Monday, March 27, 2017

Combating Violence among kids with Patience

“The worst mistake you can make with children is to talk to them in a condescending, patronising way and think that you can teach them something. You have to understand that it is you who will be learning from them. You have to get into their world and see things from their perspective.”
The issue, on which I want to reflect upon today, is the increasing violence and intolerance among children below the age of 10. Educators and parents around the world are concerned about the alarming rate at which the incidents of intolerance, violence and use of abusive language are increasing among preadolescents or preteens and even among kids younger than this. This turns out to be a serious concern because this is the stage where a child’s personality is shaped and influenced a lot by the surroundings. This is the time to prepare them to deal with the challenges (physical, mental & emotional) they would face during adolescence. It becomes crucial for the parents and teachers to make sure to mould them with care so that they become better citizens and an asset to their family and society.
Talking about this issue with the educators and parents, what I realised was that they all agreed to the fact that some young kids are showing patterns of intolerance and impatience and unfortunately this number is mounting. Before taking up the matter in detail I would discuss the kinds of behavioural problems observed by parents and teachers among the preteens:
Ø  Children do not listen to adults and react to every statement/situation
Ø  They are possessive about things which they consider as their own and do not want to share
Ø  They are adamant and show bossy behaviour
Ø  They bully the kids younger to them and hit them when not followed
Ø  They use abusive language and most of the times they don’t know the meaning of these words
Ø  They become argumentative with elders
Ø  They show impatience and desperation frequently
Ø  They want parents to be at their beck and call and take their efforts for granted (lack gratitude)
Ø  They fail to apologize for their mistakes and blame others
During this discussion what came forth as a common observation was that most of these children fell into the category of hyperactivity. Although, all hyperactive children are not violent but yes, if their energy is not channelized properly then they tend to tilt towards impatient temperament. I firmly believe (so do other educators and parents) that children are born without the above mentioned traits. So, if they develop such temperament, it must be because of the fact that they were exposed to such traits. Let’s find out how they get exposed to such behaviour and the reasons behind it:
§  The Familial Environment: If the relation between the mother and the father are not conducive and the child witnesses frequent verbal and physical conflicts or is dragged into it, then the child gets negatively affected.
§  Relationship between the Grandmother and Mother of the Child: If the grandmother and the mother of the child do not share a cordial relationship the child is negatively influenced. The aggression shown by the grandmother towards the mother and vice versa will create unnecessary stress on the child. Unfortunately, sometimes the kids are involved in these petty issues.
§  Disputes between the Father and Uncle of the kid (two brothers): Negative interaction between them might also encourage the child to be pushed towards violence and intolerance he is thus exposed to.
§  Unnecessary and Limitless exposure to Television, Video Games and Internet: They are causing more negative impact on kids than ever before. I myself came across a case where the parents had provided mobile phone to their one year old at a public place because they didn’t want to be disturbed while they were doing some work. And that child continued playing with and exploring the mobile phone without any supervision for about an hour. The kind of language and violence shown on the television and in some movies also affect the child negatively.
§  Communication Gap between Children and Parents: No doubt parents put their heart and soul in raising kids but in the race of providing them with everything best and perfect they fail in giving them ample time which is a necessity in the growing age of every child. Healthy and constant communication with parents makes a child expressive which helps in controlling aggression.
§  The Impact of Peer Groups: The impact of friends and classmates is also substantial and the children of this age group get easily influenced by the violent friends and neighbourhood.
§  The impatient and intolerant behaviour of the family members also contribute in a negative manner in shaping the temperament of the child.
§  Unfortunately, some teachers also contribute in increasing the aggression and impatience in children through their actions. There have been cases where some harsh statement of the teacher had pushed a child towards such negativeness. This might happen because the child, in such cases, sees the teacher in a powerful position and thus conclude that anyone in a powerful position can ridicule someone who is at a junior level. Thus, they start bullying and mistreating their juniors.
§  Sometimes they get appreciation by their parents on such bossy behaviour thereby the parents unknowingly condition the child to continue with such behaviour for appreciation.
