Independence Day Special: Raising Responsible and Good Citizens
What is the significance of Independence Day in your life as a parent?
If your child is a school goer then you most certainly have something to look forward to on Independence Day. Getting your kids prepared and dressing them up for school functions could be fun. Reminds you of your own school days, doesn’t it?
Like most of us, I have always been in an awe of our brave freedom fighters. They dreamed of a free nation for us and they worked to achieve it even at the cost of their own lives. How did their parents feel about them participating in a movement that would probably get them killed? Most importantly, what great kids these parents of our martyrs raised! Irrespective of whether our freedom fighters had children or not, are they not quite like our parents? Afterall, we owe our luxurious free life and the reason to celebrate Independence Day to their sacrifices.
Have you ever thought about the effects of our country’s independence on parenting? Has anything really changed? If we have changed then is it for the better or worse? Or is there still a lot we have to explore as parents in an independent nation?
What can be our contribution towards the overall development of our nation that our forefathers fought so hard for?
It is sad to see the state of our country today. Religious intoleration, sad state of political affairs, mob lynchings, rapes, child prostitution scams! Our country is in a downward spiral. Makes one wonder if we even deserve this freedom that was so hard earned. Also makes us worry about our children’s future in this country. It is extremely unfortunate that we have to worry about that in an independent country. There has to be something we can do to free our country of these evils for our younger generation, just as our forefathers did for us.
This Independence Day, can’t we all pledge to raise our children to become responsible and good citizens?
Let us help them recognize and acknowledge the countless sacrifices of our nation’s bravehearts.
1. Respect for all religions
How can we expect peace in a nation with such diversity in religious beliefs, if we don’t respect everybody else’s choice of religion. Religious tolerance, even when we do not necessarily agree with someone’s belief is a step towards progress. Our children should be brought up with this point of view.
2. Respect for all genders and sexual orientations
Our children should be respectful of the other genders. We must make them understand how some people might be different from each other and still not deserve to be outcast or isolated.
3. Respect for all opinions
Rarely do we meet like minded people. In a large country like ours, difference of opinion is bound to happen. Engaging children in healthy discussions rather than judgmental arguments can help us achieve this objective.
4. Adherence to rules
We must let our children understand the importance of the rules in place and the effects of non-adherence. Although some rules must be broken to pave way for better opportunities and we can let our child realize that as well with time.
5. Keeping surroundings clean
Beginning with their room, kids should be held responsible for their belongings and we can ensure that cleanliness is not something they can take for granted. A clean room today, a clean country later.
6. Peace over Non violence
Being patient, discussing as a family why violence is the wrong approach and displaying peace as a family is the right strategy. Learning begins at home. Also, bullying should never be accepted. Not when your child is the bully and definitely not when your child is being bullied.
7. Nothing comes free
Hard as it may be, we should not give in to all demands. Children should understand that they need to earn that toy or book that they have been asking for. It will definitely be much better appreciated and taken care of.
8. Ability to distinguish right from wrong
Young as they may be, it is never too early to help kids distinguish right from wrong. Even when a toddler’s wrong behaviour looks cute, it should not be encouraged.
9. Independent decision making
Giving our children the freedom to decide for themselves and intervening only when required will make them realize that their opinion is valued. They will not hesitate in seeking our opinions when they need it either.
If there is one thing our generation lacks, it is empathy. How about ensuring our children grow up with a deep sense of empathy. A lot of problems will dissolve if we can address this concern.
These are a few of the many things we can do to raise better humans and eventually better and more responsible and good citizens.
As parents, we can teach our children and hope for the best. Even better if we practice what we preach. Our children are our country’s future. We already have the freedom and the means to live a better life. Let us all try not to take it for granted and celebrate our country’s Independence Day as responsible citizens.
Happy Independence Day to all!