This was almost 6 years ago but I remember it clearly.
It was a busy day at school . PTMs always are . The school was bustling with parents and kids . Why do people get their kids along at Parent Teacher meetings I wondered as a “family” -the mother, the father,the school kid in uniform and their toddler -all in a row, jostled past me .
It’s amusing sometimes to see how much effort people would make to dress up for the Parent Teacher Meeting for their children . I saw this mother dressed up in a lovely sundress; I would wear it on the beach I told myself minus the high heels that she’s wearing.
I sat at the back of the class , watching the teacher pour out one complaint after another at this mom who was constantly pulling at her short cotton dress (hoping it would get longer!?) visibly looking agitated now. It was a distracting sight . I looked at the adorable handmade craft work all around the class, trying to find the little kite my daughter had colored so diligently amongst all others and then at my watch.It had already been 15 minutes and the teacher was far from finishing her interaction about how indisciplined and uncouth the child was ! Considering the fact that these were grade 2 students, I found her rather cynical. Luckily , I was next. There it was, I could spot it, my baby girl’s little kite just beside the class cupboard colored a bright red! After another round of finger pointing from the mother to the teacher about how she could not discipline her child enough at school , it got over when the teacher said she could understand where the child’s agitation was coming from ! The mom stormed out , but not before she put her sunglasses back on from her head. I caught her eye and she waved at me as if nothing had happened.
Phew! It was my turn at last! I sat next to the teacher confident that I would not hear any complaints ! What came next was a surprise. “Mrs. Kapoor”,she said,”Your daughter is a very sensitive child”. Instantly, I told her “Ma’am, I’ll look into it. She is sensitive indeed. I’m going to work on it and make her tough”. What blew my guard off was the smile on her face when she said,”Please don’t work on it at all . We are blessed to have such kids”. She went on to narrate an incident that had happened in school . Apparently , there was a new admission in class who was a girl with special need. The kids were not being able to understand why she was any different from them and were picking on her. She was getting edgy day by day and not being able to retort back, she had started hitting the other kids in her defense. One day she held my daughter by the throat because she tried to stop her from hitting a friend. Not only did my brace little girl manage to get her hands off her throat , she even got her to apologize to her friend. She promised her that she would be her friend if she stopped hitting other kids. The child agreed since my daughter was one of the few kids who never troubled her . My daughter chose not complain to the teacher but the other kids narrated the incident to the supervisor. Things improved in the class. Most of the other kids followed suit and started playing and sharing their Tiffin with her in the recess. It made me proud . I was humbled by the way my daughter handled the situation. This sowed the seeds of a great friendship. Eventually the girl left school because the parents moved out of town but as long as she remained in town, my daughter was always the first one for her birthday invitee list!
Our children go to school to learn to be ready for the society therefore academic progress is just one aspect of developing them . The most important one is to teach them to be good human beings and that has to be taught at home first .
It doesn’t always work in their favor and sometimes they get bogged down a lot . As a mom I support them but give a realistic picture to them. The society does not agree with most people who think differently but what better way to live life than living by your freewill and not following what others do blindly .
What better way to teach them than by example.