Families have always had to deal with this choice - should women stay at home and care for the children or they go to work and leave the kids with caretakers?
With the emerging concerns of women's liberation as is so often labelled within this modern social revolution, the dynamic is to entice women to step out of the home. The push is so purposeful and the urge to comply so enticing that it may often even go unawares against the grain of a person’s deeper heartfelt thinking. It’s a matter of everyone going along with the globalizing trend that is sweeping the new generational thinking - sometimes with the fear of being alienated if we don't comply and get on the band wagon.
From the point of view of the plight of the future family and the child it raises, let's then look at what happens to the child left at home. We need to realize that that the little human being we leave in the house is not a small adult, but is an evolving being. That little being will be influenced by the environment in which it is nurtured. So naturally it will follow the nature of force with which it is left as the sources of influence. Unfortunately, such influences as the grand parents or other relatives who lived with us in extended family systems is no more; and even if grandparents are live-ins nowadays, they have no say because increasingly, the new households they inhabit don’t belong to them. Instead, in our nuclear families, the nurturing force is the foreign Aaya in the house as both parents spend their time in the office or work environment. I wonder how many parents think about the plight they are putting their children into! Do we think that such children left in aaya-care will imbibe the true values of character and responsibility we want to give our children?
Whenever I take up this topic, the quick retort I seem to hear and see is a defensiveness that voices the argument or logic of the liberation movement. We must really think deep about how we choose to manoeuvre the mental make-up of our children if we are to nurture a caring community of the future. Unfortunately, we seem to care more about making perfect the moment and the physical outside of the child as we move ever deeper into the throes of a materialistic society. Please be aware that a child brought up in psychological neglect cannot be expected to be a responsible citizen of the future.
In this modern day of communication revolution can we better mediate our living and workplace choices that will allow our home to be more parent-friendly and our children to have close at hand, thoughtful parents and wise grandparents rather than foreign aayas as the source of character building? Let’s remember that when our children turn out bad we have only ourselves to blame. We cannot blame our children or even the aayas.