Man is a social animal, therefore, all our lives we are associated with parents many groups, these associations gives us a sense of belonging and a feeling that we are a part of a community.
Though, we encounter many social groups throughout our lives- the most important social group that we are attached with, almost involuntarily, is our family. Our parents are the first person we interact with, their style of living influence us in a very big way. The norms and ideologies that we adopt about the society is primarily taken from our parents; besides that, from them we inhabit our culture, religion and spirituality. Today, whatever perspective we have towards life is because of our social conditioning, these forms of conditioning shapes our opinions, beliefs and choices.
From our early age, we have been influenced, primarily, by our parents and our teachers. Parents, shapes our understanding about the world around us internally- therefore, we are more subjective to our parents. Parenting has been a singular institution to teach the child different codes of conduct, they are taught acceptable ways of behavior- anything against the lines of acceptance is heavily rebuked, we are told that certain form of behavior might lead to ‘social boycott’. Parents pass their knowledge about the world which they took from their parents to us. Most of these ideologies are impinged and imposed upon us, moreover, we do find ourselves surrendering to these norms. If we look at it, does it sound fair to adopt whatever is being told to us without even questioning it? Don’t you think that the imposition of norms and values is a great impediment to develop a free-thinking individual?
Today’s children are going to be the citizen of the future. Is it really possible to act in one’s own will, if that person is always being told what to do and what not to do? Democracy, promotes the development of free citizens, but these restrictive societal norms adversely affects the promotion of the same. A disciplined child is told to adopt each and every thing that it told to them by their parents, it is also a part of their social conditioning- they are constantly reprimanded for asking too many questions; therefore, any form of resistance is silenced since the very beginning. Now, these practices do mirror an authoritative approach towards life.
Our parents inhabit a lot of problematic opinions about things, which they obviously pass on to their own children. If we take a situation of a radical guardian- who has extreme opinions regarding someone else’s religion and caste- they do induce those unhealthy beliefs to their children. Similarly, parents pass their prejudices and stereotypes to their children; these forms of conditioning are hazardous, and induces hatred in the minds of the children.
We’ve talked about the inevitable presence of a parent in shaping a child’s mind. These precedents of conditioning, are not always healthy and is also authoritative in many aspects. Now, we are going to navigate how a child loses their personality because of the constant control of their parents in their lives.
Most children, do not come from a family where outward affections are shown. These children adapt these ways of behavior, they end up not knowing how to express their emotions freely- therefore, many starts repressing it. This might lead to many unresolved tensions in their subconscious. Being able to freely express one’s emotions and feelings is a privilege, sadly, many of them inherit these negative aspects of living from their parents. Our parents were conditioned to be stern and inexpressive; these were considered an ideal form of behavior- men mostly, were taught to be tough and ‘manly’. Therefore, a child adopts these things from their parents and reflect the same on their own life.
Similarly, if parents are over-protective about their children, their kids might showcase antagonistic feelings toward any social situation. They might not be able to adjust themselves on their own, they would always be dependent and wouldn’t be able to make decisions for themselves. This gravely affects one’s individuality, overly protective parents are a serious impediment to the development of self- confidence. The kids develop irrational fears about starting up a conversation with a stranger or answering a question in a classroom. They are always conscious about everything they do.
Now that we are talking about inescapable parental control, we need to discuss how the parents think it to be valid to dictate the choices of their kids, regarding to their future endeavors. It is very necessary to draw a line between nurturing and clenching. The child is definitely more aware about his/her interests and preferences, it is not okay for parents to intervene and hinder their child’s wishes to follow a particular career. This becomes visible that unnecessary restrictions and many forms of social conditioning imposed on children only curbs their free flow of thoughts.
Such prejudices and biases can be reduced if be become more aware of the adverse effects of unhealthy social conditioning. Children must be offered an environment where their own beliefs and opinions are appreciated with elements of tolerant nurturing.