Elders and relatives advise and guide youngsters as friends in a family through various efforts. But this isn’t just the case everywhere in the world. Eastern households commonly shun and even ridicule the opinions and wishes of the children, with the contention of elders knowing better.

A very prevalent example encountered by us Indians at some point is the high school study stream selection. Several survey studies and real-life examples show how parents take this decision lightly and decide the fate of their children themselves, without considering the needs and dreams of the child involved. Sometimes, the constant reprimanding ushers in enormous problems in the later life stages of a child as degraded skills such as social disability, lack of empathy, indecisiveness, and poor resilience. In adolescence, this may also lead to the child distancing himself/herself from the parents and family in general and lose the drive to communicate his/her daily life worries. This practice can lead the child to cut off and accept his/her fate in living secluded and in struggling alone. In worst cases, this could also morph into psychological disorders, which show later in life.

Further citing adverse examples, there is the dark reality of child labor, which 17% of the worldwide child population has written in their fate. Many kids are forced to work in extreme conditions before reaching the minimum age and get coerced to accept low wages, unsafe environments for bringing home some food and money to lead their lives. According to reports by UNICEF, the most staggering issues which child laborers encounter include extreme bodily harm, mental harm, and in the most unfortunate situations, even death. They are devoid of schooling, health care, and fundamental rights, essential for living a fair and healthy life.

Children of today’s generation are positively victims of innumerably complicated situations and distractions that can negatively impact their lives. At the same time, they are the most informed with the modern workings of society, and if fostered suitably, they will learn to filter out the beneficial things and make the right decisions for themselves. But this requires constant constructive input from the parents’ and elders’ side, who should be there to counsel when needed.

India’s bright minds have shown time and again. One such encouraging story is that of two brothers from Chennai. Shravan Kumaran (18), and Sanjay Kumaran (16), two of the youngest mobile application programmers in India, have their apps used globally – with users from a whopping 53 countries. Along with many rewards, they recently featured the Forbes 30 under 30 lists and were announced the Youngest Achievers of Digital India by CNN-IBN and CISCO in July 2016.

Numerous examples prove that parents settling for their kids’ decisions turns out to be successful. One such example is the recently crowned VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 runner-up, 19 years old Manya Singh. Coming from a lower-middle-class family in a village in Uttar Pradesh, India, she overcame enormous hurdles in realizing her dreams. All the while, her parents were quite supportive and never limited her.

We cannot entirely hold society and the elders accountable for the drastic impact their mistakes may bring on the children. Many times the parents are not well aware, the prevailing bigotry and discrepancy in the literacy level. The variation of said levels between the children and the older generations of a family becomes the root of unavoidable issues. This generation gap needs to be gauged and handled well. Education and awareness movements play an influential role in this.

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