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Parenting is changing its face due to new lifestyle: Shyama Chona

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Jul 16, 2013 at 05:08pm IST

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The recent incident in Gurgaon where school children were caught drinking at a pub puts the focus on teenage drinking in India. Who are to blame for this and what can be done? Educationist Shyma Chona joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. Ma'am, Life is not a school, where you have fixed periods with period 1 being English and period 2 being maths. First of all we have get out of the notion that drinking is bad. Today's, school going kids have much more information than we have. If my grandfather took 40 yrs to know something, my son will take only 15 yrs or even less to know. Likewise he will get to know all evils well before I would have known. It is how we handle these rather than say, who is to blame. Today Parties are held in home, in marriages people drink......today they just need an occasion. Schools, just as parents play a very vital role in this. Just like we have moral science, we should have one session addressed weekly by the Psychologist. They should teach how to handle failures in life and over come them, the ills of drinking, what is controlled drinking, how drinking affects family life etc. Asked by: S ESHWAR

Parenting is changing its face due to new lifestyle: Shyama Chona

Teenage drinking: Who to blame, what needs to be done?

A. This is more of a statement with which I agree. As all of us learn more from life than educational institutions, it is important that the teenagers not only attends counseling sessions but themselves become pathfinders for each other. They participate in plays, or even produce them to teach others how to say no to `baddys'in school. Also to give some suggestion to the schools and their younger siblings.

Q. Can parents alone prevent a case of teenage drinking? Are there ways by which peer pressure among youngsters do not arise? Asked by: Kalai Selvi

A. Parents along with others can prevent teenage drinking. The peer pressure is a reality but those who have a strong inner self do not get influenced. This requires a confident youngster who has been brought up by his parents and teachers in a way that he has learnt the right from wrong. The teenager is not easily swayed if his core values are in place.

Q. Can't parents be handed hefty fines or the bars imposed severe penalties to curb under-age drinking? Or, maybe, such children expelled from their respective education institutions? Asked by: Biru

A. Punishment is not a solution. What works is love and logic. I fully agree parenting session are required to help parents deal with the new age kids who think they are born wise. (please join my parenting sessions).

Q. Why can't we have a rule to punish parents if children got caught? Have to pay some Penalty and also need to attend government aided training sessions on parenting. Asked by: Praneeth

A. I would not say all parents have failed. It is true that kids unknowingly and subconsciously ape their parents. Therefore in our times parents did not drink in front of the children but in modern times some parents even ask their children to serve them drinks.

Q. Don't you think we learnt good values and ethics from our parents and now children are learning some different from parents and hence present situation. Asked by: Padma

A. One can not generalise. Only one thing is true that pseudo modernity is hitting both fathers, mothers and their kids. We all need a wake up call.

Q. Don't you think Parent's life style is influencing children and they are becoming bad role models. Asked by: Nagarajan

A. One can not generalise. Only one thing is true that pseudo modernity is hitting both fathers, mothers and their kids. We all need a wake up call.

Q. Who is to blame for this? Is it the lifestyle of the rich? or the cultural change that India is going through? or is it just a one off incident that should be ignored? Asked by: TeaTotaller

A. It is a matter of great concern that parenting which has been India's greatest heritage is changing its face due to new lifestyle.

Q. There is urgent need to amend juvenile criminal justice system to make the parents of the minor as the party for a crime. At least this should be made mandatory where the crime involves violence. It is the duty of the parent to nurture good behaviour and they should be accountable for this. Asked by: Baba Again.

A. I don't think parents are always responsible for the crime of the kids because in family there could be 3 siblings; out of which, two could be good and one the black sheep of the family. Don't forget there are two forces which make the personality of the youngster. I mean `genes'and environment.

Q. Ma'am, is this still such a bad thing? These are signs of changing times and change is what everyone resists. Moreover, I think a lot of us parents still want to or do behave with our kids the same way our parents behaved with us...in a more stricter way. Sort of just giving instructions without explaining the logic behind those decisions. Nowadays, We need to be more of friends with them and more interactive in their lives in order to be able to have some sort of influence over them. With bigger/joint families breaking up into lots of smaller nuclear families, I think our responsibility to towards our kids actually increases. Asked by: JK

A. I fully agree with you. Please run your families with love, logic and fun.

Q. I think a lot of counseling needs to happen from parents side as well as the school. These two factors can prevent to a large extent. Also, strict checking of who enters the pub, ID checking and so on, this needs to be enforced. Asked by: Chrishelle

A. As members of a civil society we all must have a public conscience. We adults must be conscious of our own actions specially in front of children if we want them to listen to us.

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