respect for elders on a day to day basis – we grew up with our grandparents residing with us. Our children see their grandparents maybe once a year. Unless they see us taking care of our parents how will they carry on that important value?
3. The tsunami of technology in their lives – there is less reason for them to talk to their parents, they have google for everything they need to know. There are these coloruful bots on their laps that have left the streets empty.
I guess all of this makes us twice as alert than needed to bring up children. There is always a question am I doing the right thing? Did our parents have this question? I don’t know, maybe they did too, but it seems that parenting was seamless for them. I always wonder “how did they do it?”…
I feel sad thinking that with our generation the link is probably breaking. There are many families living near their siblings and parents where the link is strong, but I really wonder how many of the future generations will carry the strength of family relationships.
The weakening of the link between generations is more obvious to families living away from home turf. When there are no elders we tend to compromise on essential daily habits like eating together, talking to each other instead dig our faces in social devils on our smartphone. Have these platforms really brought the world closer or secluded each individual in their cubicles?
I always think, if I turn out to be half as good as my parents were, maybe my children will get a quarter of it. I just hope they get it 🙂…