Everyone would agree that our children are the most precious gifts we have ever received, or will receive, in our lives. Indeed, children alter our lives even before they are born. In many homes, parents yearn for them, plan for them and dream about them even before they enter this world.

And from the moment they are born, they take over our lives. Ironically, despite all your yearning and love for them, they also have the potential of turning into our biggest nightmares later in life

What goes wrong?

It is not an easy question to answer on a general basis, particularly since circumstances are different from home to home. No one can generalize and say that the fault lies entirely with either the children or the parents. But one thing that we should strongly believe in is a universal truth that in our desire to give our children what we did not get as children, we do not give them what we got as children.

Once the veracity of this statement sinks in, you will find many instances in a home across the land and across the socio-economic spectrum that bears it out. When we were children, our grandparents narrated great epics to us as well as instilled in us the values and morals of the heroes. They also told us, children, a lot of pithy sayings, none of which we ever forget, like the one: A man who is drenched can never be afraid of the rain.

We do not see such growing up scenarios in the homes today. Our children, who are in homes many times more affluent than the one we grew up in, very often do not have the benign influence of grandparents since these are modern nuclear families. Neither do us nor our friends have the time to carry on with the great tradition of oral storytelling of our country. These days children have the latest electronic gizmos but- for no fault of theirs – they have no value benchmarks, nor do they have any heroes worth emulating.

The scene is not too different in the home of my help. There, television has killed the tradition of storytelling and economic compulsion has made the parents work longer hours away from home, thereby giving them less time to be with their most precious assets.

We are talking here of just one instance, which seems sensitive about, particularly since it is established that the first six years of a child's’ life are the most critical to his or her emotional psyche. There are innumerable others, which can surely be spotted if you analyse the situation. So, think about your childhood and give your children elements from it while you still can. Else, you will eternally regret your inaction.

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