§  Lack of physical activity can also channelise the energy of a child in negative direction. Outdoor activities do not let the stress to develop.
§  Deficiency of Iron, Calcium and Vitamin C: Discussing with the student counsellor, I found out that deficiency of these elements in the body might lead to fatigue and irritation which can cause stress and impatience.
§  Also, if kids are exposed to bullying in school then they might inculcate this negativity and not being able to combat with it successfully, might try to do it to their juniors.
There are large numbers of examples which can substantiate the causes/reasons of intolerance as mentioned above but it might not be appropriate to mention them here as they are. So I will not refer to them directly but would discuss them here as a passing reference, as they cannot be overlooked and need to be talked about.
In one case the child had done something wrong to another child in the school and when the matter was brought to the teacher, she inquired the child of the same and he admitted. The teacher thus counselled the child and sorted out the situation and the child seemed satisfied with the solution. However, when the child reached home he narrated the entire incident to his parents in quite a different light. The father being possessive towards the child showed complete faith in him and without knowing the other side of the matter called the school and quite harshly demanded for an explanation from the receiver. In this case, it is appreciable that the parents communicated with the child on daily basis but this act of impatience of the father would have given freedom to the child and he might have been encouraged to tell tales as per his convenience and put the blame on others as the father showed blind faith in him. Sadly, this is a sorry state of affair as what could we expect from a child who is exposed to such impatience and rudeness.
In another incidence, there was some issue in the school bus and when the parents were informed about it by the child (who conveniently avoided telling his fault). The mother got so aggressive that without probing beneath the matter she slapped the other child, who was accused by her son regarding the issue. Instead of this the mother should have counselled both the children and have solved the issue with patience and maturity, thereby setting an example in front of the kids.
There are many such cases that prove that children of this age group tend to easily emulate what is presented before them as an example.
Media and television put a huge impact on the kids and the parents need to filter what reaches their kids in the form of news and information. Most of the films use such language which is not appropriate for a child’s ears and this asks for the parents to use their wisdom as try to avoid watching such things for the sake of and in the name of entertainment. I don’t have any issues with the right to speech but this does not mean that innocent minds of this age group are exposed to this inappropriate scenes/languages. In the name of modernity we give the examples of European countries but there the society is so well educated and aware that the law doesn’t allow a child below 18 to watch a film not meant for that age group. On the contrary in our country, kids aged 5, 7, 10 can be seen accompanying their parents to watch such films which are inappropriate for them. So, in this case the parents should become aware of the negative impact, such an exposure can have on the kids.
Now, let’s seek for the solutions which can cater to the needs of such kids and help them avoid falling into such negativeness:
·         Teachers should be provided with adequate training to deal with such behavioural problems at an initial stage so that they do not hamper the personality development of the child and pose as a challenge during adolescence.
·         Parents must spend quality time with their children and make sure that they do not get exposed to such negativeness and help them deal with patience in trying situations. They should present themselves as a role model in such conditions, dealing with things with tolerance and patience.
·         Parents and teachers must behave with calm and composed manner in such situations to set an example of ideal conduct.
·         Parents must inculcate in their kids the habit of sharing and caring.
·         Movies, news or dramas showing violence must not be watched in front of them.
·         Any difference of opinion between the parents must be dealt with maturity and patience if discussed in front of the child.
·         Any family dispute or differences should not be discussed in front of the kids.
·         The grandparents are a divine figure for kids therefore they should we very careful about their conduct in front of the kids.
·         The parents should definitely believe in their kids but should not have blind faith on them and should show to their kids that they are vigilant enough and cannot be fooled and would be supporting and helpful to the child when needed.
·         If the parents find any fault on the part of the school then they must report it to the school authorities immediately but in a dignified manner. Sometimes the parents become aggressive and use inappropriate words and behaviour which affects the child negatively.
·         The child should be given freedom but a close watch should be kept (without the knowledge of the child) on their activities.
