Online To Offline

Received a consent form from my son’s school.

Following the directives of the U.P Government to open schools for physical teaching

keeping the COVID protocols, from Aug. 16, 2021……….. This is being communicated to you, as a compliance to the directives of the State Government……..

Are you willing to send your ward to school from 16th August, 2021?

We filled the form and submitted it the same day. What did we write? Well, I’ll tell you at the end of this post.

Just imagine the happiness of the children going back to school, the classroom, playground, their desks, school bus, and most importantly their friends! That will surely be a moment of euphoria. Of course, it’s not going to be as normal as it was; sanitizer in the pocket, mask on the face, physical distance, and no tiffin breaks. But if you think this is the only change that students are going to deal with…wait, there is much more that has changed.

  • They have to face the teacher. Network issues, camera not working, voice is breaking, teacher is not audible all these excuses (real/created) will become inapplicable. 
  • They can’t leave or join the class at their convenience or will.
  • They won’t be having the privilege to be present in the class and dozing off at the same time.
  • Getting up early, bathing (optional), wearing school uniform, and reaching school on time will be the minor changes.
  • They will be directly questioned for not submitting the assignments. No more WhatsApp reminders or defaulter’s list. Actually, it had never worked as the phone was always with the child and the Dear Parents were in oblivion. 
  • One of the major disadvantages that the children are going to face is ‘No Mobile Phones In The School!’ That means no WhatsApp chatting/ cheating during the class!
  • No Google for their rescue! Google had literally become ‘Doraemon’ for these ‘Nobitas’. It has suddenly made an average child a genius who knows the answer to each and every question asked in the exams. And teachers need not spend a lot of mind and time as all answers are identical, copied from google, exactly the same word by word (raising their BP high).

Parents, time will tell whether we have made our children geniuses or handicaps by not keeping supervision or control. I hope we shouldn’t be held guilty in the future for supporting and building a more corrupt nation. 

Now, what was our answer in the consent form?

It was a No. We are not willing to send our child to school before he is fully vaccinated and until we are sure about the safety measures taken by the school. The school has lost a couple of brilliant teachers, many have lost their family members and more than thirty students have lost either one or both of their parents. 

I, as a parent, am very much satisfied by the efforts teachers are taking to provide education online. The onus of a child’s learning lies on both the teachers and the parents. 

We should hurry to vaccinate children rather than opening schools. 

We Are Good Parents!

We are all good parents and we all want our children to be happy, isn’t it?

How to raise a child is a very subjective approach. Different methods and ideologies exist but each parent wants his/her child’s happiness.

There are various categories of parents. Based on my observation I have divided them into two broad groups. Before you read further, keep in mind that we are all good parents.

Group A-  I want to provide all the comforts of life to my child. I want to fulfil all his desires. He should have expensive gadgets, in fact, better than his peer group. Chocolates, chips, pizzas, burgers, colas, Maggie and all the food that he wishes to have should always be at his disposal. Best of dresses and accessories, best school and home for him. A good smartphone with internet should always be available for him (it should be provided as soon as the child is able to hold something in his hand…at the age of one!). I will protect my child from failures and no one can say a word to upset him. I will make sure that each moment should be happy for him.

Group B- I want to provide a comfortable life to my child. I will encourage him to work towards fulfilling his desires and make him understand that it takes time for some wishes to come true. I will provide gadgets according to his age and requirements. I will provide healthy food for his overall development and occasionally/rarely treat him with pizzas, burgers, chips (junk/fast food). I will make my child aware of the ill-effects of these processed foods and will discourage its consumption. Exposure to youtube, whatsapp and other social platforms will be after an appropriate age and it will be under supervision. I will let my child learn from his failures and make him respect others and their views. My child will find his own happiness, and I will be there to support.

There is no right or wrong formula of parenting. 

Hope we are all good parents! 

Have you invested your money wisely?

It’s been more than six months since our daughter left home and headed to the United States for her higher education but the concerns of our ‘Friends and Relatives’ have not ended yet! Sample some-

“You guys have taken a very daring (stupid) decision…I would have never done such a thing (stupidity)!”

