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Recently I was quite upset with my 2.5 yr old daughter for an unacceptable act of spitting water all the time. It had been a few weeks since we were making her understand about why it should not be done and what would be a better option with water in the mouth, etc. Couple of days back I had to raise my voice on her. Somehow every time I get upset with my younger one for something my older one feels extremely bad and sad and also cries at times. He once told us “Why can you not let her do what she wants? Why do you need to tell her what she should not do?”
I have had to explain to my son several times about why his younger sister needs to learn certain good habits while she is growing up and that he too was taught similar things at the same age. After a lot of explanation he would typically understand or at least I felt he was understanding but somehow I felt he didn’t seem convinced. I had to get my creative brain to work and decided to come up with a story.
At the end of the story I realized that as long as information given to a child is convincing they always seem to accept rationality.
The story goes this way – There was a young boy named Ujjwal, which means brightness. His parents would always help him with his every single need. All they wanted was to see Ujjwal happy. His parents loved him a lot. Ujjwal too loved his parents a lot however he would get irritated when his parents would advise him on do’s n don’ts.
One day Ujjwal had not combed his hair well and his mother came over to tell him to use a comb to keep his hair neat. He told his mother “Mom this is my just out of the bed look and I like it this way.” His mom just smiled and got back to her work. Ujjwal’s dad was just getting ready for work and when he saw Ujjwal had not combed his hair well, unaware of Ujjwal’s and his mother’s conversation on the same topic, dad requested Ujjwal to use a comb to groom his hair. Ujjwal was so irritated now that he snapped at his father and said “Dad, this is my just out of the best look and I like it this way. Why can you not see what I see? So what if I have not groomed my hair the way you like it. “Ujjwal’s dad kept his calm and said “Ujjwal, I am absolutely fine with your hairstyle as long as you feel you like it. Mom and I just want you to be happy with what you do however what we do expect is you speak with us in an acceptable tone and not disrespectfully.” Saying so Ujjwal’s dad left for work.
The following week Ujjwals School was to go out for a picnic. Ujjwal was very happy and came home to show the picnic details to his parents. On reading the note his parents said “ Wow, you are going to have a great time. So let us sit and talk about a few things you can take care of while you are on your trip with friends.” On hearing this statement Ujjwal reacted saying “There we go again with another advice. God! Please can you make my parents stop advising me?”. Ujjwals parents were very hurt on hearing this statement and decided to completely keep quite. Ujjwal felt maybe God actually heard his prayer and for once his parents will stop advising.
The Picnic day arrived and inspite of Ujjwal talking roughly with his parents, his mom packed his favourite sandwiches and his dad packed the rest of the bag and they went to drop him to school for his picnic. Ujjwals parents decided to absolutely refrain from giving him any advice and sent him off on the school picnic trip just asking him to have fun and be safe. The group got off the bus and the teachers first told the kids to stay together and not to wander away. The kids enjoyed for a while and when it was time for them to wrap up and get back to school the teachers informed the kids to pack up and get to the bus. Ujjwal just then felt the need to use the washroom and since he thought the bus would leave soon he immediately rushed to the washroom without informing anyone. When he got back he noticed that the bus had left the picnic area. He looked around for someone to help however he found no one. He also thought of running after the bus but the bus was too far and he knew he couldn’t catch up. He was so sad that he sat down on the road and started crying uncontrollably and prayed to God for someone to just come by and help him. He also remembered his parents a lot during this time and felt if only his parents were with him such an incident would not have happened. He prayed harder and thought that if his parents arrived right in front of him, he would just hug and kiss them tight and apologise for being so rude with them and never ever wish for them to stop advising him. Ujjwal realized that if only had he let his parents advise him on the do’s and don’ts of travelling with friends he may have not been in such a terrible situation today. Just then he saw his school bus come back for him. His teacher immediately apologized to him as they thought of taking a head count once inside the bus and that was how they did not realize they left back Ujjwal.
At the school drop off point, Ujjwal’s parents were eagerly waiting to see him and hear all his picnic experiences. Ujjwal ran out of the bus and hugged them tight and said a big sorry for his unacceptable behavior and promised them that from that moment on he would always keep a keen ear to everything that anyone has to say and would certainly voice out his opinion in a calm manner. Ujjwal’s parents could not be happier!
Children are very innocent and of course unaware of the many concerns that they may face when they are alone in the outer world. We can only imbibe the good values in them and without putting forth our opinion about situations allow them to decide for themselves on how they would like to take a happy turn for themselves in life.