·         Many parents and teachers mentioned that video games are a serious threat as they take the children to a virtual world. Parents must make sure that children must play only those video games which are not violent. Also the networks showing cartoons should be handled effectively as children are quite impressed by these characters.
·         Another important thing which I would ask parents to avoid is the exposure of those songs to the children which have double meaning and abusive words which impact the children negatively (like chaar bottle). I have seen family members dancing on such numbers which objectify women and even innocent kids are thereby exposed to such songs such as munni… jalebi…. and many more. When the parents appreciate and encourage these kinds of songs then the children tend to think that they are worth appreciating.
·         Children should be encouraged to participate in physical activities and sports zealously.
·         Their food habits must be kept in check and ample calcium, iron and vitamins should be included in their diet. Regular medical checkups should a monthly affair.
I would like to put a lot of responsibility on school and teachers as they are considered to be the role model of the children of this age group. The parents of the day have maximum one or two children so they might not be able to understand or take care of the problem alone. “Parents are usually more careful to bestow knowledge on their children rather than virtue, the art of speaking well rather than doing well; but their manners should be of the greatest concern.” So, the teachers must help and guide the parents so that our children do not suffer on account of any inadequacy. Therefore, teachers and parents will have to work as a team. Teachers will have to play a greater and more effective role in helping the kids who unfortunately fall into this category, which is a matter of great concern. At the same time a family should keep in mind that mother is the source of all basic values which a child learns. The way the family treats the mother affects a lot in shaping a child. So, it is important for the family to treat the mother with all the respect and honour she deserves.
There could be a lot more issues and probable solutions which could be proposed in this case and I would be grateful if you can share the same so that these solutions are exposed to a larger group of society in the best interest of our children and our in turn our society.

“…Parents must take responsibility for their children and show them love and guidance from an early age so they learn to respect the rights of others.”

Monday, March 13, 2017

Teacher and technology

Technology is a Tamed Tool in the Hands of Tenacious Teachers
Today I want to talk about the onslaught of technologyand the teaching-learning process. Communication has become smooth as there is one or the other app, website or software to facilitate it. The communication of parents with the teachers, the managing of content and subject matter has become easy. With time technology hasreached new heights and so has its influence in our lives. It has become a common belief and a reality to a large extent that technology is an inevitable part of the education system. Even government schools have adopted smart boards and other technological tools which would help children to learn better. 
I am not very fond of technology as such when it comes to the idea of imparting knowledge but if it makes the teaching-learning process effective then it’s definitely advisable to use. When I probe beneath this overwhelming influence of technology, these reasonsoften cross my mind:
• The spread of technology has been wide; therefore, education cannot remain untouched by it.
• The technological influence has been fascinating to both parents and students due to its immensely convenient usage.
• It has undoubtedly made the task of teachers smooth and easy. Also, in some cases it has helped them by being used as a substitute.
• Basically, the subject material has become compact and concise as it can be easily carried in a tab instead of students being burdened with heavy bags.
Pondering upon the above mentioned points we can conclude that technology has actually become a merit or facility which promotes a school as a whole.
Undoubtedly, technology has given an impetus to the working of the education system. It has become easy to interact with parents and track the progress of the students. Teachers are able to access the material which was otherwise not easily available. But whenever we discuss the effects of overwhelming technology it’s always concluded that teachers can never be replaced by technology. 
This brings me to the question that often pricks my mind. If technology cannot replace teachers then why is it overpowering them? Is it because it’s proving to be superior to teachers? 
We all are aware of the common concept that if two lines are drawn parallel to each other, then one canbecome longer to the other only by one’s extension or by the reduction of the other. In the analogy where these lines represent teacher vs technology, it seems that the potential of teachers is becoming insufficient at the face of technology. It is a fact well known that educational institutes are finding it difficult to get quality teachers who are committed to their profession and enjoy the same. I have mentioned in my earlier articles also, that it is a vicious circle and it is difficult to point out where the deterioration started. Was it is because of the lack of quality teachers in schools and colleges which produced ordinary graduates and post graduates and there after the lack of good teacher’s training institutes played its part in depriving the prospective teachers of the basic skills of teaching? If we have quality teachers in schools then the basic educational foundation of a child becomes solid. Then these students can do well in colleges and thereon with good teacher’s training colleges, good quality teachers can be produced for schools. 