“Don’t we have good colleges in India? Why to the US??”

“OMG! So much money, few thousands would be enough for Delhi University, you should have saved money for the future.”

“Is it safe in the US? Drugs, culture, and guns, how will you keep a check on her?….hope your girl remains on the right path…”

Well, with our folded hands, we want to ‘thank’ all those who are so much concerned about our money and child. Their ‘worry’ for our future makes us filled with ‘gratitude’ but we are sorry we have no sense of right ‘investment’.

We have invested all our hard earned money and whatever little we had saved into our kids’ brains.

We are stupid not to leave behind jewelry, fixed deposits, property or bank balance for our children’s future. And without a thought we are ready to invest even the last penny into their education; that probably makes us morons!

I should have kept my girl tucked to my bosom to keep her safe instead of sending her so far to explore the world. She should have nurtured under our prying eyes instead of learning by her mistakes. Instead of providing a compact ‘safe’ Delhi environment we had sent her to the US to discover different cultures and people from all over the world…how insensitive we are! What if our girl goes on the wrong path and brings disgrace to the family? We must not have had so much faith in our upbringing and values. How could we have so much confidence in her to make her confident; she is a girl and we should always protect her instead of making her self-reliant?

We accept we are mindless foolish people to invest totally into our children’s education, to make them independent and to provide the world to explore, to trust our raising and see our future in their future. We feel obliged by all the advises coming from our ‘well-wishers’ and humbly request them not to take too much stress for our investment plan; we have already made an investment.

 

 

The Last Push….

It was 21st September; I felt this unusual pain in my tummy. It was like high tides; mounting with full aggression and then sinking as a calm wave. The frequency increased. My mother in-law rushed me to the nursing home. Death would be less painful; I was howling and throbbing in that superlative pain.

It was all wet…. My water bag burst!

I was hurried to the delivery room.

“Push! Push with all your strength.” “You have to concentrate and give a strong PUSH!”

I collected all my physical, mental and emotional strength and PUSHED….

My baby! My angel! World of my happiness has finally out in this world!

The umbilical cord connecting you and me was cut….

Leaving behind the comfort and safe abode of her for nine months; from womb to our home.

Soon you experienced all the discomforts and comforts of being alive! You cried to tell- “feed me.” You cried to say- “clean me.” And you smiled to the comfort of my lap; and you giggled to see your dad.

With your tiny feet you took the first step. How ecstatic I felt when the first time you uttered “Ma”!  And each day you grew; adjusting and adapting into the world outside me.

“Push her!” “You have to PUSH her into the school bus…..”

You were sobbing and clenched me. This time it was even more painful….i was not howling but something inside me was dreadfully worried as if a part of me was splitting but again I pushed you out of the comfort and safety of your home into a new world….; I pushed you into this world which is meant for the survival of the fittest.

And the brace between you and me was broken……

Step by step, class by class you raised yourself. You bloomed and equipped yourself to conquer the hearts. One after another you filled the shelves with achievements. You made our cores inflated with pride! Praises, fames, love and respect, all you earned.

“Push!” “Push her…..she needs to go…..”

Ahh! Again for the last time, I have to push you…. Will I be able to survive the pain this time!? Irrespective of the pain and my fate; I’m going to push you into the world of your dreams. Go carve your destiny, live your life as you want. The whole new world is going to unfold for you…. Fly away from the nest because you have to scale the heights and fly beyond the sky! Go! The beautiful life is waiting to embrace you!

And I’m going to set you free….

I’m going to PUSH you the last time…..

 

© 2018 Charu Gupta and Potpourri of life.

 

Who’s at Fault?

Some Newspaper clippings-

A 16-year-old class IX student of a private school committed suicide at her Noida home on Tuesday evening.

A distraught mother has claimed that her 11-year-old son was driven to suicide by bullies at his school.

 A Fact-

India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged 15 to 29, according to Lancet report.

A child ending his/her life! Imagine the trauma, the stress and the despairing of that child. An 11 year old child and his little heart were unable to handle the pressure created by the immediate environment that death seemed to be more comforting than life!! Just an eleven year old!

