Six ways to make your children conscientious citizens
Created by Ankita A Talwar Updated on Aug 23, 2020
Independence Day is special for most of us. Just the thoughts of nationalism, stories of supreme sacrifices made during the freedom struggle are enough to send warm shivers down our backs. But, as parents of the next generations, whose children will eventually take the responsibility of the nation off our shoulders, we need to ask a very relevant question: are we doing enough to prepare our children for the nation’s responsibility? Have we instilled the right emotions in them?
As a parent myself, and an observer of children around, I sometimes feel that our children are becoming a bit removed from the reality of our country. They are cocooned in their own comfort zones, playing fast-paced games on their imported Ipads, or wearing branded clothes of the European or American companies, eating snacks that till sometime back were not a part of our homes...are they not the right age to instil some sense towards their country? While, the schools are doing their bits in teaching children the history of the country, all about the freedom struggle, and the years after that, we as parents too can do some bits and make our children conscientious citizens of the country. Here are some ideas I gathered from my discussion with fellow parents.
Start them off on a social drive: Children have the enthusiasm and the energy, but we, as parents, need to channelize it in the right direction. Why not involve them in some sort of a social drive? Older children can spearhead it while the younger can be the volunteers on ground. Get children started off on a forestation mission—organize them in a group, and help them collect funds to buy trees or plants. They could plant these in vacant spots of the area and take care of them. Similarly think of ideas such as a cleanliness or a literacy drive, a mission to take traffic rules to people and make our roads safer. The ideas are plenty, it just requires a push. Not only will it being a sense of nationalism in them, but also develop their personalities at an individual level
Make economics, finance, and politics part of their daily conversation: A 12-year-old today will be a 18-year-old tomorrow and ready to vote. But have we taught them or given them enough insights to be able to take an informed decision? Everyday ensure you have a simple but informative conversation with them around the political scenario of the country, the economical strategies etc. But safeguard from sounding bleak or depressive and in fact suggest the remedial actions that could be taken or are being taken and also from supporting a political party without having a concrete explanation behind your support.
Guide them towards administrative services: While most of us want our children to be well settled in a MNC job, but there are a few amongst these young ones, who have leadership traits or are naturally passionate about leading their college or school societies and eventually may show an inclination towards leading the country. Do not nip their dreams in the bud; in fact, discuss and prepare them for it better. A strong heart and a balanced head today, might make a spectacular national leader or an IAS tomorrow.
Turn their talents to their and country’s benefits: I am not putting down a plush job in an MNC, but eventually when a spirited young one starts off as an entrepreneur, he does a great service not only to his talent but also the country. Instead of directing our children into trying to get into the top MBA institute and then going in for a cushy job in a foreign country, we should also try and teach them to be entrepreneurs because according to experts, it is indigenous enterprises that ultimately take the country on the road to success.
Teach them respect for natural resources: A commonly ignored, but a very vital point, it is important to teach children respect for natural resources—conserve, reuse, and recycle. This reduces wastage and hence is easy on the economy of the country. We can teach our children to reuse paper, carry their own bags when out shopping with friends, say no to something they don’t need, and not to waste or discard items of daily use.
Teach them the worth of their country: This is something that we as adults need to learn first and then only the message will get across to children. Why does a holiday mean a foreign trip? Why not take a trip to Kerala this year or Ranthambore or Khujraho or for that matter hit the beaches of Andaman and Nicobar? Children should know that their country is, if not superior, at level with any popular holiday destination.