Parenting is a very personal responsibility. How you bring your child up, what school you choose to send them to (keeping in mind that they get the admission), what time you out them to bed everything is a decision you try to consciously make. I dont deny the fact we as parents get influenced by other parents, but yeah we pick and choose what we want and alter it according to our liking. So far its worked out just fine, Alhumdulillah. But its what lies ahead that bothers me and scares me at times.
These are tough times we are bringing up our kids in. My parents tell me that their times were tough too, but I guess tougher of a different nature. We didnt have the exposure these kids have. Our toys were different. Playtime was essential. Tv time was limited. Today, its all different. Kids are exposed to computers from the day they are born, either to make them hear the recitation of the Quran or to keep them entertained through nursery rhymes. Its the era of technology. Its the era of rat race.
My friends have gotten their primary school goer kids ipads to play with. And learn from. I somehow find that disturbing. I was teaching photography in a school and the kids there didnt understand why I, being a photographer was using a dell when they were using a mac at home. These are the kids who bring Rs 100 to school everyday to spen in the canteen. These are the kids who wear an can differentiate between a polo dress and an Armani. These are the kids who believe in owning an iphone or a blackberry.
These things disturb me. And I really dont want to bring my kid up in a similar manner. But I have a feeling I will be forced to eat my words. Peer pressure is very very strong, I hear from my friends all the time. You are too old fashioned is another statement I hear almost everyday.
But really, it does make me think about my good old days. Schooling was all about books, friends and lunch boxes. Play meant either being outside or being on the roof. Kites were an essential evening tool. 7.25 am meant being glued to TV, because that is when cartoons were showed or 5 minutes before school time. Birthday party goody bags had a whistle with a pink feather and fancy stationary (someone told me their kid got a Persian cat as a party favor at a friends birthday) and cassette kahani made up for the time when there was a fight amongst siblings.
In todays age of PSP and Youtube, we as parents have changed. and those who are still resisting the change are labelled as old fashioned. I really wonder is this change so enhanced here in Karachi, or is this a worldwide phenomena?