I was poked by many of my readers about my latest article and the time it has been taking. Let me confess that I haven’t written much for sometime owing to the hectic schedules I’ve had. Somewhere, I wasn’t really glad announcing that I was too busy to write. And I removed my laptop from it’s safely tucked bag off of my shelf. I recall numerous stories which I intend to share with you and many soul-stirring moments to reflect on. But this one is just a priority for a mom…read on ladies…
My 9 years old daughter appeared very distressed when she returned from the school. She didn’t run towards me to hug. Her otherwise dazzling pearly smile was shadowed by sadness. It made me uneasy. I was troubled and helplessly searched for a glimpse of a grin on her face. I embraced her and took her awfully heavy school bag on my shoulder. I let her pause as in my mind I know she was searching for words to articulate. I intertwined my fingers in her tiny and delicate ones. After we entered the main gate, she finally said “Mom, my ‘class captaincy badge’ has been temporarily dispensed to someone else and I’m feeling miserable” I could see her moist eyes. It was just a few days back when her teacher announced that she has been the best class captain so far. I fell short of words considering her fragile mood. I let her empty out the emotions bottled up in her heart.
Upon reaching home, I acknowledged her grief and caressed her bruised emotions. I knew that I had an enormous task to make her accept such incidents that she has no control over.
My kid is gripped by the disappointment. She is obviously feeling like a loser. I’m sure all of you also witness a tinge of disappointment or mood swings in your kids. Dealing with such intense mood is a challenge. But, over and above we are the ones who are in charge of their “individualism”. My friendly advice is that, let your kids express themselves. Do not cut them half way through assuming that the issue is just petty. Encourage them to exhibit their emotions. Never ever, and ever stop or shun them in public. We tend to go overboard with the public manners and behavior and sometimes find it insignificant to pay heed to our kid’s behavior.
I remember my conversation with Dr. Subramanian Swamy (Rajya Sabha member who was the chief guest of an NGO opening ceremony). As the NGO ‘s main responsibility was to take care of the underprivileged children and girl child, it was but natural to begin the conversation about kids. I’ve a hand written message from him on a piece of paper that reads something like “make your children courageous by encouraging them to express in public. They will be confident young leaders of tomorrow!” I have this note safely tucked in a book named “when they were young”. This book narrates the lives of now famous personalities who battled the odds. They fiercely fought the failures/defeats only to emerge victorious.
I quoted numerous examples to my kids about such heroes and explained them the importance of accepting failures. We must be empathetic towards their petty stuff but teach them to accept and move on for better and bigger opportunities are waiting for them ahead. I really had to explain them how failure is not the opposite of success but a part of it…coz, unless you fail you won’t know what success looks like.
These are significant life skills that will build a good human. Let us all build our children by educating them on such valuable skills. I read a wonderful quote by James Adams that I would like to narrate here – “there are obviously two types of educations, one teaches us how to make a living and the other how to live!” And I vouch, the later one is extremely important to understand and pass on to our kids. Let us all build this skill first and work harder to spread it. Hence, my title for this blog is “Listen and Silent, as these two words are spelled with exact same letters and to listen to others we must first be silent. I could have easily brushed the matter of my daughter’s captaincy badge away but it was an important learning lesson to me as a mother. It triggered a sense of instilling these life skills in my kids. Today, she doesn’t hold the class captaincy badge but she is happy to demonstrate the same leadership skills without a badge. She is still looked upon for the work she does and being acknowledged for it. She emerged as a winner now and realized that it was just a badge and that her skills are much valuable than it.
Dearies, today I touched a little sensitive topic that I’m sure you are going to contemplate on. While you do that, I would like to leave you with few lines of the poem that I read everyday –
“Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems far
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst – “YOU MUST NOT QUIT”