Monday, 7 March 2016

Burdened by Expectations & Reactions

On the third day at her new school, Mana was chided by her class teacher for not having done her home work.  "You join in a month after the academic year has begun, and now say you didn't understand what was taught in the class.  I am not responsible for this.  Get your calendar!!" the teacher had yelled and scribbled a remark in the school diary that Mana had just then received.

While playing with her newborn sister, the elder sibling - a toddler, Pari, just happened to hurt the little one unknowingly.  The father who witnessed the incident, reprimanded and caned the toddler, and went on to cuddle the younger one.

Every time Naina would come home with a marks card, the mother would go around the neighborhood, proudly flaunting her daughter's scores.  She once stood 3rd in the class, and her mother questioned as to why she had slipped down the race, and when she topped the class but scored a 99 on 100, she was questioned, "tumhara dimag kya bhais charane gaya tha yeh answer likhte waqt?"  (Read:  Was your brain busy grazing cows while answering this question?)  So typical.  So Rude!!   If Naina would come back after an exam and say that she didn't fare well, she would have to listen to her mother's taunts until she would fall asleep crying, only to wake up in the morning and listen to the same ranting yet again.

Scenarios like these are often heard and are heart wrenching.  Do you know what happened to these kids as they grew up?

Image Courtesy:  Google;
Mana had to deal with so many such instances during her childhood because she would land up at a new school every few years; with the syllabus changing every time she moved from one state to another, all thanks to her dad's job.  She time-traveled from Mughal dynasty to the Chalukyas and Hoysalas to the Marathas.  Geography would make her feel like she was jumping from one planet to other, whereas Maths was like zipping from one Milky Way to the other.  Once a bright child, Mana started fading away.  Parents attributed it to her being careless, and that only added to her plight.  A remark in a diary or a low score only meant that the child wasn't studying well.  No one bothered to know if the child understood what was being taught or not.  College got worse as Math was totally different from her last school syllabus again, and integration was something that made her feel worse (Integration makes me feel dyslexic!!!  so do sequences...and limits...and APs ... and GPs....arrrrrrrghhhh...I so relate to this feeling of hating Math!!)  With zero confidence and constant comparison with her counterparts, Mana, today, has failed to stand tall and get "recognized" in our pompous society.  

Pari's father never got to know the impact of that act of his on the little soul as he passed away within a few months after that incident.  To this day, Pari feels her father never loved her.  Somewhere that day, the relationship between the siblings bore a tiny little irreparable crack.  If only had the father hadn't been so impulsive...Sigh!!

Image Courtesy:  Google
Always chided and compared, never appreciated, Naina had turned into a blunt kid.  She had begun to hide things.  She had begun to lie.  She managed to stand first in her first year of college but shockingly flunked the next year which is considered to be the turning point of every child's academic life - Class XII or the second year of pre-university.  The ever so "prestige & society conscious" mother informed all the relatives that Naina scored 80% but was not interested in taking up any professional course, so was studying basic sciences.  The nosy neighbors who knew the fact would tauntingly enquire "Is your daughter doing something at all or not."  This only led to Naina becoming an introvert who hated communicating with people.  She felt the entire world bullied her, looked down upon her, and she was a misfit in the society.   Naina did complete her Class XII in the second attempt but wasn't allowed to study what interested her.  It had to be computers, because the entire world was studying computers, and Alas!!  Naina understood nothing about them.  You can probably guess what happened after that.  

It's so painful to even talk about these kids.  Lives that could have been so beautiful ended up so differently just because of someone else's lack of sensibility and sensitivity.

Parents and teachers, I believe, are largely responsible for shaping up a child's life, constructively or destructively.

Imagine a grumpy photographer capturing your picture.  Would you be comfortable, happy, and able to smile?  And what if your doctor is a nasty one?  Will you go back to him/her again??   If you notice, the friendlier and merrier your photographer is, the more beautiful your pictures shall be, and the more humane and compassionate a doctor is, more the chances of a patient responding and recovering better.  Then how and why does one not understand how important one's behavior is around little children who are still learning the nuances of life.  Why thrust one's choices on them?  Why burden them with expectations??  Why treat them like trophies??   The joy upon a child's achievement might be unparalleled, but not at the cost of ruining his/her childhood...and definitely not at the cost of ruining a life.

I know this one might not be an "entertaining" post, but it's exam time, and at this given moment, zillions of parents will be running behind their children forcing them to study well, to score well, to get a seat in a college or subject of their (the parents') choice.  It scares me if I even begin to think of how many children will manage to take up this challenge and live up to the expectations of their parents and the society, and how many shall dwindle away into literal or metaphorical lifelessness.

Image Courtesy:  Google
Instead could we all parents, teachers, & members of the society get a little responsible and let our little ones know that no matter what, we shall always be by their side.  Be a little patient, and allow them to learn from their mistakes.  Let them know that there's so much more to life than exam results, scores, and ranks?  That being a good human being and doing what they would love to do is what matters the most in life?  Let's give them loads of love, unconditional support, and understand them.  Let's try and make them feel comfortable and then have the pleasure of watching them grow out of their comfort zone and shine....
Let's try and allow them to BREATHE.....

Every coin has two sides and so does parenting.  This side seems insensitive to me and thus feel the need to bring about a change in it.

1 comment:

  1. Vidya I liked this post... really... allowing them to BREATHE.. good post...