Children are symbols of simplicity, innocence and truthfulness. We love them. We love their babbles and smiles. We play with them, speak with them; even though we know they can’t speak, even though we think they don’t understand us, we speak with them. We identify our own childhood in them. They are the embodiments of god. God resides in them overtly. Each child is unique and potentially divine. If they get suitable environment they grow uniquely. Look at them! How simple, how innocent, how attractive they are! They don’t know our dos’ and don’ts. Just they weep and just they laugh! May be they have their own worlds, uniquely different to ours.
A child learns to expand, from the limits of (unicellular) “self” to the multitudes, through the family, friends’ circle, community and the nation. These all have their roles to play in the bringing up of a child. How prominent support the child receives from them, to the same degree the child grows responsible towards them. By this, we can understand the importance of the role of family where the child begins to learn how fundamental others’ help is for his existence. It’s said that the family is the first school for a child.
In the joint families, there were grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts and cousins of different ages who played import social roles. There were varieties of ages, temperaments, professions, capacities. Everyone got good chances to grow into a sound personality. The absence of working parents was substituted by grandparents. The grandchildren enjoyed the warmth of grandees. Most children identified grandparents as their own parents. The problem of generation gap was minimized. There were all the elements of a complete society. The family itself was a replica of a closely tied mini-society. The children got love, protection and necessary guidance in the joint families.
Now, Nuclear families are replacing joint families. The women were hidden in the shadow but now they are exposed to the outside world. Their role is changing in the nuclear family. They are getting more freedom from the old cultural ties. They go out to work. They generate income to count in currency. They need not depend economically on their husbands. They think their labor is paid. They are able to earn and spend money for themselves and their children. It’s raising their status in the family and the society. But what about the children!
Our social and family culture is highly male dominated. Many males think they are born bosses; many mothers too, think similarly. The working mothers are under the pressure of double bosses; the bosses at homes and the bosses at workplaces. They got overburdened by double duty. Many are just bearing it quietly in the name of courtesy or love. Many are facing the problems of depression. Many are not expressing it explicitly. They think they have chosen it as a freedom, as a chance. They are tolerating it with a dream of making their children’s future bright. Will the dreams come true?
The mothers, the only true care takers of the children, are busy working outside. The father is yet to learn what love is. There is a fight between swords and roses. There is also a fight between the mother and the working woman: neither she can leave to work under a strict boss nor can she discard the home duties due to the love for children and hubbies. She is kind. She melts. May be she is playing a losing game. May be she is fighting a losing battle, a losing war. She feels they will suffer. Who is actually caring them and their rights?
Doesn’t the father love the child? Yes, the father definitely loves the child. Who dares say, no? There are concrete proofs that he loves. The father loves the child so he shouts at the working mother, “How careless you are keeping the child dirty!” if he finds the child dirty. Doesn’t it mean loving the child? After the mother cleans the child, he picks them up and kisses the child deeply with unsaved beards and bristle moustaches. The child develops resiliency from the very beginning of life. The child might be thinking that this is the reality of his new world. He has to face it anyhow. If the child weeps, the father again shouts to the mother, “The child may be hungry. Serve me a cup of tea quickly and feed the child.” How much he loves the child! How much he respects his dear wife! This is the loving father.
While the grown ups are enjoying their rights, the children are suffering. They are neglected. They are aborted if unwanted; they are treated as machines after birth, if wanted. The bottle is replacing the mother’s bosom. Child care centers and nannies are replacing the cozy home and the loving laps of the mother. Let the mother think once! How profitable this deal is for them and for their children! A child in the cradle cared by a nanny is calling, “Mother! Are you really happy without me? I am being discarded; are you relieved? Couldn’t my smiles satisfy you to that degree? Are you really happy in this deal?”
We believe whatever the mother does; she does for the good of her child. There can be no alternative for a mother. Only good food, good clothes and good education are not enough for a child! A loving look or a loving touch can make the child understand a thousand times more than any good teaching. Either at home, at a child care center or at schools, the main qualifications for a child caretaker must be love for children. The mother is born with the child. She acquires it by birth. The skills acquired by trainings and learning through rigorous practices will be like the love of the loving father.