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Yesterday my daughter came back from school very agitated, she was tearful. I asked her what was the matter. She didn't answer..she went up to her room straight, locked herself and burst into tears. I could hear her even while I stood outside her room. I knocked and knocked requesting her to open the door but she wouldn't even reply. I didn't know what to do. I was worried. I called my husband and asked him to come home at once. He reached home in minutes. He pleaded her to open the door. He assured her that we can sit down and discuss whatever the problem is and can find a solution to it. After repeated coaxing she opened the door. Trust me, I was never more petrified in my entire life!! I rushed through the door as soon as she opened and hugged her tight. I was in tears and cried uncontrollably holding my baby in my arms.
"Ma, My friends are not talking to me, they hate me...they don't trust me. Every one at class are bullying me. I don't want to go to school anymore" and she broke down again. We didn't say a word, we just listened to her.
A few days back, some classmates of her's had planned to go out for gaming at a mall, of course with out informing the parents. But my daughter did speak to me about it and when they got to know that she had spoken to us, she was termed "lame kid", who discusses everything with her parents. And so no one spoke to her.
She felt devastated! When the child is in adolescence (especially), it's not us (parents), siblings or anyone from the family that matters, it's their friends and peer who matter the most!! And if their friends came apart, it's the end of the world.!
After we listened to the problem, her father spoke to her... "I understand how it feels when your best friends aren't talking to you! But do you think crying or locking yourself in the room can help? If so, you can stay in here forever! Problems do come amongst all friends. You must learn to face them. You are my brave girl and am sure you can do it, and you know what, it's only you who can do it because they are your friends and nobody knows them better than you." I saw as she listened to her dad, she had stopped crying and was more relaxed now. "But what do you want me to do Appa, they aren't even ready to listen to me".
"You have betrayed their trust in you. Even though keeping the parents informed was the right thing, they feel let down by you. They are upset with you. So give them some time to think about what you've done, understand you better and be okay with it. However, your assessments are due next week. Try to focus on that for now. Let things settle down. You'll all be fine am sure" he said.
I reminded her, "Don't forget to believe in yourself, tell yourself that you are not wrong and we as parents trust you!"
She was feeling much better now. The next day, when I went to school to pick her up. I saw that she came out alone again but I didn't see her weepy or weak. I asked her, "How was your school today?" "Not too great Ma, today too, none of my friends spoke to me, but I didn't cry or plead them to talk to me. I just stuck to being myself at class. I know I haven't done any mistake. I will wait for them to come back. I think I can handle it." I was so relieved to hear that from her!
She's always been a confident child. But I saw that the recent incident had shaken her a bit. After a few days of her being strong and a lone warrior, her friends did get back to her and they were a happy group again. This is just one incident. I wonder how many such challenges they face everyday. Is it in anyway better than them going to a war field? They have their own challenges and they fight it out. As parents, we need to empower them.
How? If parents could repeatedly tell their children few lines like these
1. You are a good boy/girl
2. I trust you
3. You are confident
4. You are brave
5. You can handle any problem that comes your way.
6. You can trust me, I am always there for you. On the flip side of the same coin,
I don't believe in readily rendering a helping hand, instead empower them, give them confidence and let them face this cruel world! Tips to fellow moms :
(tried and tested, works well) :-)
Three things I always insist with my children;
-One is communication, I believe that it is one of the most important channels connecting us with our children. As long as this channel is well open, it helps them to open up and discuss things with us and not with anybody else, just to get that half baked information. And we, get to know who their friends are, which I believe is very important!
-Two, make sure children trust their parents above everyone else. As parents, know how you react to anything they bring up to you. They judge you upon that. Stay calm and listen first. DON'T be in a hurry to pass your judgement. Given any situation, we (parents) should be the first whom they will speak to. I always tell my children, whether it is your fault or anyone else's, make sure you come to your parents first before you approach anybody else for help. They should trust us that we are there for them.
-Three, tell them, never to do anything that they cannot talk about to their parents. If they feel they can't talk to parents about something, then either they are doing wrong or parents are dealing it wrong.
This will help you have a better connect with your children.
Happy parenting! :-)