Be an example, not teacher to your kids

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Children learn more from what you are than what you teach- W.E.B DuBois

My husband looks at these two girls; NRNs, 12 & 15 and says, "Baby! I wish to become a dad to daughters like these." I look at him, wink and promptly reply, "Boo! It's not about the gender, it's about how we raise them."

These girls I just spoke of visit Nepal at least once a year and spend about 2-3 weeks with their friends and family here. Although for a short time, they manage to steal our hearts every time we see them. They don’t have much to offer besides their beautiful smile, bear hugs and social skills that leave a mark in both our hearts and minds. Yes, they belong to one of the richest families not just monetarily but also in terms of their values and culture, and the credit goes to the parents for raising them that way.

I don’t intend to draw comparisons, but I can’t help notice a vast difference in the way kids these days are, and I only have the parents to blame. Because let's face it, just at the quote, I mentioned above goes, kids only become what they see.

I am an 80’s child, brought up in a joint family amidst uncle and aunts where it was almost impossible to live in isolation and not socialize. My only form of entertainment then were my siblings and the game of mud and stones which I couldn’t play without my bunch.

But the speed at which things have changed now is unimaginable. With the rapid surge in the use of technology, kids now feel as if living without their gadgets and mostly the internet is quite impossible. The luxury of mud splashes and drenching in rainy days, roleplay and cosplay have become a thing of the distant past, and I only pity them. I feel like kids these days are missing out on the most cherishable memory of their life.

My childhood experience and my contemporaries will agree, was so much about people, unity, companionship versus today’s happy seclusion. And why? Because today, even parents think it's alright to simply meet all the materialistic demands of their children given their time limitation, thus making them highly responsible in making children secluded and unsocial. Since they are always busy, taking their kids to mingle with the others has become an occasional affair. And when kids are made to do it, once in a blue moon, it's natural for them to be hesitant and even greeting the elders or other people they come across becomes a far cry.

I am no behavior specialist or a writer for that matter. This is just an expression of things I have been observing these days and my opinion of the matter; to which there is no right or wrong. And most of my observations have been of my own relatives and close family members.

Rich families with poor manners and upbringing make me sad. The generation gap isn’t a scientific phenomena, it's simply a change in the way we have started to approach life in the face of growing digitization and modernization. 

As Nepalis, it is said togetherness and kinship run in our blood, but just like the rest of the world, our friendly blood vessels seem to be constricting. And it's my request to parents and elders to try creating a balance in our kids’ lifestyles so they can have some real memories to share with generations to come just like you and I do.

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