“I told you not to watch television for so long.” You are on your tablet all the time, then what do you expect?” “Henceforth I am going to take back your cell phone.” Any guesses for this reference to context? These are some common dialogues heard at school Parent Teacher Meetings (PTM). While I await my turn to hear about my son’s progress, there’s a beeline of over enthusiastic parents glued in front of the teachers to know about their child. General questions range from “is my child studying well, to how much did he/she score in the reviews, to why did he/she get half, one or two marks less in a particular subject?” Here the emphasis is more on the lost marks rather than the excellent aggregate marks scored.
Any negative feedback from the teacher and there’s a flurry of instant nagging, scolding and reproaching. It is the parent who is responsible for getting a child addicted to television. Children imbibe what they see. The irony being parents are so fond of watching television that they can’t let go of their favourite programme and expect the child to not watch. The latest gifting trend for primary school children is a cell phone or a tab. Why is it so difficult for some parents to realize that their generosity is instrumental in getting the children hooked on to these gadgets?
I fail to understand why the focus is always on the child’s academic achievements? Why are examinations the only parameter of success in life, that too at a stage and age where it hardly matters? Agreed, it is essential to score well in grades ten and twelve, for that is the pathway to higher education, paving way for one’s career. But what about lower grades? Children are burdened with long school hours. On top of that they have tons of homework. And still the parents want them to study more. This is unfair on the children. They have a right to just be. Do whatever they enjoy. If they are left with no time on their own how would they develop their hobbies and interests? How would they know what skills they have? It has been proved that if children are bored, parents shouldn’t intervene for the boredom helps them become creative. But with most children today, where is the time to be bored when they hardly have any time for themselves?
Formative years are the years to develop a child’s emotional intelligence. With due respect to parents who have a single-track mind to focus only on their child’s academics, are low on emotional quotient themselves. They not only torment the child, but unconsciously psych themselves up as well. As if that is not enough, academic achievements are discussed with other parents and comparisons made. Not academic but emotional intelligence will help these children deal with tremendous stresses and pressures when they face the world. If their emotions are treated with indifference or negligence in childhood, they would have a hard time coping with life in general – be it in their careers or relationships.
Childhood is a miniscule part of one’s life. Children have every right to live it to the fullest. Beautiful childhood can lead to a beautiful mind. An unhappy childhood on the other hand can leave scars forever. Let’s help our children make beautiful memories…