A series of unfortunate incidents: New-age Parenting 101

Parenting has been and will always be the toughest job on Planet Earth. Being a parent means holding down several jobs at the same time: Being a teacher, a cook (actually, Masterchef nowadays), driver, cleaner, fashion expert, lifestyle guide, and of course having to deal with the additional emotional baggage all these jobs entail.

But some parents are simplifying their lives by discarding one of the jobs: Teaching.

They don’t tell their children to not jump on the sofa or not run around in the mall. That’s for lesser mortals. These parents don’t want to curb their child’s freedom. They aren’t going to play “Good cop, Bad cop” or “Bad cop, Bad cop”. Instead, they are not going to play at all, for to even play “Good cop, Good cop” would entail understanding and implementing some rules at least. Now, you can’t blame these ‘liberated’ people since they want to provide their children with the ‘space’ that they didn’t get as kids themselves.

Some children in a central suburb society were throwing stones at street dogs even as their mothers were standing on the side discussing worldly matters. Naturally, while some of the dogs were running away scared, there were a couple who were looking to make a stand of it against this nuisance.

When a lady approached the group of mothers with the suggestion that they stop their kids from hurting the dogs, all she got in return was the ‘request’ not to teach them how to bring up their children and sweet nothings that cleaned out the wax that had been collecting in her ears for the last few months. The group of ‘Tiger Moms’ also announced to anyone listening that the dog menace was intolerable and something needed to be done to ensure that their ‘laadlas’ weren’t hurt by the bleeding dogs and their bleeding supporters.

Some days passed and then the dog-human conflict escalated into a human-human conflict with one of the bones of contention being a couple of children being afraid of coming down to the common area to play since they feel threatened by street dogs. One member of the opposition (humans caring for animals will always be in minority and minority is always the opposition) suggested holding workshops to sensitise the adults and children of the colony on how to deal with animals, whether they be living on the streets or in homes. But that was shot down by the ‘caring’ parents who found the idea of teaching their kids “impractical”. The parents were asked if they would shy away from teaching their kids maths or swimming if they were afraid of them too. But the cross-examination yielded only silence.

‘Darr ke aagey jeet hai’ is rubbish, according to these ‘loving’ parents it should be ‘Main darr ke aagey, piche, upar, niche kuch nahin rehne doonga’. The child shouldn’t have to deal with his/her fear. They shouldn’t be taught how to behave around dogs or for that matter even maths.

When another “animal activist” suggested that children be told to not throw objects at dogs, these ‘caring’ parents beat the idea to a pulp with the ‘logical baton’ of  “Kids will always do such stuff. How can you stop them?” (The opposition thought the answer should be ‘By teaching them, by explaining to them that their action was wrong and, if need be, by scolding them. But what do they know.)

New-age mantra: “To scold and teach kids is a crime, to let them commit crimes divine.” After all, psychological research has found that animal cruelty in children is one of the best predictors of later violence and criminality. And which ‘loving’ parent doesn’t want a criminal as a child.

Overheard this conversation at the food court of a mall: “My kid has a lot of ‘nakhara’. He only eats fries from McDs and burgers from KFC. He won’t touch the veggies his Dadi cooks. Oye mera beta,” one woman said to another. The other responded with, “But isn’t that bad for his health?” To which the reply was, “Hain, but what to do? My son is like this only.” With the courts having struck down Section 377, many members of the LGBT community have come out of the closet. And while we hope they are accepted by their family and friends, that may take some more time. But thank god that family and friends have no problem accepting children who abuse animals, ride bikes and drive cars at abnormal speeds over people, eat junk and spew junk, for how else will the future generation learn to be more accepting of those who are ‘different’.

This class of ‘New-age Parenting’ is over and the next one will be scheduled at a later date after getting approval from a child.

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