Monday, October 29, 2007

Stop picking on me!!!



Ever read the book:'Nineteen minutes' by Jodi Picoult? Read it especially if you have pre-teen children...Though the ending fell below my expectations, the story didn't...The story revolves around a school shooting, the impact on the survivors and the shooter. What circumstances could drive a normal child to pick up a gun and blindly kill? This child had no dearth of reasons - being picked upon because he was weak, being called gay because he had no girl friends, being constantly compared to a bright brother, falling short of his parents' expectations, being publicly degraded. When you feel shunned by people you know, you retreat in your own private world where everything is according to your rules and you are in control.

It's scary what the world expects out of the young generation. It's also frightening to see how little these children value life. A so-called elite school in Delhi had to issue a circular to its teachers to henceforth highlight only the positive aspects of the students' development in the parents teachers meeting. The reason - a student had committed suicide because she could not handle the criticism at the PTM. Every board examination sees the deaths of young lives because they were unable to handle the pressure.

From the time the little child is put in playschool, he/she begins to understand the meaning of pressure. The mayhem caused by the admission circus every year has added fuel to the fire. A child of three is supposed to know his alphabets, be creative, sing songs, dance, be confident,and talented. Give him a break!!!

A lot depends on how certain situations are handled. A friend was called to meet the school counsellor to 'discuss' her son's disruptive behaviour. Since he happened to pull a girl's pigtail, they assumed that there was 'violence'(read marital ) at home. The result of this meeting was a hurt mother, who tried to bribe and coerce the child into better behavior. A more sensitive approach would have helped in finding out the cause of the problem. Likewise, my 4 year old came home with bite marks one day, a fight the next...a boy,K, had been targeting him. Though worried, i didn't want to take drastic steps like issuing a formal complaint. I met the teacher and together we spoke to K. There were issues bothering him at home, we tried to get it sorted out. I made it a point to talk to him every morning to find out how he was doing and every afternoon the child would look out for me to tell me the news of the day. Full credit to the teacher for defusing a situation which could have got out of control...Here, K's parents were equally concerned which was commendable. Generally the parents go into the 'denial' mode which makes it more difficult.

Some say that today's children have too much too soon...That they don't have tolerance...and maybe a child would say that today's adults have too many expectations from them. `Expectations! Peer pressure! Acceptance! Survival!...Any wonder that the kids are walking a tightrope here... Of course the right mix of tolerance, freedom, confidence and self esteem would create a balance...Easier said than done, but definitely worth trying.

16 comments:

Prats said...

Pressure is the main issues of today's education in most schools I would agree. It also depends on how each child is being handled....becos each one has his own way of looking at an issue. I remember my restless son while in playgroup, was asked to see a counsellor, and the reason being...he had thrown sand on another kids head while playing in the sandpit, they said it was signs of violence and aggression.....I pulled him out of that school...cos someone who doesn't understand a child at that age, shouldnt have been in that position at all...wonder if I did the right thing...but i'm happier now

Thinking aloud said...

u sure did the right thing...i too had to pull swaran out of one school 'cos they started going bonkers over the admission hungama (Delhi goes overboard on everything) while i didn't care...He was supposed to do 5 sheet sof worksheets , attend mock interviews. It was a shock to me cos before he got promoted to this class, it was all fun and games!! They put up their hands saying this was what parents wanted...

Compassion Unlimitted said...

Thinking back one has never heard of the word pressure in school or college..happy days with games and laughter were the only things I knew till I completed college..but sometimes i admire the kids of present gen,They seem to cope up too..Survival of the fittest..Have we gone back to the jungles !!
But one thing for sure as mothers you have to have your antennas up constantly to guide the kids thru..Good Luck

Pointblank said...

thanks for dropping by my blog. hey.. uve got a nice blog up there.

Sandhya said...

Hi,

first of all i wanna say that Its the society that prepares the enviornment for crime and criminal just does it.

Thats absolutely true dat now a days, we expect more than from children compare to before.

I hav personally understood this. One of my niece is studing in K standard and she is supposed to do all the things like drawing, dancing, sports, activites along with studies.

So, we just expect to be like a computer mind from a kid.

Thinking aloud said...

@CU
We parents surely do not have it easy...Children are more aware and more intelligent, these days. It easy for them to go either way...

@ PB
Thanks :)

@Sandhya
I believe that a child needs to experience boredom to become creative...:)

rm said...

yes its really difficult not to put much pressure on your child.keep posting such guidance

Niall said...

thank you for dropping by my site..it's always an honour to 'meet' new people.

With reference to the previous post..I love the differences between cultures..how boring it would be if we were all the same?

Mahogany said...

I have to admit that some of the stories I hear about what it takes to get a kid into a 'good' school in India are downright scary. The worst was a 4-year-old being asked to explain the difference between a game and a sport. Heck, I don't even know the definitive answer to that one.

Ziah said...

Hey!! I think by far life is getting tougher. So every level has its fair share of pressure and crap to deal with. Though i agree its a very delicate issue when whats affected is a child's psyche.

Privileged kids atleast have parents to put a roof above their heads and analyse changing emoting patterns. I go to bed dreading what each of the hundreds of street children I see everyday will grow into? Hardened criminals? Violent abusive adults? emotionally impaired people?

Thinking aloud said...

@rm...
it actually depends on you how you handle certain issues...sometimes its good to let the child decide or himself...:)

Thinking aloud said...

@ niall...
:) the pleasure's all mine...

if not anything, the difference in cultures does allow hilarious moments

@ ziah...
good to c u here..:)

as for me must stop reading... its making me into an emotional wreck...

u r so true abt the privileged kids but the parents are guilty of showering too many privilegs on them...that's why u have a 'BMW 'incident where a rich kid mows down sleeping people....

@ mahogany...
at least in Delhi...people have gone overboard..I was told by an 'expert' that my 3 yr old had a learning disability 'cos he had a problem pronouncing the sound 'r'...Needless to say...the problem rectified itself at its own course and my son is among the toppers in his class...

WhatsInAName said...

Suma,
That was again a thought provoking post. Bringing up a child isnt so easy, na! With pre-teen kids, I am constantly on my guards! Its so tough.
I will try to catch hold of the book.

Loved your "haunted" post too :)

Thinking aloud said...

@WIAN,
if giving birth is not easy, bringing them is so tough...each stage brings its own set of problems...guess we can never relax...that's another thing which haunts me...thanx

keith hillman said...

I've not read this book but I think I may. I am in the middle of another book by Jodi Picoult called Mercy. The subject could not be more different but it's proving to be a great read.

Thanks for dropping by my blog. As you saw, I'm getting ahead of myself on Writers Island!

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