Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Facebook parents

India is in a growth phase like how the US economy was in the 80s. The US parents during the boom were called baby boomers. 

The Indian parents who are in their 35s to 45s of today are the equivalent of the baby boomer generation. Thankfully the school admission process is so competitive - it has scared them into not making a boom of the baby kind. 

Let me coin these parents the "Facebook parents" as they are all chained to their smartphones and Facebook. Of late whatsapp has become quite popular but whatsapp is owned by Facebook - so this term can still stand a scrutiny by future historians. 

They are economically successful and better off than their parent's generation. Most would have started their career drawing a salary their parents would have retired at. 

Would have visited a few countries for work or for pleasure. Would have a car or two or an unnecessarily powerful bike which they use for grocery errands. Would have a heavy EMI too. 

Like any good biologist - let me classify these species into a few categories. 

The Chinese moms.

I read a post in huffington post years ago on how Chinese moms bring up their kids. The article starts pretty negative showing the Chinese moms in poor light how they push their kids into hours of practice. However the article concluded with a positive spin showing how the kids shine later -without some hitlering these lazy kids would have never picked up the difficult fine arts. 

Armed with this article for justification these Chinese moms ( and dads ) can be found on weekends dragging their kids from one class or tournament to another - bribing their kids with chips or ice cream or a visit to the gaming arcade in a nearby mall.

They turn up in annual sports day events with their DSLRs to capture the finish in highdef video and get into arguments with the poor fatigued over worked and underpaid school sports teachers why their kid should have had a podium finish. 

The spiritual parents

Having hit a ceiling at their career, life becomes monotonous. No more challenges. More meetings at work. The upward climb is blocked with too many VPs. 

They start following spiritual accounts in facebook and you can see them sharing deep quotes on Buddha or Osho or Sri Sri or Sadhguru. 

You can find them taking off days together to go on spiritual retreats and  sit in silence. They come back all divine and do not get into fights at work - for a few days. 

They do not get angry with their kids or push them too hard and believe their karma will run ( or ruin ) them and let fate run its course. They do however show the path and enrol them in various classes but if the kid throws tantrums and starts feigning fever and stomach ache to avoid classes, the spiritual parents pull them out and believe the class will find them at the right time. 

The Bruce lee parents

These parents use the same technique their parents had applied - which is no technique. 

Bruce lee when asked what his technique was he said he had no technique and that was his technique. 

In the previous generation, either because of economic reasons or lack of will or too many kids to handle - they let these grow up by themselves. Never enrolled them in any extra curriculars or used the enrollment forms for removing the extra foam while shaving. And their kids - the current Facebook generation parents - turned out to be alright as they were self made and believe it will all work out in the end. They apply the same technique to their kids too. 

These Bruce lee parent's kids can now be found chilling in the apartment parking lot playing their self made games or practicing dance moves by themselves and generally having a good time. 

So what kind of parent are you?