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Monday, January 30, 2012



One cannot even begin to imagine

what Adnan Patrawala”s

(the kidnapped and murdered teenager from 

parents are going through.

When horror strikes,

the blame game also begins.

 What led to this unspeakable tragedy?

The social networking sites,

 the media, the police which gave away the news?

 I have to admit that

 we in media have to learn to draw that fine line

 and not act like vultures feasting upon personal 


 The usual rich spoiled kid,

 why did the parents allow him to take the car

 and go out in the night kind of criticisms are also 

doing the rounds.

So much so that the distraught parents

 had to announce in a press conference

 that Adnan was a well brought up boy.


how does one explain the sociopathic behaviour

of the young people who carried out this crime.

It is not easy to be a parent today. 

Was it ever simple?

 Everybody harks back to the days

when there was no internet, shopping malls,

 gaming parlours, or cable television.

 The reality is you cannot ban any of these things.

To have some kind of restriction on these is also not 

going to happen.

Prosperity also brings its own problems.

Even a generation ago,

 generous pocket
money was unheard of.

Young fresh graduates did not make five figure 


 It is also a fact that social disparities have widened.

 Remember even 20 years ago,

 whether you were rich or middle class,

you had access only to the Ambassador and the

One didn”t drive around in zippy new models . 

The happy joint family of the past has faded into

If you didn”t relate to your parents,

you could turn to a younger uncle or aunt.

 There were the loving grandparents who spoilt you.


today it”s the age of the double income nuclear family.

 Both parents are busy.

There are concepts like spending quality time with the kids

 rather than
spend all your time with the kids.

How does one know what works and what doesn”t?

 Its really luck of the draw how your children turn out.

I think its completely normal for parents 

and adolescent children to have conflicts

and disagreements.

As parents we want to protect them from the mistakes we made.

How can we expect them to understand that?

 I was looking for some answers and

 I turned to the much reviled internet.

 Let me share some sensible suggestions

 I found in various parenting websites. 

“Parents need to include adolescents 

in making decisions and setting rules

that affect their lives and share reins with them.

 In families, where parents and adolescents

are trapped in distressed relationships,

there is emotional coldness,

frequent angry outbursts and disagreements,

unresolved conflicts and withdrawal from family life;

teens are at high risk for various psychological

and behavioral problems.

You need to be there for your child and teach them how to say

What is parental monitoring? Do you know the answer to these

“Do you know who your teen”s friends are? 

If your teen is going to be late, does s/he know that you expect him/her to call? 

Do you know where your teen is and what s/he is doing after school? 

Does your teen tell you who s/he will be with before they go out? 

Do you know where your teen is when he or she goes out at night? 

Do you know how your teen spends his or her money? 

Do you know the parents of your teen”s friends? 

Do you talk with your teen about the plans s/he has with his/her friends?

Some parents back off

from monitoring their teen thinking

they are

thwarting their teen”s independence.

 In other situations, the teen may view such questions

 by their parents as intrusive and may balk,

feeling their parents are demanding and interfering.

There are three key things to remember

 for successful parental monitoring:

Parental monitoring works best with parents

 who already have a reasonable relationship

with their teen.

Family members should show mutual respect

 and there should already be family rules

 in place that govern behaviour.

Parents must approach the issue of parental monitoring

 from a point of view of concern, guidance and respect.

Many of the questions

 are a matter of courtesy and cut both ways.

 It is reasonable to know when to expect family members

 to return home and to know how to contact

 each other in case of emergency.

It is equally important for children to know

where parents are and how children can make contact.

This is simply mutually respectful behavior for planning 

and safety.

Start when your kids are young and be a good role 

If you want to know where your kids are,

always let them know where you are too.

Explain and demonstrate from an early age

that family members stay in touch and show concern for 

each other.

Children and teens develop self-esteem 

as a result of their parent”s involvement in their lives.

Parental monitoring may seem like a pain to some teens,

 but hey, you only concern yourself with things

that are important.

So, parental monitoring isn”t about surveillance,

 it”s about caring.

That”s a good message to any teen.”

There is a particularly good piece of advice

 about cell phones and the internet. 

“If you would like your child to carry a mobile phone,

 ensure that it is a basic one.

Don”t give him a mobile phone with a camera. 
Software that blocks internet access 

to adult sites has been available in the market for a 

long time now.

Make sure you get the software

and install it on your computer at home.

Easy access to illicit information is also a major 

cause of the trouble.

Even if your child surfs the web

regularly and doesn”t try to get on to porn sites,

 often one stumbles across such sites by mistake.

Similarly your child”s friend

may forward adult links or adult clips to your child.

To prevent this,

 install software that prevents your child from

downloading anything from the web.

If your child just needs the computer to browse

 for information and check his mail,

there is really no need for him to
download anything.


if your child is more computer savvy

and would like to download music and programmes,

you should not discourage such activity.”


one can say

 is today to be a parent is true joy combined with total terror.

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