Thursday, March 20, 2014

Teach them to be strong

March is the month every year when most of the families are focused on the final examinations of the students (school as well as the college/universities) and everybody prays that the students succeed. Earlier it used to be in case of public examinations only but now this custom has started even in primary classes also. Though there have been reforms introduced to reduce the stress of the parents and the children but it had little impact. Though we keep getting inputs that the children are less stressed now but the real picture does not match with this.
Very unfortunate news was telecast yesterday which must have disturbed all the people who are concerned about the children of this nation and I am talking more in context of India. As per the news two girl students of a school in Bengaluru died (some say committed suicide) and the reason quoted for that is, that they were stopped from playing Holi in the school. The reports suggest that they were scolded by the principal and a teacher. The girls could not take the humiliation and took the extreme step. We have all the sympathy for the family and stand by them in this hour of grief. But a very important question is to be answered by all of us and probably then only we shall be able to stop or control such unfortunate incidents. The question which comes to my mind is - what is the aim of education? Is this to prepare the children for getting good grades and marks only or the something else? Should we not work in such a manner that our children get prepared for different phases of the life and do not get disturbed or lose everything in difficult situations? This world is not static and would never be. So should we not teach our kids the same and let them know that there would sometimes be tumultuous situations and they will have to learn how to survive even when the going is not good or comfortable. The life has two sides and we must know that well. There are times when everything is so good and enjoyable but the next moment it can be the other way round also. I want to submit for the consideration of all that taking decisions and reacting to situation without realizing the long term impact does not help anybody. The children learn a lot from adults’ activities and thoughts and I know that all parents and other people do face some challenges in their life almost on daily basis. There can be nobody who would not have encountered difficult situations and difficult people in life very often. I raised this point before also that the children of the day are being brought up in a manner that they are becoming intolerant towards listening to any ‘NO’ whether that is for their good or not for good. We come across a number of cases where the parents express their inability to handle the children because they want to do and have the things of their choice only and do not like parent`s advise(which the children take as the interference in their life). It is not the case with every child but the number seems to be increasing every year. The people who are at the helm of affair are trying to find short term solution for this serious problem. The life of every individual is precious and we should not allow it to be lost on useless kind of pretext for that matter not on any pretext. But they should not forget that society is the building block of such small units known as individuals and the children are included in that. No building can be strong even if one unit is not strong enough and does not adjust with rest of the units. One cannot be considered to be more important than the other one but all to be blended and put together so that overall strength is great. What I want to say is all must understand the importance of every member of the society and the family. The parents and teachers must ensure that the children become strong to face the challenges of the life not only physically and mentally but emotionally also. What I can gauge is that such incidents occur only when the individual is emotionally weak, as the magnitude of the problem was not so great here. Also the children must be taught from the beginning that if they have some problems,  it should be shared with the parents and teachers in whom they may have faith and belief. This is the responsibility of the teachers and the parents to behave and act in a balanced manner even if they feel the act of the child was not pardonable. We must realize that the children do what they learn from us as individuals and the part of the society. In such cases the society and our education system should also share the responsibility and these incidents should not be brushed aside as one odd incident which took place in a city of the country.
At the same time we have to look at the big picture. If our children are not able to listen to what is told by the parents and the teachers, that situation is also not good. They must be made aware that the parents would not like to do anything against their children and if the teachers and parents teach them discipline, then this is not an offence. Discipline is the key to the success of an individual and also the society. If all are allowed to do the things and behave in a manner as they like then there may chaos and pandemonium in the society. The children should also be taught to live in peace and harmony with everyone around them. They cannot be and should not be allowed to do things which neither help them nor others. The parents need to be more aware about the behavior of their kids and should not budge and give in to unjust demands of their children. If they are consistent in their approach towards the children then there should not be any problem. Sometime we as parents become so emotional in providing the children those things also which they have not asked for and also do not need. Even in schools the system should be such that all are aware of the rules and regulations and that should not be for the sake of being into existence but practical also in its implementation. We must be careful while dealing with the individual children because they all are different from each other in terms of their response to any situation. All cannot be treated with the same rule all times. Sometimes they do it only for the sake of fun or in spur of moment without having any ill feeling towards anybody. In such cases, the teachers and the schools should be more sensitive and handle the situation accordingly. The habit of making somebody happy all the time is also not good and let our children learn that they should face all the phases with courage and should not give up things easily. Let the children also learn how to solve the problems and the teachers and parents should be judicious in offering solutions every time.
These children who are nowadays treated with utmost care by the parents would take some important responsibility tomorrow such as politician, bureaucrats, managers, CEOs and also the teachers. Though we require all those roles to be played well by our children when they grow, they should be capable of becoming excellent teachers in schools and colleges. Good teachers will be able to help children become good and responsible citizens of the country. If the teachers would not be emotionally strong then the whole community would have problems. Similarly, if the CEOs, politicians, bureaucrats, doctors, engineers, judges and lawyers etc are not able to cope up with the difficult situations and stress then also there will be problems in the society. So, this is very important that our children grow with balanced personality and they help the society become better. For this the teachers, parents and the education system will have to play proactive role and make our children strong enough so that such incidents do not take place. The parents and teachers should listen to the problems and the views of the children and if they have different point of view then the children should be told in a polite and dignified but firm manner.
Remember that the children are our reflection and we should not put all the blame on them. So, the onus of understanding our own children lies with us so as the responsibility of their valuable lives. May God help us in doing something which stops such incidents and God`s wonderful gift to the world in the form of the children blossoms in the garden of the society.