When I was in third standard, I suddenly lost the interest in my studies. I used to make excuses in order to escape my classes. After every few days, I would tell my mother that I am not well and my mom sometimes scolded me of making excuses or sometimes just let me skip the school. No one ever tried to dig deeper and find that what could be the reason behind such behavior if everything is just fine? I was too small to think of all the complex emotions I might had got trapped in.

Fortunately,  me and my masi have become very close friends during Covid Lockdown and this friendship has helped me to communicate my emotions at a very different level. One day, we planned to discuss every single fear we have and how it creeped into our lives. So when I was communicating with her about my childhood fears, I came across an incident that took place when I was in class third. 

Mathematics period was going on and my maths teacher who was middle aged, short heighted lady, was teaching us some formula on a blackboard.  Like every child, bubbling up with new ideas and concepts, I too discovered the back gate to take out enough time to play at home by completing all my homework in class only. Therefore, when ma’am was busy teaching us, I started copying down everything she wrote on the blackboard side by side. Somehow that bulky angry lady, noticed me of committing the crime of writing on my notebook with the most innocent intentions a child could have. All that I could remember from that horrible day of my life is, that my teacher snatched my notebook, tore it off and my ears going numb from her slaps hitting one after the other on my baby face by her heavy hands. I have always been a shy kid, I never cried in front of others, except few incidents I remember and it was one of those days, when I cried. 

I don’t remember whether I told that to my mumma or not but what I remember is that it left a deep impact on my mind, which I never recognized as  a root cause of many fears dwelling in my innocent heart, one of those fears was not ever liking maths again. I hated the subject till today. 

After so many years, I could comprehend that I was not afraid of school but my own fears which was implanted by my teacher’s rude behavior which gradually got rooted in deeply. That day teacher had the choice of dealing with that situation in a very different way but she chose the way which in no way could ever make a child feel better or grow. 

I narrated this incident from my life’s diary, because often we think that life of a child is surrounded by love, fun and games, how come their cheerful life can be caught by stress, anxiety or I would better say complex emotions that we associate with adults and never see children in the picture. However, we forget that they might be struggling at their own levels. They might not be aware of  the stress or depression but what if some outer  forces implant such negative emotions in them, because you are not always accompanying your child everywhere. 

Parents and teachers are the primary guide of children from the beginning of their lives. And sometimes, they want to carve out so much perfection out of their children, that they end up using negative tactics like comparing their child to other children, like asking them to stretch their limits so much that it breaks their liveliness. And nowadays media is a cherry on the top for making children’s lives more vulnerable. They want to copy the youtubers, they want to have smartphones and hi- tech gadgets early on in their lives. All these efforts to make your child best amongst everyone fails terribly by the emotions like superiority and inferiority complexes, loneliness, comparisons, etc. taking grasp of your child’s life. 

So what’s need to be done? Should we have to make big changes in children’s lives, or should we not introduce them to strive for betterment and giving their best? All that’s need to be done is communication,  I think. Yes! Communication is the key to get access to the deeper emotions of your child. Give them time, observe their behavior. If you notice anything absurd for example,  you often hear them say that:  they’ re not feeling well or the world is not a good place or they make excuses to go to school or lose interest in their favorite activities or get irritated very easily, I must say it’s a red flag, that you must watch out for what’s going on in your child’s life. 

However, sometimes children are too fearful to open up, so don’t scare them further by saying that if they don’t share anything with you, then you would complain about them to any elder or teacher. Give them space and time. Show patience for it is the only weapon to peep into your child’s heart. Give them time, attention, no matter how hard you are going through your adult life crisis.

I have many other incidents from my life and other children who I have observed very closely, coming up in my head right now  which changed me as well as those children from happy vibrant kids to dull, fearful rather I would say stressed children. 

Children are foundation of a beautiful world. They are the future.  Innocence, purity and joy pours out of their hearts like fresh spring water coming down from a waterfall. Therefore, their joy must increase as they grow for it starts with them. Accumulation of fears, complexes,  comparisons  from harsh experiences must never let any child believe that this world is a scary place to live on. So next time if you ever see a child behaving in an unchildly manner, go sit with that child, talk to him/her, and make them believe that this world , which we call our home is beautiful and every person  is part of this huge family, helping each other grow.