Have ‘We’ As Parents Failed Our Kids By Not Teaching Them To Stand Up For Themselves
Updated: Nov 20, 2019
Every second parent I meet is either looking for school recommendations or is not happy with the current school. There are issues and concerned parents. There are WhatsApp groups to discuss those issues. But the number of parents to come forward to address their child’s problems with the school authority is still a handful.
There are always lame excuses when I ask parents ‘what have they done to ease up their child’s situation?’
Many of them have become good at school hopping. Some tell their kids to avoid getting into trouble. Yet there is another set of parents who think that it’s their child who is always at fault. With both parents working, lack of spending quality time with kids, and social and competitive pressure many parents prefer to live in denial when it comes to discussing their child’s school issues.
Getting admission in a private school does not end our responsibility as a parent. Paying hefty fees to the school is also not a criterion to ensure our child’s safety. We should be equipped and ready to take prompt action against the school management at the first alarm our child blows. It is not advisable to wait for the worst to spring into action.
We are raising Gen-Z kids. They are more aware than we were at their age. And, at the same time, they are sensitive to negative emotions. When these feelings go unheard or misunderstood, a child becomes furious, agitated, upset and even scared. They learn to bottle up their emotions giving way to behavioural issues. This vicious cycle never ends, till we ‘the parents’ intervene.
Trouble will not knock at your child’s door with prior notice. As a parent, it is our duty to teach our kids to speak up for themselves and stand up against the wrong, whether at the playground, at school or even at home.
Let’s see how many of us are an aware parent? Do you ask your child about his daily school activities? How many of you take time and interest to know about your child’s likes and dislikes, his school friends, his favourite subject, his favourite teacher, his best friend? How many of you can instantly guess the changes in your child’s behaviour? And, is your child comfortable approaching you to discuss his school issues or he is scared of you? Even if he is not scared, what is the reason he hesitates to tell you what’s bothering him at the school?
Ask yourself, do you really know your child that well? If no, it’s time to make amendments in your parenting skills.
Ever thought, how unfair it is on our part to keep our kids uneducated on their rights as a student!
Though the Indian Constitution does not have any definition of the term student, yet there are some legal rights that every Indian student should know: (Indian students rights – excerpt from- http://www.stucredblog.com/legal-rights-of-students-in-india/)
Right to Free Speech and Expression (Article 19 (2)):
You as a student can express whatever opinions you have in whatever way you want without the fear of being censored. However, you cannot use it as an excuse to devalue your school/college.
Right to Information (Article 1A):
Right to information is considered an integral part of the right to free speech and expression by the Indian Constitution. No authoritative figure can deny you any information on any grounds other than the fact that they currently do not know the information either.
Right to Equality (Article 14):
You as a student cannot be discriminated by any authoritative figure on the basis of gender, background, religion or personal beliefs.
Right to Education (Article 21A):
Every child in India is entitled to education up to class 10 in any government-supported school. This right ensures that every child receives the basic minimum education required.
Right to Life (under Article 21):
Corporal Punishment is deemed illegal by the Indian Constitution. Every student should be able to receive education in an environment of freedom and dignity which is free from fear. No beating or humiliation is allowed towards students. Civil suits and complaints must be filed with the appropriate courts in such cases.
Our school survey, even in the age of digital hype, is limited to other parent’s experience. It is others view of a school that helps us pick up or shortlist an apt school for our child. There are no set parameters or any authority who can guide us to choose the right school for our child. Many a time, our perception of the school is a huge mismatch of our expectation of the school.
Hence, the safety and security of our child still remain our major concern. Heed every small detail your child talks about his school. Teach him to be aware and attentive of his surroundings. Teach him to face his fears. Educate him about his rights, so that, he is able to stand up for himself and his classmates, if the need be.
Remember, it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.