Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pushing boundaries to organize life at home

We all know that family plays a vital role in shaping the behavior of children. Since we are not born knowing how to behave in the society, we have to learn most of our behaviors from the environment around us. For children, learning comes in many forms. Sometimes, they learn by being directly told what is right and what is wrong. But most commonly, they learn through the observation of everyday life at home. In fact, the best part of education starts with family. Children start inheriting moral and ethical values from their parents and grandparents even before they go to school. It is for this reason that as parents, we have to be good role models.

However, the bustling urban life has been making it difficult for us to give enough time for our children today. With most of the parents having jobs or businesses to attend to, children are mostly left on their own at home. It is at this point of time that they often get hijacked by their electronic gadgets and begin to lose interest in the real human interactions. If we can’t give them the amount of love and attention they deserve, they would try to find it elsewhere, and this would ultimately shake the foundation of family relationships and destroy the home environment.

The present generation of adults might remember how beautiful the village life used to be when we were children. Even during the busiest season of the year, our parents and grandparents always had time for us. The greatest advantage of our time was that our parents and grandparents did not have to go to offices where children are not allowed to walk in. We could freely accompany them to work in the fields and farms without any restriction. Hence, we had the opportunity to be with our family almost throughout the day. And in the evening, our parents/grandparents would make us sit around the hearth and tell us stories that they had inherited from their parents and grandparents. We had no television and other gadgets to cut us off from the rest of the family-members. Despite being plagued by poverty and hardships, we all grew up together as a family with no dividing lines between us.

But today, this special bond is fast breaking down with many parents struggling to find a balance between professional and family life. By the time we get home after a long day at work, we feel so exhausted that we hardly find extra energy to interact with our children. The culture of telling bedtime stories to children has almost died now. With the advent of sophisticated electronic gadgets and internet technology, we have constructed boundary walls around ourselves. Even in my own family, I can often see ourselves confined to our own small compartments of life, cut off from one another despite being all together in the same house.

Although it is impossible to completely disengage our children from electronic gadgets, I and my wife are trying our best to remove the dividing lines between us and unify ourselves as one complete family. Whenever we get free time, we try to spend it with our children. We often call them out of their rooms, make them sit with us and talk to them. I tell them stories and jokes which they really enjoy. I have realized that storytelling could be one of the easiest and most important tools for parents to keep children in the loop. It facilitates meaningful interaction and open communication within the family, thereby de-compartmentalizing our home life and ensuring that our children are not left behind as we move forward. We must all grow up together as a family, not individually.

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