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Chia and Adi are playing in the ground after school. It's a bright sunny day with gentle breeze. It's a long awaited winters here. All happy and excited shouts in the ground. Suddenly, Adi could not control his energy and just out of control he kicked Chia, who was on slide at that time. Chia got dis balanced and her jaw line got hurt. She started crying. She came to me and told me that she is hurt. I said, "It happens baby. While playing you may get hurt sometimes. Just take deep breaths and have some water. You will be fine." She resumed her calm slowly.
We (me and Chia) were surprised to see that Adi is also crying. And he is crying even harder than Chia. Chia was cool now and he was still crying and was so anxious. Her mother, Nidhi, told us that he is crying because Chia got hurt by him. Chia instantly felt compassion and forgave him. She said to Nidhi "Aunty, tell Adi to say sorry to me and I will be his friend again." But even after listening this, he was crying and then comes a bigger surprise for me.
Nidhi said he is crying because he is afraid that he will be punished by her for hurting another kid. And Adi thinks that she will report this to his father and then he will do his part. What a turn!!!!! Meanwhile Chia sitting next to him and is trying to be friends with him again. Chia touched his cheeks as a loving and forgiving gesture. He shook her off. Now, this was the time when Chia got confused. She looked at me and asked "Why is he crying? Why is he hurting me again?" Chia could decipher it was not the real reason that Nidhi conveyed to her.
I was in dilemma, what should be my answer? Should I support Nidhi's first version or should I tell the real reason? Chia got impatient and interrupted me "Ma, why is he crying?" Then I just told her the truth. That he is crying out of fear of being punished. Now, Chia was more attentive to the boy and his strategy. The boy was still crying. There were no tears just loud panic voice with lots of coughing and his face turned red. Nidhi is busy in convincing him that she won't scold him and will not let his father know about it. He must just calm down and relax. No punishment is going to happen him. I have seen this trick working many times with many people but for Chia it was the first time. She learned something from this boy. I am apprehensive that she will try this trick anytime.
I am still evaluating if I did the right thing by telling her the truth?
I wanted her to know the truth so that no body in future could take benefit of her with such tricks. It is my responsibility to make her understand how the world works and how people manipulate others. Though it is sad but it is a truth and I don't want my kid to be unaware of such diverse faces of a human. I don't want her to be vulnerable.
At the same time, I am confused that if I did wrong by exposing this to her. A part of her may have been felt cheated by Nidhi, a part of her may have felt foolish. She might be very tempted to use this trick at earliest. And then she will again evaluate this trick with her results. That will probably decide to some extent if she approves or discards this manipulative trick. If she tries it within family, I will surely make it out that it is a trick. But should I let her experiment successful or not? is my current dilemma.
While writing down my inhibitions, I figured it out that I did the right thing.
I care very less about worldly wisdom of imparting family’s values, compassion, forgiveness, kindness to others, humility, not hurting others, sharing with others to my kid. I am a firm believer that these traits are very human and very natural to us. No kid is born with evil thoughts, manipulative skills and ill wills but every kid is born as human. The family setup and outside environment clouds these basic human virtues and then we (parents and teachers) try to fix this. I try to protect my kid as she is born, all human.
I am willing to trust you my baby. But being a mother or having 35 years of experience (and you have just 5 years of experience), somehow, I am afraid if you would make an appropriate choice. I will let you know that with a choice comes consequences and I will help you to evaluate consequences as well. At the end, no matter what choice you make, I will always love you and be with you. :)