Another concern is that teachers seem to have lost the kind of respect they had in the society and again it becomes difficult as to whom we should blame for it, teachers or the society. After discussing this issue I have realized that it is the inadequate availability ofquality teachers which has given scope to technology to appear as a “bigger line”. But when you think about it, you can easily conclude that the onus lies on the teachers to regain the respect & reputation and make themselves better and as inevitable as technology, rather superior to it. 
Whoever wants to become a teacher, by choice or by compulsion, must realize that a teacher is regarded as a role model by for the young children irrespective of whether they are in this profession by choice or compulsion. So, through this article I would request the respected teachers to ensure that they do the required to make them as real “Gurus”. The future of any country or society lies in the hands of the teachers, especially the school teachers who have taken up this noble profession. My advice to them is to stop comparing themselves to an MNC employee who gets huge packages because they contribute in terms of creating hardware or a software but a teacher contributes in creating good citizens. This is the best thing which can be done in the world. It’s meaningless to compare it to any kind of material gain. Their contribution is like the guiding light which is ushering the society in becoming a better place for everyone. 
I would like to highlight a few things for the teachers and I am quite sure that everyone must be aware of them:
➢ First and foremost, you as a teacher must respect yourself and never let anyone feel “bechara” teacher about you. Once you respect yourself there is always a possibility that others will do too.
➢ Never demand respect but make sure you command it.
➢ To command respect it’s very important to value and respect you students and have faith in their as well as your own abilities
➢ For believing in the ability of your students it’s important to know them as well as their family background. Because if the child is not able to perform as desired then there might be some problem somewhere which the teacher must try to find out. And this is the reason, every child must be treated individually and help and support must be extended according to the need of the child. 
All teachers should know that broadly, there can be four kinds of children and they all need a different kind of approach:
1. Students with high competence and high commitment- they should be facilitated and instructed constantly in a positive direction so as to get the best of their potential.
2. Students possessing high competence and less commitment- their competence should be encouraged and appreciated so as to enhance their sense of commitment. 
3. Students displaying high commitment but less competence- their commitment should be channelized in the right direction by finding out the areas of their interests and helping them focus.
4. Students with low competence as well as lowcommitment- they should be provided with constant motivation, appreciation and attention so as to develop in them keenness, quest and curiosity.
Once the teachers know their students and are well versed in their subject matter, it becomes important to polish their own merits with these attributes which should become a part of their persona as a teacher:
✓ Teachers must be good with their communication skills otherwise the knowledge they possess wouldn’t be imparted effectively.
✓ They should focus on their sound modulation and stimulus variation as and when required while delivering a lecture.
✓ The eye contact with the students must be made in a way that every child feels that he/she is the focus of the teacher.
✓ Proper counseling of the students should be done.
✓ A fair and firm approach should be followed while dealing with the students. A child should not be scolded in front of his friends but should be appreciated for his efforts as and when possible.
✓ The homework or tasks given should be checked in time with proper feedback and positive reinforcements. When notebooks are not checked in time and no feedback is given then the children lose interest in these tasks.
✓ Teachers should be lifelong learners.
✓ I strongly believe that for a teacher there cannot be a better teacher or a critic than a child. Therefore teaching and learning should be a continuous two-way process.
Finally, I would conclude this article with a strong belief and a fact that, technology is mechanical and therefore,would produce machines. On the other hand, teachers are the humane torch bearers of knowledge; hence they create human beings with insight and a world of possibilities. These facilitators when provided with the wand of technology can work wonders par excellence. “Learners in the internet age don’t need more information. They need to know how to efficiently use the massive amount of information available at their fingertips – to determine what’s credible, what’s relevant, and when it’s useful to reference.” So, the need of the hour is to tame the technology and stay updated so that technology remains just a tool and teachers perpetuate being the soul of the education system.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Examination: An Opportunity to Showcase Your Hard Work
“The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare.”
