Parents, where did we go wrong?
Some days in our life seem endless and worthless. Today was one such day when I felt that I was having a nightmare and I wished that I would wake up and find all the visions were just illusions. But to my disappointment and dismay, I was witnessing a naked truth, the suicide of one of my favorite students, who was just sixteen years old. The News has left me wounded and bleeding from inside.
I was witnessing the death of a bright student who would have been somebody if she had the patience and power to fight against the problems she faced. She was a fantabulous athlete and a beautiful dancer. The list of her potentialities was innumerable. Not just pretty to see she was kind and humble. My biggest concern was she was my son’s best friend. When he heard about the death, he quietly asked me a simple but relevant question. Why did she do it? I too wondered the same, but why? Did she forget about the two people who loved her most, her parents?
I was informed that the reason behind the suicide was that her parents didn’t allow her to fulfill one of her irrelevant wishes. As a parent of two kids, I questioned what are we to our kids. Are we just a mode of money lending machine to them? Do we have no right to say anything about their choices? Are we not allowed to beat them? And the most prominent question is the role of a teacher in the upbringing of a child?
The relation between a teacher and a student leaves an everlasting impact on the development process of a kid. Students love teachers who are friendly and spend time with them. Kids usually need someone who could listen to their stories. But where are those teachers who used to have a long stick hidden behind their backs and even their shadows made us run with fright? Such teachers are extinct and endangered nowadays.
As a parent, we have taken away many rights from the teachers. Teachers can’t scold our kids, they can’t insult them and so many restrictions we have put on teachers. Teachers too feel neglected and rejected not only by the students as well as by the parents too.
I still remember the days when I could never complain against a teacher to my parents. In place of scolding the teacher, they used to encourage the teachers to take the right decision. I grew up listening to stories from Mahabharata where a student named Eklavya cuts off his right thumb when his favorite teacher Dhronacharya asks him it as Guru Dakshina. It was a saga of true dedication, love, and sacrifice towards a teacher, which is almost vanishing in this fast-growing world.
Where are such students, teachers, and parents? Are we really developing? Are we on the right track? Are we giving the right kind of education and culture to the new generation? Where is the patience, love, and respect, care, trust between the parents and the kids?
Nowadays why as a parent we love to give everything as they demand? Did our parents do that? No. They used to make us worthy of the things we needed. Never my parents used to buy me gifts on my demand. My mother’s famous dialogue whenever I asked for something was, ‘We know what you want, and when it is the right we will buy it for you. Be silent!” Then silence. No arguments no reasoning they knew what is better for us.
Parenting is one of the biggest challenges we undertake without any class or training. But why our kids are losing their fights? The basic truth is; most of us are living in a nuclear family with both the parents working and with single or two kids moreover the kids are taken care of like the softest feather. Even in the school, the teachers are not allowed to scold or beat the kid. We have created an invisible castle of love, care, and protection around our kids and we don’t share our problems with our kids.
How many of our kids go to government schools, travel by buses run by state transport, stand in a queue to buy rice at 13 rupees a kilo? The numbers would be incompetent. As a parent, we fulfill each and every wish that our kid asks for. So even a small crack breaks the castle and makes our kids more vulnerable. As time moves on, we are going to hear more of such cases. It’s high time, as a parent we need to change our outlook on the upbringing of a child.
I can still hear her mother’s heartbreaking wailing for her and requesting her to come back from her eternal sleep. But she lies there dead to the world leaving a deep silence behind her.
Prayers that no child ever repeats the same mistake she did.
“May you rest in peace, my child.
My heart cries for you
I wish that you could come back to me,
I wish that I could hold you tight and
Love you forever and ever”
A postgraduate in English who is a mother and an educator.