Zenobia N Lakdawalla
“Discipline is the rudimentary thread of the learning cloak. There are many successful styles and methods of teaching. Each incorporates discipline, be it self-discipline, or administered, or a little of both.”
Chaos and confusion prevailed in the Mehra household. Both Mr. and Mrs. Mehra had high powered jobs and were at the peak of their high profile careers but the price of their success was paid by their children, Neha aged eight and Rahul aged two. These children were often left in the care of servants or grandparents.
Neha and Rahul were neglected. Their parents had never spent quality time with them and hadn’t had the patience to inculcate discipline in them. There was no order or system followed in their home with regard to their eating or sleeping habits. The children ate whatever was given to them and many a time the food that they ate lacked nutrition. As a result, they often fell ill.
At school, Neha was reprimanded every day. She was either late to school or wasn’t wearing the appropriate uniform. She did not carry the necessary books to school or complete her homework. Her classmates made fun of her and sometimes even insulted her.
The school management and teachers did their best to help her but little could be achieved as there was no cooperation from home. Neha’s parents rarely turned up when called by the school management. The few times they did come, they promised earnestly that they would do their best to help their child but unfortunately failed to live up to their promises.
This kind of situation is prevalent in many homes these days. The role of parenting has changed and sadly parents neither have the time nor the patience to teach their children values and discipline. Their priorities have undergone a drastic change with more emphasis on amassing material goods.
Where do you think this will lead?
Neha could turn into an introvert and would never be able to share her feelings with others. She could even get into a serious state of depression which could have serious consequences.
She could turn into a rebel, growing up with a burning resentment towards her parents, her brother, her teachers and her classmates. She could even develop habits like troubling others, stealing, etc., to seek attention. Deep down, she would still be very vulnerable but her facade, would always be that of a rebel.
So where is this leading the future generation? Is there no regard for rules and regulations? Can we live our lives on our own terms and conditions with absolutely no regard for others?
Guidelines for parents
- From the day a child is born, there should be orderliness in his/her life. The child should gradually be taught about orderliness by developing a proper routine in his/her life.
- A simple activity of teaching a child to put toys back after playing can instill order or discipline in the child.
- Spending quality time with your offspring is very important.
- Speaking to them about their day-to-day activities, will give parents an insight into their child’s joys and sorrows.
- Ensure that your children have a nutritious diet to support their physical and mental growth.
- Monitor the television programmes they watch as these can have an adverse effect on them.
- Giving respect to the elders in the family, greeting elders courteously at any social gathering, these norms are fading rapidly and need to be reinforced.
“Conscience is the compass; self-discipline the rudder. In almost every situation, we know the ‘right’ direction to take. It is natural, however, to ignore this knowledge because the right course often seems to be the most difficult. Make choices based on moral and honourable convictions and you will be the master of your own ship.”
The author is a teacher at Gitanjali Primary School, Begumpet, Hyderabad. She can be reached at [email protected].