Board/annual examinations are at hand. Both, parents and children are experiencing tremendous stress. In his recent speech honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi postulated that examination season should infuse a spirit of festivity among parents and teachers as it is a chance to express and pen down the hard work done or the efforts exhibited throughout the year. But it’s easier said than done. The fact remains that exams are still stressful and testing for students as well as the parents. I have come across many cases where parents approach teachers seeking solutions of the problems which are mostly self created and virtual. Unfortunately, everybody becomes cautious and concerned during the time of examination but remain reluctant towards the entire process of learning throughout the year. This is true for a number of parents and students. Now, let’s try to understand the causes of this stress. 
The major cause of this stress is expectations on the part of the parents. Some of the parents expect their kids to perform beyond their limits and capabilities so that the family can boast of the intelligence of their child. The fantasy to be revered by the society on the grounds of the outstanding performance of their kids surpasses the reality that every child has his/her own capability. Any attempt to pressurize him/her beyond that will cause stress during the crucial period of examination. The parents unload such expectations in front of the children resulting in depression and frustration in them. It’s important to understand that this does not happen in a year. Such behaviour is initiated right from the day the child enters the premises of the school for the first time and in some cases even before the child is born the parents become anxious as to what their child will become in future. This brings us to the second cause of the stress which is quite related to the first one, this the strong desire of every parent to see their child perform as an all rounder regardless of his/her capacity, talents and passion. 
Interestingly, this is the peak time for commerce and we have witnessed a boom in economy. This has given birth to a misconception that even intelligence could be bought and it falls under a certain price tag. Parents thereby focus on providing as much as they can, materially that their emotional presence is overshadowed by the abundance of material stuff. Eventually, their love is measured in this material parameter. But parent’s expectations still remain unfulfilled as materials can not compensate for passions and talents. This proves the fact that our children need resourcefulness not resources. Abundance of resources hinders a childfrom appreciating the value of the things provided to them and they miss on the struggle involved in acquiring them. Therefore they fail to honourthe hard work put in by their parents. 
In theory, everyone appreciates the concept of failure as to how it teaches us to grow and learn from it but in practice no one wants their child to fail. Without mentioning any specific case I would assert that children under stress during the present times are not suffering due to personal problems but majorly due the problems created by their parents. I know a number of cases where contrary views and expectations of parents have pushed a child to a situation where the child burdened under the conflicting views of his parents has given up on himself and doesn’t want to appear in any examination where he is scared of bad performance. 
I would use a fictitious name to elaborate upon this case here. Ramesh is the only child and his parents are educated and in-service. The upbringing of both the parents had been in different backgrounds. After marriage their contradicting views became prominent. After the birth of their child their conflicting views started to work upon their child. They became more aggressive and tried to feed their child’s mind according to their set of thoughts. The child seemed to be doing alright but as he kept on encountering the opposing views, he was stressed to the level where he could not use his wisdom to decide what is good for him. Under all this stress he is completely unable to focus on studies or any extracurricularactivities. His parents would not expect anything less than what they think, individually, is good for their child. At the face of all these expectations and stress the kid tried to save himself by accusing his friends and even teachers. To get his parents approval and avoid the conflicts, he claimed that that his classmates are against him and the teachers are not ready to help him. The parents believed the same and blindly accused others for their child’s under achievement, rather than probing beneath the facts. This made the child good at making excuses and get away from hard work. The parents aspire that their child gets into a renowned engineering college without knowing his aptitude as there are many engineers doing well in the family. They have also ignored the fact that the child is capable of doing well in one of the sports and never tried to encourage him in that. It has become a common practice for the child that he pretends to be sickwhenever he is not prepared for an exam
He has been pushed to this situation by none other than his own parents without realizing that this individual can do extraordinarily well in his areas of interest, if allowed. The parents have not kept their conflicts to themselves but have let others get involved in their conflict and the act of blaming each other thereby bringing embarrassment to the child. With this the parents are failing each day in preparing the child for the challenges of life. A child needs supporting parents who could stand firmly beside him,helping him to realize his potential and faith in himself, in the testing times. 
