While growing up we all use to keep secrets from others, some of us still do. In the beginning of our school life, we were taught that one should never avoid their feelings. If someone is feeling grief and anxious, he should talk to a trusted adult or to someone he are comfortable with. But only if it was that easy, as it sounds. We all remember how in primary school we were taught to always be nice to each other and talk politely. As were grow into teenagers, these norms somewhat become senseless to us under emotions like jealousy, hatred, competition, etc. We often forget that being polite to each other is what that defines us, not our grades. Of course, it is important to score good marks in order to secure admission in good colleges and get into your dream job, but what is more important than that is, we shouldn’t disrespect anyone unnecessarily. If an individual disrespects you in any way or mistreats you, then the best you can do is, to talk away and never speak of that again. Sometimes, not responding back and explaining the reason behind your action can be tough as it can ruin your reputation; but not indulging in an argument for surely can be healthy for your mental health and inner peace. Yes, teen years and adulthood can be tough, but so can be childhood. Children are often considered innocent and naïve. There are many things which we as children, never understood until grew older. It is really important for us to make our children sure about the fact that we are there for them, reassurance is very important for children.
It is very important that we develop such an environment where children are comfortable in sharing their issues with us. Building a bond and trust with kids is very important. Competition between individuals begins at a very young age. Kindergarten students are often fond of colourful things or things which are unique. Like a colourful pencil box, a stationary pouch, a bright school bag, a set of fancy colour pencils, etc. These materialistic things are the very reason behind the urge of competition. If one student owns a led pencil instead of a basic Natraj pencil, then there are a hundred percentage chances that everyone else in the class would want the same. Teachers do their best by teaching these kids about social values and equality. But not all teachers have good intensions. Most of us must have heard so many horrifying cases on the television where children of merely the age of 5/6 are being touched in the sensitive body parts by some faculty member of their school. It does not always have to be a sadist teacher; sometimes it can also be the cleaning lady or a watchman. Many children don’t even realise that they were sexually assaulted until years later when they grow older. Sometimes it is really difficult for kids to distinguish between the type of touch or physical contact an individual experiences. There are times when kids are bribed by the assaulter through chocolates or candies. They are asked to keep it as a secret; they are made to believe that it is normal what they are experiencing. When children are keeping secrets from adults, it not that always that they are guilty, but there can also be a reason that a child is not comfortable in having a conversation about it or is not sure about what to say. As an adult, it is our duty to make sure that a child is comfortable around us. It is our responsibility to teach them about differences between the right and wrong physical contact.
We should teach our little ones about consent; we should teach them the power the word “No” holds; we should teach them that they have the right not to be around an individual they are not comfortable with, even if it is a family member. We teach our kids to respect elders no matter what; we teach them that talking back in a bad manner, but what is worse is seeing some children suffer because they follow these norms blindly. It is not about respecting an elder, it is about respect a human being, be it elder or younger, rich or poor, healthy or sick, educated or uneducated. Respecting someone blindly has never done any good; respect comes from within. We cannot respect someone we are not comfortable around. Kids alone go through a lot, eve teasing, bullying, mental abuse and physical abuse. The worst part is that they usually have no one to talk to. I once read somewhere, “Be someone whom you needed as a kid.” The world is already cruel enough, life just keeps getting harder and harder and our children don’t deserve that cruelty, nobody does.
We as parents always tell our kids that we are there for them, but are we sure that they trust us? A ten year old kid gets scolded for breaking a glass by mistake; some kids even get beaten up. How do you even expect that your child will be comfortable in talking about an assault or even a small accident they had at the school without the fear of getting scolded? How can they ever talk about something so unfortunate when all they can feel is the fear of getting questions asked, like, “What were you even doing there?” or “Who were you with”? Teaching your children a lesson is very important, but it is even more important to make sure that they are safe and not hurting, that they trust you, and that they are comfortable with sharing their problems with you. These children deserve love and our guidance; they need to be taught on how to make things right with a peaceful mind.
They don’t deserve our yelling, our mood swings, they don’t deserve the behavior where we bang the doors, or smash the utensils whenever we are disappointed in them. Humans make mistakes and they are mere children, who don’t even know what is right or wrong. One should make them feel loved, we as an adult to should help them if something goes wrong, instead of proving them guilty without knowing the whole story. A parent can use terms like, “Thank you for telling me this.” Or “Are you comfortable to talk about this?” Terms like these can make your child trust you. We all make mistakes; we all have done something in the past which we regret till date. We still wish we had someone to talk to when we ourselves were kids, so now it is responsibility to be that ‘someone’. It is on us to make sure that our children don’t suffer what we did. It is just one step at a time and the world will soon be a better place.