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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Democracy begins at home. Here’s how to enable children with decision making power at home

Today’s millennial parents are keen to empower children by seeking their opinions and considering the same while taking important decisions. Democracy begins at home and Indian households are teaching these principles to their children at an early stage.

sex-and-relationships Updated: Jan 25, 2019 14:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Democracy begins at home
Democracy begins at home

High-pitched animated voices, laughter and chattering keep emanating from the first-floor home of the Rodrigues family thereby providing a lively and boyish aura to the building and immediate neighbourhood. Being Republic Day, Dominic Rodrigues, an energetic 14-year old student at one of Mumbai’s well known schools has invited his friends to come and spend the day-long holiday at his home playing videogames.

Dominic is passionate about videogames since it brings him immense joy. Hence, when his parents were considering purchase of a new television – they took Dominic’s suggestions and purchased a television with special suitability for playing video games. The parents might put time bound restrictions and conditions on Dominic as to the quantum of time spent playing videogames but they still consider his inputs while taking purchase decisions.


For every parent the most important mission in life is ensuring the healthy physical, mental, and emotional development of their children. While letting children be final decision-maker in all important discussions are not in anyone’s best interest, allowing them to participate certainly goes a long way in helping young kids find their own voice. This goes a long way in raising courageous and independent citizens who can contribute to the nation. Hence, today’s young and new-age millennial parents are increasingly considering the suggestions of their children while taking decisions.

Gopal Shetty, a six-year old bubbly class one student might not be able to tie his shoe laces properly but can easily navigate the smartphone to catch his favourite cartoon online. Today’s children are much more exposed to their surroundings and larger worldwide happenings due to increased access to media and other information avenues. This trend has also ensured that children are maturing faster, becoming more aware than ever before. A world of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram has primed children so that they are eager to participate in discussions on relevant matter and this trend is evident even at home. Purchase decisions such as home furnishings are today taken by millennial parents post consideration of children’s viewpoints. In fact, Interio index, a light hearted survey by Godrej Interio revealed that amongst millennial parents in the age group of 25 to 35 years of age, 39.0% believe that their children have a say in the decision making for furniture at home for small pieces of furniture around the home; 27.3% would accept suggestions from their children for the kids room only; whereas 19.3% consider the opinion of their children in all furniture decisions at home. This clearly indicates that children’s suggestions are increasingly being considered by parents, especially in cases wherein it directly affects the child such as the kid’s room furnishing.

For example, Gopal’s parents intended to purchase a new refrigerator but would also seek Gopal’s suggestions. Post receiving inputs they decide to purchase a refrigerator that provides a larger chiller space since Gopal is extremely fond of ice-cream.

The well-known American novelist, Katie Kitamura had once stated that, “One thing about having children is that even as it complicates many aspects of your life, it simplifies others.” These words are especially true in today’s context wherein children’s interests could complicate purchase decisions but their suggestions can also show the path ahead.

We now celebrate India’s Republic Day, a momentous occasion completing the country’s transition towards becoming an independent republic so that every citizen could have his or her rightful voice heard and empowered with robust protection guaranteed by the constitution. In the same spirit, today’s millennial parents remain keen to empower children by seeking their opinions and considering the same while taking important decisions.

In conclusion, it would be right to point out that democracy begins at home and Indians household are teaching these principles to their children at an early stage. This Republic Day, let us acknowledge the millennial parent’s inclusive approach to decision-making within their household.

This article has been penned by Mr. Anil Sain Mathur, COO, Godrej Interio.

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First Published: Jan 25, 2019 14:44 IST