But there is always a silver lining in the dark clouds. This statement is proved by many examples of supporting parents that I come across. Kamal(fictitious name), another student who was not able to cope up with the stress of studies and did poorly till half yearly was miraculously brought out of this situation as the parents with the guidance and support of the teachers helped the child cope up with the situation and the child did very well in the finals and was one of the high scoring students. 
I would avoid postulating what should be done during the year as the days left for the exams are few. Hence, parents and teachers should follow the following key points so as to enable the child to cope up with the stress during exam time:
• Do not waste time worrying about what hasn’t been learned yet, rather concentrate on what you are good at
• Pay more attention to the topic and chapter the student is confident in, divide the chapters as follows:
➢ Take up those chapters first in which the child is confident and cover them up (I am sure there are always certain topics in every subject with which the child is comfortable)
➢ Then take up the chapters in which the child is average and try to be more comfortable with them.
➢ Finally take up the topics the child is uncomfortable with and work smartly upon them. Children, do not try to cram them up or waste your energy on them. Look for the marks they carry and cover as per your capacity.
It’s important to keep in mind here that the topics and chapters that the kids cover themselves induce in them fathomless confidence which eventually drives out the negativity and stress. 
• The students should not be carried away by peer pressure and this could only happen when parents and their kids work as a team.
• At this crucial time the children should not be pushed to do something they are not comfortable with.
• Teachers should motivate and encourage every child by telling them their areas of strength, they can also give them some bullet points to follow
• Parents must provide them with all the possible support by keeping the environment of the home stress free i.e., family issues should not be discussed in their presence
I would like to conclude this article with the advice that the parents must realize that every child is capable of doing something extraordinary and these exams are not an end of life but a small step towards greater achievements. All children possess great potential and we as parents and teachers must help them exploiting that potential providing them the opportunities to achieve what they can by preparing them for healthy competition not inflicting unnecessary stress upon them. Finally, I wouldtry to raise the spirits of the students with this quote:
“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! Kid, you'll move mountains.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Importance of risk taking

The times have changed. The way children are being raised, has also changed. The children are not only being protected but cocooned, more than ever before, in the name of the safety and this is up to great some extent important also. The safety of children is an issue which is so often discussed and given a lot of emphasis, at home and in the schools as well. This is not a new thing but is more in focus now than before. But sometimes it seems to be going beyond limit. This has been mentioned by me in my articles that a line should be drawn for any kind of restriction or freedom. Even in our constitution, the freedom of speech comes with certain riders. I think some of you might be wondering, what I am talking about? So I must come to the point. As mentioned earlier, children are the most important assets and resource of a family, society, nation and the world and this is the reason they should be treated and raised with utmost care. The environment provided to them should be such that they grow and develop a holistic personality and should be able to fit in all situations. There are some questions to be answered. Should the children not be given an opportunity to learn by trying on their own? Should it always be the parents, teachers and other external force directing them to do and not to do certain things, in a certain way? When I talk about safety of the children, it does not just mean physical safety but psychological and emotional safety too. The children nowadays are told right from their childhood, what they should avoid and what they should eat. Let me take up a few examples. If I ask the parents not to stop children from using a knife then many of them would not agree with me because they are worried about the safety of their children and it’s a genuine concern. But the problem is that we are making the children scared of the knife and when they are supposed to use it in the future; they might have the same fear which would hinder their learning as to, how a knife should be used safely.
