Woman tries to kidnap child from school TOI21 Jun 2014, 07:42 IST
Kidnapped child rescued from Bihar TOI 29 Jul 2014, 15:55 IST
Spl cell launched to tackle child abuse, kidnapping cases TOI 18 Jul 2014, 04:00 IST
Youth held for kidnapping girl child, selling her in Madhya Pradesh TOI 11 May 2014, 06:28 IST
Child sexual abuse scandal: Transfer case, says complainant TOI 07 Jun 2014, 10:02 IST
Man held for sexually abusing minor TOI 14 Jul 2014, 11:21 IST
Nursery girl sexually abused by school cabbie in Delhi TOI 6 hrs ago
Having a child is like having your heart roam around outside your body. They are our life! WE may not be able to give them whatever we want to – the amount of attention, time; we would yearn to give them. But our life rotates around them. At the end as every parent says – we do everything for them.
But these news articles literally take life out of our body. Our experience of the world is that it’s a BAD, MEAN, DANGEROUS, CUT THROAT WORLD out there. As parents there is a constant fear of “something should not happen to them” And we will do anything to be the shield for them.
They can’t be left alone in the park, they should not be bicycling alone, and they shouldn’t go to tuitions, hobby classes on their own. Can’t trust the drivers and even the guards! Indira Gandhi’s most trusted guards shot her.
And what we end up doing is that if the parents or the grandparents (given the unitization of families they have become a rare species) are around to take them and accompany them then they would.
Our fears and they are not unfounded; there is stuff happening, lead to us creating a security web around our children.
Now let’s look at the impact of the security shield on the development of our child.
We want them to be confident, self reliant, independent, have the ability to handle difficult situation, differentiate between what’s good and bad, what’s right and what’s wrong, they having the ability to take decisions in their life, be healthy, be creative, be self expressive and ultimately to be happy.
My request is to really examine the following questions from incidents and interactions you have with your children in your daily life. Keep the anxiety of “kaisey chhor dein?” / “how can we leave them unprotected” aside for a bit.
· Who is making these decisions and choices
Ø What is safe?
Ø What is right?
Ø When and where should they go?
Ø What and when to study / play?
· Are they becoming followers or being creative?
· Are they relying on us or they are becoming self confident, self reliant
· Are they handling a difficult situation or are they running to you at the slightest sign of difficulty?
· Are they choosing the food which is healthy or are you forcing those on them?
· What are our children internalizing – is the power within or outside?
· Are they happy or are they deriving momentary pleasure out of games, gifts, PS3, TV etc.?
So what’s the way out.
First things first… Being a Security shield is like replacing the demon with the dragon. The damage which is caused by the external insecurities is now being caused by internal insecurities. And I don’t have to tell you which one is more damaging!
The answer lies in “empowering them”.
1. Rather than taking decisions for them can we coach them on how to arrive at those decisions? E.g. They all want to perform well in their studies, they all want to be fit and healthy. Coach them on how to plan and how they can achieve what THEY want – don’t police them coach them.
2. Provide them with the information and techniques to protect themselves. i.e. sexual abuse, physical abuse,
3. Use the modern day inventions e.g. mobile phones for them to contact you in case of emergencies, be in touch with them to make sure they are safe.
The bottom line is that create ways and means to ensure protection and safety, empower them to be responsible for that and create ways and means to you being assured that they are safe. Nurture them to be Self confident, self reliant, emotionally and physically strong, creative, self expressed individuals.
“Real protection means teaching children to manage risks on their own, not
shielding them from every hazard” (Wendy Mogel)