A child is what we make of him and what he sees of us the elders. He can never learn by our criticism of him but the examples we give to him. That a child needs models is evident from our lay research and survey of the last two generations. This study will confirm to us that a child continuously learns from what he sees and not from what is said to him. A study of the present two generations, the younger and the fueling generation will prove the point that a child needs models, and from these models, he automatically learns.
Each younger generation is such a true picture of their senior generation that there has to be no scope of discussion to the effect of models set for the young. Whatever model the children have in front of them, they just inherit all the qualities thereof.
Now for this statement to be proved correct, the best judgment can be made when we study the growth, development, and progress of the present younger generation. There is a huge cry often heard everywhere that, the present younger generation is going haywire. It is quite true and evident to all but, let us look into ourselves, and assess for ourselves. what are the models in front of the younger generation? If we do this, we will not have to go very far to find the source of the behavior of this generation. We will find it all in us if we are impartial.
At home, the parents either pamper out of all proportions or neglect the children. This inculcates in the child an attitude of indifference, as, he feels that there is no consistency required in behavior, seeing his parents out to love him at one time and out to admonish him at another, without any obvious difference in the child’s achievement. At school, the child sees teachers also pamper some children and discard some, for no obvious reason for the child, so here again, the child sees a lack of cohesion in the behavior of the teachers.
So if the three ideals of the child, the two parents and the teacher all behave as per their moods the child without being taught, learn to be moody and his behavior becomes unstable. Thus if his ideas are uncouth and unworthy of their roles in all sobriety, what will happen to the child, is not far to seek.
Do not the children see the difference in the behavior of their parents outside the home and inside? Do they not see their disgraceful behavior with their old parents? Do not the children see their parents hanker for money. and do not the children see their parents’ indifference to their neighborhood, society and the nation? As we know that they see all this, then what can we expect them to learn?
The parents are their role models, and they follow them implicitly, without any change. So, no matter how much the parents and other adults or social care to criticize them, flout them or mock at them, they will not change, or cannot change. They are following verbatim the role models in front of them, and I suppose this is what is expected. Does this not go to prove that children need and only use models to copy and that no amount of criticism can change them or mold them?
Besides the parents, the next and close friend and model for the child is the teacher. Here also does the child not notice favoritism of students among teachers? Don’t they see teachers sometimes even changing marks for no obvious reason? At the college stage do the children not see the college teachers and University teachers selling question papers, passing undeserving students for the small buck? What then can they learn at the feet of such Gums except to indulge in malpractices wherever possible?
The influence of other models comes to complete the disgraceful growth of the children. This comes from Television and the cinema. Here also they see a depiction of their corrupt parents and teachers, earning money by foul means, crime and nothing else. So with this gets completed the picture of the adult world for these children, and they know well in the time that this is all that they too have to do as soon they enter the adult scene.
The final blow given to the bringing up of the younger generation is by the politician of our times. He is such a complete picture of immorality and corruption that, the young get the impression that, if they wish to become a politician, they have to follow their footsteps and corrupt practices. This now completes the horizon of the training of the younger generation in its entirety.
The present scenario goes to prove beyond all doubt that children do not only need models, they can learn also from the visual aid of live models of the world of elders. Thus, if we want the younger generation to be good, or even better, we have to produce, to train them, better role models, and only then can we expect better results. A word of caution will not be out of place at this juncture. If we elders want to see a generation of good and promising young men and women, we will first have to change ourselves to goodness, and then only we can hope to see a better younger generation, and hence a better future.
We have to remember that the child must be taught what is right by means of moral lessons, but that would not be enough. This must be followed by showing what is right by live example by elders around the child. Even the latest and modern techniques of teaching and education lay stress on audiovisual aids, which goes to confirm that the child learns more and better by what he sees around by way of examples in front of him, and what he hears in the world of elders. No amount of lecturing and ordering can imbibe in the child any value of life. A child learns all that he sees and nothing that he is ordered.