The Making of The Bubble-Wrapped Generation

Aditya’s day begins with a glass of milk flavoured with a supplement, while his maid hovers around to put his school dress on. She dresses him, packs his school bag for the day and places his tiffin and water bottle inside the bag. She takes the bag and a well-groomed Aditya to the car park. There his driver is waiting with the door of the BMW open and the air conditioner of the car running. Aditya sits inside the car with his maid and the car moves on in the direction of the school.

At the school gate the maid gets down first and assists Aditya out of the car. She points out the mud puddles on the road to him and warns him from stepping into them. With the maid carrying Aditya’s school bag they enter the school gates where the maid finally hands over the bag to Aditya ‘baba’ as the watchman doesn’t allow her to go further. She waits till Aditya enters the school building and then leaves. Aditya is nine years old…

The story of Aditya is the story of any modern-day child of an upper class family. Today, parents want to give their children the best of everything. Perhaps this is a result of their guilt for not being able to give time to their children.

On his way back from school, Aditya insists that the driver puts the music in the car on full volume. He sips his fresh lime soda that the maid hands him out from a thermos and jerks his body swaying in the rhythm of the music. When they reach home, Aditya kicks off his shoes and picks up his PSP (portable play station) to play the latest WWE game. His maid once again fusses over him and feeds him lunch. After lunch Aditya ‘baba’ has to go for his class. He goes for maths class, English class, Sudoku class, piano class and cricket coaching on different days of the week. While the maid packs the bag for Maths class, Aditya continues hitting John Sena the WWE fighter on his PSP.
During the extra class the maid and the driver are waiting patiently outside the class room door, waiting for Aditya ‘baba’ like loyal dogs. They glare at the aayah in the classroom who happened to brush pass against Aditya, making him drop his pencil box. Aditya is helped on the stairs from the Maths class by his maid, who also helps him in navigating the mud puddles on the road while walking towards their car.
Aditya then goes to the playground in his housing complex. The play ground has swings and slides with softer surfaces, lower platforms and fewer moving parts. There is ample emphasis on safe play zones as Aditya’s residential society is an NRI colony, catering to the needs of foreigners and rich Indians. Aditya’s maid keeps an anxious eye on him as she is afraid that Aditya ‘baba’ might fall and hurt himself. She carefully wipes the swing’s seat with her dupatta before Aditya sits on it. She fetches cold water for him when ever he asks for it, gently wiping his mouth with a soft tissue after every sip.
Later in the evening Aditya sits in his well-cushioned chair and completes his homework for the day. The air conditioner in his room is working in full blast. Aditya has his pencils, worksheets and other stationary items laid out neatly in front of him by his loyal maid. As Aditya sits and struggles with his day’s work his maid gets his dinner for him. After dinner and brushing with his battery-powered tooth brush, Aditya kisses his parents good night. They promise him a mall outing in the weekend when Aditya will get his remote-control aeroplane with contra-rotating blades for extra stability as well as a built-in gyro for excellent manoeuvrability and control.
A happy and content Aditya drifts off to sleep as his maid tucks him in his soft quilt designed with Power Rangers figures. She then dims the lights in his room and puts the AC in sleep mode and leaves the room.
The story of Aditya is the story of any modern-day child of an upper class family. Today, parents want to give their children the best of everything. Perhaps this is a result of their guilt for not being able to give time to their children. They are conscious of the importance of healthy food, safe water and other supplementary drinks for development of their child’s mind and body. Every year diseases like dengue, swine flu, malaria and typhoid raise their tentacles and alarmed parents insist that the child wears a mosquito patch every day and eats only after his maid has sanitized his hands thoroughly with a hand sanitizer. While, it is important to be cautious against these diseases, over-dependence on the maid for ensuring hygiene and sanitation is not appropriate. With the rising incidences of road rage, parents prefer their chauffer-driven cars for dropping their children to school rather than taking the school bus.
Parents may feel justified in being over protective as there are many dangers that children face as they grow up, including drugs, alcohol, violence in schools, teenage pregnancies and pedophiles. There are, however, side effects of overprotective parenting.

When parents show too much control on the lives of their children, it gives out the message that they do not trust them to handle the life’s challenges on their own. This can lead to a lack of self-confidence in these children. Part of the development of self-esteem in children comes from surmounting challenges on their own, which can be denied to them by overprotective parenting. Such ‘hen-pecked’ children might feel that their parents do not trust them with freedom to make mistakes and that they do not have the ability to succeed in life without the continued guidance of their parents. Besides, over-protective parents appear dominating to children and they may rebel against the illusion of control as they grow older.

With the best of intention over-protectiveness harms a child more in his growing years as it increases the gap in the emotional bonding with his parents. It does not teach him to be responsible for his own actions as his parents had taken up that responsibility in his growing years.

Overprotective parents, unintentionally, set the process of degeneration of values among kids.
With our ‘only the best for my child’ attitude we are creating a selfish generation, a generation that lacks character and strength required for the growth of the society.

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More by :  Radha Joshi

Top | Parenting

Views: 3349      Comments: 6

Comment "Today, parents want to give their children the best of everything. Perhaps this is a result of their guilt for not being able to give time to their children. "

This is not just the story of rick working class in metros of India but also of the middle working class in metro India. The middle working class where both parents spend whole day at work, often suffer from guilt feeling. Some of them understand this and express while others don't realize this.

The middle class may not provide over protection, but they certainly try to compensate the missing time with kids with some material objects or even with a caretaker at home. In either case, the gap thus created within the family just widens up with time.

In case the kid still gets influenced by sense of strong values at home and from surroundings, he/she will still be OK as grown up. But most of them will be detached from family as grownups and will be self centered and 'koop mandook' (having a narrow vision of the world).

West is already suffering with this problem, India still has chance to correct the future problem.

Why can't one of the parent be allowed to work half a day and still employed as full time employee (with half salary of course) - why can't such a law be passed in the parliament of India ?

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
05-Sep-2012 14:09 PM

Comment Radha, you have certainly brought home a point - a well thought out article - although personally I wish I too had enjoyed as pampered a childhood as Aditya - but jokes apart, my personal view is that good parenting can only be done when we lead by example, as children are more astute and observant than we think and cannot be bought out merely by material objects minus love.
Keep your writings goings and ofcourse sharing with us. - MM

04-Sep-2012 13:41 PM

Comment Radha ji,

I enjoyed reading your very well written article. Luckyly there are not too many Aditya's in this World. There is hardly any child in Amrica who gets tis knid of pampering. Most parents , thoughtful ones, want their children to do everything themselves and here almost all kids work in MacDonalds or similar other places very hard --to earn their upkeep althoghu their parents can easily do more than what an NRI parent does for theirs.

Manual work and hard work is an education in itself and in a country like India where Shree Ram ji went as a "bhiksook" for four years just to-- realize how beggars live. In the west and in China --young kids work 10 hours a day in sports, after school to win Gold medals in Olympic games. It is a shame what NRI's are doing to our kids.

Well done -- good pointer and thanks.

Kamal Joshi

Kamal Joshi
03-Sep-2012 00:23 AM

Very well written article Radha - so relevant to the present times. You write simply and lucidly. Its a talent you should deploy more often. V'U

02-Sep-2012 10:30 AM

Comment Wow chachi awesome very very well written!! as u know i m not that big enough to understand all this but i m sure this will help me in future. This is a very helpful article to each and every parent who r treating their child this way.And i think this is a true story on aditya isnt it??

gaurika joshi
31-Aug-2012 03:37 AM

Comment A very well written, thought provoking article. Keep it up.

30-Aug-2012 11:35 AM

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