Hellen Keller once said that avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. In the light of this statement, let us look at another situation, where the parents gift a bicycle to their ten year old child. They want him to ride it but before he could they warn him of all the dangers that are involved in riding a bicycle that the child would never be comfortable in doing that and in turn might even give up on it. I once again emphasise that the safety of our children is important but we should not deprive them of the importance of learning things by doing. Are we not encouraging them to take no risks? The children in today’s era seem to be having less physical and mental strength than before and there are many reasons for that but one of the most important reason is that we have stopped allowing our children to take risks, by being over protective. Do we allow our children to go out with some money and purchase some household items or anything wanted by them? Do we allow children to sharpen a pencil with the help of the sharpener scared that they might cut their finger? How many of us allow our children to be alone in the room and create some beautiful painting on the wall or papers lying around, scared that the colours might be toxic for them?  How many of us allow our children to break a cell and observe themselves, what it is made up of? Too much of safety and concern is depriving our children from wonderful opportunities of learning and we should try to be balanced and limit the interference from our side. Children are born curious but we as adults try to kill that curiosity, most of the times. Darell Hammond rightly pointed out this concern and I quote, “We are raising today’s children in sterile, risk-averse and highly structured environments. In doing so, we are failing to cultivate artists, pioneers and entrepreneurs, and instead cultivating a generation of children who can follow the rules in organized sports and games, sit for hours in front of screens and mark bubbles on standardized tests.”
 I have come across a number of cases where the children were not comfortable in the company of the male adults, at times. When enquired, it was found that they were told so many stories about the adults doing wrong with the children that they perceived that every adult is like that. I think this is an appropriate example of overreaction and overprotection. With warnings and precautions children should be taught the skills to be safe. They should be taught to be assertive in order to protect themselves against uncomfortable situations. Listen to them whole heartedly and train them in better communication of their feelings. The children must be allowed to play games and sports without too much of concern about some inherent danger. We cannot ask children not to walk because they might fall and get hurt. This is a fact that they will learn standing up, once they fall. I remember a case in which a child was trying to kick start the scooter of his father and got severely hurt because of the jerk. He got up and went to the clinic (this was a boarding school and the staff would stay on campus) without crying and taking no help. When the parents saw they were frightened and said certain thing that made the child realise that he was badly hurt and it might be painful (as the parents were saying that). He started crying and after this he never rode a scooter or motorbike in future. If the parents would have been balanced that time the child would have learnt how to be careful in future. The children should be exposed to all those situations which they will face in future. They should be made to learn with all kinds of people but not to change their own agenda of learning by doing and experiencing. When children are given freedom to act on the stage they usually perform better than what they would have done while practicing because on stage there is no fear of doing as guided or being interrupted and instructed by the teachers or the director.
One of the greatest teachers (Acharya Chanakya) of our land not only let his student Ashok take risks but at times deliberately pushed him to very difficult situations and the result was the legendary ‘Samrat Ashok’. There have been many coaches of different games who shared the stories how their students achieved the proficiency and this was always because they were not deprived of the dangerous situations. Take the example of the Bollywood film ‘Dangal’ by Amir Khan (a film inspired by the real lives of Mahaveer Singh Phogat and his daughters Geeta and Babita Phogat). The father forced the daughters into extremely difficult situations knowing it so well, what he was doing and what was the result? The girls from a small village of a state in India brought laurels to the country. The girls had to work very hard and this was because of them only that they became what they are. Of course the role of the father was very important but if the mother or some other family members would have stopped him then this country would have been deprived these great wrestlers who are role models to many young children as on today. So this is a proven fact that without risks, great heights are not achieved.

What I would like to suggest and advise is that the children should not be overprotected and should be allowed to try things themselves, to learn better. There are people who live in the temperature below 20 degree Celsius and still survive and serve the family and the nation. Let our children grow strong without fear and be competent enough to face all the tough situations in future. They are born fighters otherwise a newborn child, who sees the world first time, would not have survived after remaining in protection for nine months. We should play our part in making them aware not scared. To conclude, I would quote Taiki Matsuura, “Our obligation... is not to make our children happy- it’s to teach them how to be happy; it’s not to make our children comfortable- it’s to teach them how to tolerate discomfort. For these lessons, upsetting to them as they may be now, will better equip them for survival later when it matters the most.”