When my son ran out to play in the evening, I called after him to switch off the television and the three lights in different rooms that he had switched on for purposes of his own. He just ran off, as though the house had suddenly filled with vacuum and my voice had failed to carry. A few random, varied thoughts on energy conservation, ozone layer and poverty lingered on my lips and then they ran off, too.

As responsible parents, we want to raise a generation of kind, responsible, law abiding, energy-conserving, poverty-sensitive, caring, perfect citizens. We are responsible for the future of the nation. It’s in our hands that the Tomorrow is getting moulded. We are alert, tensed, on our toes for any sign that our children are going astray. Is it any surprise that we are always jumpy and irritable? Every bit of news we read, every parenting advice that we find crossing our path, makes us conscious and look at our own lifestyle and method of raising our children to make sure we’re on the right track.

We try so hard that we run the risk of overdoing it. The television-and-lights-switch-off dialog happens almost every evening. Some days he runs back to obey my command, rather than waste his precious play time in an argument which he knows he will lose. On other days, he just yells back, “Will you do it please,” and goes his way.

And yet, at other times, when I do not say anything, I notice him switch off the television or any other stray lights that I must have forgotten to turn off, and go on with his business, without even being conscious of what he’s doing.

Sometimes it is better to let things be. They will find their own way back. If we do our part right, everything else will fall into place. All our efforts are not wasted. I read somewhere (in social media, where else) that the things we tell them in childhood become their inner voice when they grow up.

I hope so.