A child is like a delicate flower that needs to be watered carefully so that the child can grow and bloom. Children transform according to our choices because their mind is a Tabula Rasa — a blank slate — as suggested by John Locky. The child’s mind is not inherently programmed because of which their future and life experiences are shaped by their earlier life. The psyche, aptitude, inclinations and temperament of children are socially constructed — something that lays the basis for their social interplay towards adulthood. To create a productive generation, there is a need for socially viable psychological, moral, ethical and intellectual grooming of children. In other words, the future of a nation can be determined by examining the socialisation practices present today.
Unfortunately, in our society, socialisation is neither productive nor encouraging. This is manifested in the growing immoral questionable tendencies in the youth of the country. The youth engages in acts that cost them as well as the society dear. The youth is increasingly inclined towards evil and delinquent acts, which are so prevalent that they have immersed themselves in the cognition and behaviour of the new generation. Consequently, they are presumed to be normal instead of an aberration.
Failure in producing a productive and socially conforming generation hints towards the failure of socialisation agencies in accomplishing the task of enculturation. They have failed to fulfil their role adequately.
Most children begin their primary socialisation in their families, which have unfortunately become almost non-functional now. Today, many parents are either overprotective of their children or are entirely oblivious to them. Over-pampering of children till adulthood, even beyond, is normalised in our society because of which the youth are unprepared to confront the challenges later in their lives. They have no worth of happiness, money and compassion for the pains, pangs and screams of the poor and destitute. On the contrary, some parents are completely oblivious to their children, which results in antisocial behaviours and cognition.
Schools also contribute to the deviation among the youth. Instead of psychological and personal development, the primary motive of schools is rote-learning and falsified grades. Schools no longer prioritise ethics, intellectual growth and moral considerations.
Peer groups also play a role in one’s growth and development. Most children form peer groups that do not necessarily suit their aptitude and mental outlook. However, they do not comprehend this until much later.
Society is the epitome of deviations and delinquency. Children imitate what they view whether it is abusive language, fractured kinship, or fights within families. Exposing children to immoral and unethical practices from an early age has a detrimental impact on their enculturation.
Mass media is vital too in socialisation of children. Social media particularly has bombarded the nascent minds of children with many negative tendencies that are strengthened as they grow.
Defective socialisation and unattended enculturation have contributed to the making of an unproductive and delinquent generation. Controlling and censoring their intellectual growth will induce antisocial behaviours with incalculable social costs. Since all the institutions of socialisation share this blame, there is a dire need to reform institutions in an acceptable, morally conforming and progressive manner so that the children of today transform into productive adults in the future. The fate and future of a society are defined by the way children are socialised today. Therefore, we cannot put this at the mercy of apathy and oblivion.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2021.
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