Are We Too Busy To Raise Courteous Children?

Or are we just lazy and couldn’t care less?

I live in Singapore in a condo with a substantial Indian expat community…Usually, in the evenings I sit by the pool to take in some fresh air and catch up with friends…There is a group of 10-12 Indian boys lead by two 14 year olds who play close by…Now, according to condo rules, they are not allowed to play cricket there but these boys insist on doing so even when they are asked not to by the security guards…These ‘leaders’ taunt the guards and even manhandle them when after numerous warnings their bats are confiscated…And what do parents do when called by the guards? They threaten them with bodily harm (“I’ll break your leg if you say anything to my son.”)…The condo management has come to the end of its tether and has finally lodged a complaint with the police…If things don’t improve, they will pursue this in court…As most Indians here aren’t citizens, they can be deported and/or jailed…Lives can be ruined…But who is bothered? Children? Parents?

Two months ago, there was a ‘major’ incident by the pool…One 15 year old boy got into a fight with his friend…The latter’s father intervened…What did the former do? He started abusing this gentleman (“You **cker!”) and then physically assaulted him…Meanwhile, the boy’s mother was called and instead of diffusing the situation, she joined in…She started verbally abusing the father and condoned her son’s verbal abuse (“All boys abuse”)…The locals were watching all this with shocked faces…Singaporean children are extremely well behaved…It was embarassing for us who were just sitting around…Can we blame the locals for not liking us and complaining about our behaviour? There are numerous blog posts written by locals who complain about the behaviour of expat Indians especially children in public…

There is a sense of entitlement in our children these days…I think it’s got to do with money…One of the boys from the first story had gone to my friend’s house (she has a 10 year old boy who is in awe of the 14 year old…I must admit, the latter has something in him because all the younger boys follow him)…He was talking rudely to her (she is extremely soft spoken)…Her Filipino helper couldn’t take it any more and asked him to talk with respect…What was this boy’s response? He told the helper that his monthly allowance was more than her monthly salary and so she had no right to tell him how to behave…Many parents have complained to this boy’s parents but they refuse to believe that their son is anything but an angel…Now, if five people complained about my daughter’s behaviour, I would take it seriously but not these parents…Their ladla beta could do no wrong…

Children learn from their parents…If there is no discipline at home, a sense of entitlement and disrespect is the outcome…If we don’t instill good qualities in children early on, there is no hope in hell of doing so when they are teenagers or young adults…Entitled adults shoot women when their needs are not met (Manu Sharma) or run over pedestrians with their luxury car and feel no remorse (Sanjeev Nanda)…



4 thoughts on “Are We Too Busy To Raise Courteous Children?

  1. And kids these days are smart, too! At 14, this particular kid is old enough to have understood that his parents will support him in any situation. That’s what gives him the confidence to do/say whatever he wants. What he’s not old enough to realize is that he’s the wrong one and such behavior will cost him heavily later in his personal and professional lives. As you rightly said, children learn from their parents.

    The parents need to be counseled in these matters… and before its too late!

    Well written, BTW. 🙂


  2. Yes, I believe parents are too busy or just not that interested. They would rather give in to a kid’s whims and fancies than take out the time to do something. Because buying your child’s silence is easier. throw money. problem solved. The situation is the same here in India as well. Can count on my hand the no. of kids who are well behaved and courteous.


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