Most hilly places have water scarcity. Children are seen carrying buckets of water in these places. Are parents robbing off the childhood of their wards? Apparently, yes. But in reality, most of them are school going kids. Their peers in some well-off homes might be watching the TV at the same time! Doing a physical work, which does not cause serious harm to the child’s health, is far better than watching TV.

There is a general notion that children should not do any kind of work. Even parents boast of a college going girl not knowing how to make tea! Affluence and gadgets have drastically changed our lives. ‘Bai’s are in great demand! In cities, families even with housewives (or homemakers) are almost handicapped without bais. And, no wonder, the lady goes to the gym and nutritionist to be on diet control! We have forgotten how to do household chores. How do we expect the children to learn them. Household chores almost seem to be a crime! You better play with the mobile or video game during the time the ‘bai’ is in work. This happens despite other gadgets such as washing machine, LPG and microwave already made life easier.

Pampering of the child – by attending him hundred times a day for each of his demand like bringing a glass of water – is not caring him or her. That’s a huge misconception among parents. They think the child should not go through (‘hard’ life) what they had faced! Certainly, the child should be give maximum opportunities to become what he wants to become. But, pampering – which the parents think is not what they are doing – is not the way! By not allowing the children to take little steps of the life ahead, the parents are pushing the younger generation into a more chaotic future. They would never learn the dignity of work; would put more pressure on the globe for their luxury; pain themselves with situations unimaginable for us now.

(Published as editorial in The Meghalaya Guardian on December 30, 2016)

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