And the parents? Can’t even imagine; God! No one in this world should go through this doom. But the fact is this is happening around us and every day we read this as any other News…..sad!   Heart drenching

A child who has not even cherished enough rain drops; who has yet not made enough sand castles; who has yet to decide what he wants to become when he grows up!……ends life….and left behind is the question, WHY? And devastated parents and their unfilled dreams. Not even all the oceans, not even all the sky could fill the vacuum in the parents’ life.

 Who’s at fault?

The teacher who gave below acceptable grades or the peers who bully the child? Or the School, or the Principal or the whole education system? Whom to blame?

The teacher passed some derogatory remarks about my child and he couldn’t take that insult in front of the whole class and he committed suicide!

A group of boys bullied my child for his dark complexion and my child felt humiliated and committed suicide!

The School has failed my child in the final exams and my child was uncertain about his future and committed suicide!

The fact is my child was not emotionally strong. He/she had lot of pressure to excel. He had lack of self- confident and suffered from low self-esteem.

But why? Who’s at fault?

Have you, as a parent told your bundle of joy that come what may, you will love him/her unconditionally forever?

Have you asked your child to chase his dreams not yours? That he needs not to achieve what you couldn’t but achieve what he wants?

Have you told him that you will be his best friend forever and he can always share his dilemmas, fears and secrets with you?

Does he know that you will always believe in his worth irrespective of his grades?

Parents are the first teacher of a child and family is his first school. Have you been a good teacher? Has the family provided a conducive environment?

As a teacher I have witnessed parents saying-

“Ma’am, this time my daughter has scored one mark less in the test, she is not concentrating properly please make her stand near your desk so that she can score perfect 10!”

“Ma’am, how come my son has not been selected for the final round of the competition? Could you please tell me the judging criteria?”

“Ma’am, my child has got A+ in all the subjects but how come he got B+ in dance?” “Why was my child not given the first row position in the annual function?”

Parents are driving their children to score full on full, even half a mark less is unacceptable. Every time, continuously and constantly the child is under pressure to excel. Grades/marks are persistently stealing away his right to a carefree childhood. Grades, competitions and achievement certificates are big monsters that always haunt him. “You have to score great grades, you have to win every competition and you must be good at singing, art, dance and sports”.

Life doesn’t end at grades! And every child can’t excel in all the subjects as well as in co-curricular activities!

Parents want to live their dreams, their aspirations and their choices through the child. What about a child’s desires? How much stress a small child can handle?

Thank God my Parents were quite sensible and supportive even when I managed to score just the passing marks in my 10th class Board Math exam, they did not force me to take commerce stream (Science was out of bound due to my marks.) Otherwise today I won’t be writing this article, would have been somewhere in the stars! And after I got subjects of my choice after 10th there was no looking back. I was filled with self-confidence and the desire to outshine.

Who’s at fault?

Were you as a parent available to your child when he needed you at the time he was first bullied? Did you counsel him and cement his self- esteem? Did you tell him how you look doesn’t matter but how you behave does?

How the outside world will behave is not in your control but how you prepare your child to take it, is very much in your control. Build his emotional quotient so strong that any cuss words, derogatory remarks or failures can’t shatter his belief in himself. Develop his confidence that you will always be there to support him as a rock whenever he needs.

Don’t tie the child with your dreams but let him fly to chase his own. Prepare him to face challenges that life throws with conviction. Tell the child, it’s okay to fail, you can always try again, it’s okay to score average; you have other talents to pursue. Don’t worry if you are not able to figure out your future; we’ll sit together and find the best options of your choice. Tell him life is beautiful and you love him just the way he is. A confession – as a parent I am no different from the other parents, but each day every moment I’m trying to be non-judgmental and a better parent.

Be a great teacher, a great parent, be a pillar of strength and love; and see your child bloom in this beautiful world.

A wishful thinking – No report cards, just the aptitude tests and a sky of hope and the world of happiness. Each child is unique, each child is the best.