Recently, one of my friends sent a homemade video, in which some 8 or 10-year-old boy is requesting his grandmother to vote for certain party X (I am not giving party names here as the intention of this post is not political).
The boy soon started crying and pleading that his grandmother must vote for party X. The grandmother tries to tell him something but the boy is in no mood to listen to her. He is crying, “Grand ma! Please vote for party X. Please vote for person X…. please.”
The father, who was recording the scene with his mobile, asked the boy from behind the camera, “Jitu, why do you want grandma to vote for person X?”
The boy replied through sobs, “Because person X is good and honest.”
“Good,” said the father. “Why not vote for party Y?”
“They destroyed our country for so many years.”
“Good,” said the father again.
Thus, the video comes to an end.
The father in the video is my friend. While sending the video, he put a proud caption: See how politically aware today’s children are! At that age, I do not know anything about politics!
After reading that caption and watching the video, I was aghast. I watched the video again to see why it seemed wrong to me.
Is it true as the proud father is announcing that the boy is politically so knowledgeable?
For me, it seemed not political awareness but political brainwash. There are two simple reasons.
The boy is saying what his father wants to hear
It is a common mistake of parents to imbue their children’s mind with their own dreams and goals. It is not entirely wrong. But it is 100% wrong when you instill your ideas into your child without giving him or her a chance to have their own.
In this video, the father is doing the same thing. After every answer from a child, his word good is encouraging the child to believe what his father deemed right. Anyone can understand from where the boy got his political ideas — which party did right, which party did wrong, who is honest etc.
The boy is not requesting but crying to vote for party X and person X
Obviously, those who are aware of or knowledgeable of something will never force someone to do something according to their wish. Instead, they will try to bring awareness to others also by presenting facts and proofs. Here the child is too young to do such a thing. He is just hysterical under the influence of someone. That someone can be his father, mother, friend, teacher or anyone.
Why should we give so much attention to this incident?
It is very important that our children should have their own opinion. As they grow up, they should be in a position to gather information from various sources before deciding what is good and what is bad. Any single source of information is bad for them, even if the source is parents or teachers. Single source of information leads to:
- Bad learning experience. Children cannot learn new things easily, therefore, they cannot adapt easily to new environments and changes.
- Monotony. They cannot experiment and be creative.
- Dependency on others to make decisions.
What we need to do?
We are living in a world where fake news travels faster and spreads wider than the truth. So we must equip our children to tackle this situation.
If you are a parent, let your children grow into independent persons with their own mission and vision.
- Do not instill your ideas and opinions into your child’s mind.
- Show them how to assimilate information and process it.
- Let them read different books and listen to different podcasts.
- Keep an eye on their influencer’s list.
- Discuss various topics with them. But play a neutral role.
These are just a few tips. You can come up with your own ways to make your children independent. But at any cost, do not let them be brainwashed by neither you nor anyone.