Why only child, understanding anyone’s mind is quite a tough task. Perhaps GOD (along with men) must be still struggling to know the mind of his own creation ‘women’. I think writing on ‘understanding today’s kids …’ would have been an easier task. Leaving the jokes apart let me come to the topic.
Understanding the mind of kids of any time is the simplest task because they are so natural & innocent. If you can understand the ‘NATURE’ you can definitely know a kid’s mind. Problem arises when their minds are contaminated. It is evident that the thinking pattern or the working of brain depends upon the environment. You must have read the story of ugly duckling.
Most of the children are born GENIUS and we the parent, teachers, neighbors, friends gradually succeed in our attempts of making them AVERAGE. A few days back I was reading somewhere in a news paper; a film star (I don’t remember the name) quoted, “ Funny parents, in our initial years enthusiastically teach us to speak and walk, and once we learn they keep us telling ‘SHUT UP’ and ‘SIT DOWN’. Very true! What a statement! I would like to add ‘teachers’ too along with the parents. My husband and I feel very proud of my son when we see him making use of technology so efficiently and rush to him to get technical problems solved. But at the same time we want him not to spend much time with the computer, which he loves to. Why? His excellence becomes main reason to worry. We fear the bad impact of exposure to unwanted stuff on the internet. The same skill that we are proud of becomes a matter of great concern for us.
The cries of my son and tears rolling down the tiny cheeks requesting me, “Mamma, please mat jao; Mamma please mujhe akele chhodkar mat jao (Mamma, please don’t go, Mamma please don’t leave me alone) and my little daughter’s appeals, “Mamma, bhayya meri baat nahin sunta hai, aap please naukri chhod do”still haunt me. My son was just 4 year old and daughter only 10 years when I first took up the job. My job became my first priority. After sending them to school, I used to cook lunch and keep in the hot case leaving it up to my little daughter to serve to her brother and herself after coming back home from school. Both of them were left on their own whole day. I remember, as soon as we entered home they would come rushing complaining about each other or sharing how they spent their day. They wanted us to play with them. They wanted answers for many questions but we were too tired and irritated and often snapped at them, ‘SHUT UP’ and ‘SIT DOWN’.
I learned it hard way when the damage was already done that for a child most important and desirable thing on this earth is LOVE. And for a child ‘LOVE’ is ‘TIME’. Today I feel myself guilty of snatching away their childhood. Though I spent quite quality time with my daughter, telling her stories, playing with her, stitching beautiful dresses for her and dressing her up, I could hardly give that quality time to my son who was born six year after my daughter. Whenever they pleaded me to not to leave them; I explained them about my work pressure and responsibilities forgetting my duties towards them. I expected those little minds to understand me. Wish I could understand their mind at that time. They spent their childhood with T.V. and computer. They explored it the way they could, without any guidance. It is important to teach a child not only what to do but also to teach him how to do. Closer they became to the gadgets, further they moved from us. And today I don’t blame them if they want to spend more time with their gadgets – the computer, laptop or iPod. I know it will take time to win their hearts back, but better LATE than NEVER.
Today’s kid is no different than a kid 50 years ago. So understanding the mind of today’s kids is as easy as it was yesteryear’s. The only difference is of environment. While we had only soil, plants & a few animals around us to explore, today’s kid has the universe to explore. While we had radio he has computers. We grew up listening Begam Akhtar, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh & Rafi and they Michael Jackson. While seeing or talking of a nude picture was a taboo for us they are 24 hours exposed to porn in news papers, T.V., internet etc. All these things add to a kid’s curiosity. So naturally his mind is much more active than ours. There are numerous questions in his mind for which he seeks answers. If we are unable to satisfy this need, he will definitely turn to someone else for the same which may be damaging if not answered intelligently.
Being a mother of two teenagers and on the basis of the experiences that I have had with them I have no hitch in accepting that today’s kids are more understanding and better equipped to deal with stress and own up responsibilities. They want to live the life to its fullest and they know how to do it.
Only thing that concerns me is lack of values. But again the culprit is not their mind. For this we need to look within ourselves. Do we always speak truth? Are we sympathetic towards our elder’s needs? Do we keep calm in difficult situation? Do we respect our elders and teachers? Do we spare a thought before humiliating teachers in front of our kids making them villain in their eyes.
Human brain is the most complex machine which works in accordance with its environment.
To understand a kid’s mind we must try to understand his environment.