Children’s Day Special: A Tribute To Children

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Article by Mrs. Susan John, P.G. Asst in Zoology (Retd.) – Good Shepherd Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai.

Come November 14th every year and it is Children’s Day.  A day set apart to make children feel special….a day to make them feel loved and cared for….a day that the nation remembers to respect and honour the child.  But what about the other 364 days of the year?  Are they pushed into oblivion?  Who is there to address their fears, their anxieties, their doubts and their problems?

It’s a proud moment for the parents to hold their new-born babe in their arms for the first time.  They are filled with awe and there is a sense of gratification to God for blessing them with their bundle of joy.  Every new-born child looks like a squashed tomato but the parents are so thrilled to hear someone say that the child looked exactly like them.  They are so proud to take ownership of the child; but as time goes by and the child takes the first steps into school and thereafter, attitudes slowly undergo a transformation.

After every terminal exam, there is an appraisal of the students.  Parents of students who have an excellent academic record are proud to meet their teachers and gloat about how their genes have passed down!  But a poor achiever is often looked down upon by the parents and I have personally heard some parents say that they were ashamed to call them their own.  How demeaning!  I wonder what happened to their genes!  Parents should realize that children are a gift from God and they need to be nurtured with love, respect and dignity.

Today, a good number of parents are supposedly working very hard to ‘provide’ for their children.  They quote that to the children very often and say that all that they wanted in return was ‘marks’.  The child is provided all the comfort and luxury that money can buy but the parent fails to understand that what they need most is a loving, inter personal relationship which only parents can provide.  With parents missing from home until late hours in the night, the child has to find solace in the company of servants or gadgets at home.  Their interest slowly moves from text book to ‘Facebook’ and from bird-watching to ‘Twitter’ and there are so many apps out there which the child can easily access at the touch of a button and once lured into that, the consequences are unfathomable.

Sometimes children are branded as ‘naughty’.  But that’s how children would be.  They are full of life.  A pin-drop-silence classroom is easy to manage but nothing creative will ever come out of that.  The teacher should not clip their wings of imagination but instead should allow them to soar.  Sometimes it may be a joke or a wise crack that they might quip but the teacher should not take offence.  Instead, laugh along with them….at least they will see the other side of the teacher!  I remember one such instance in the sixth standard.  The children were just getting accustomed to high school teachers.  That particular day the topic was about cells…the basic units of life.  I might have probably gone all out to explain to the little ones the fascinating features of the cell….of how they oxidise the food, provide energy, their capability to divide equally into two thus multiplying their numbers which contributed to growth and so on.  Suddenly from the rear end of the class, a hand went up which was customary when anyone had a query.  When I gave the child permission to clear her doubt….or so I thought…. she said, “Ma’am, I must say that cells are very good at Mathematics”.  I was perplexed.  I asked her, “Why do you say so?”  Pat came her answer.  “Ma’am, just now you told us that cells can multiply and divide!”  The whole class burst out into laughter, including me.

On a closing note I must say that it’s lovely to be child-like.   Children are innocent and have no malice.  I once ‘caught’ a girl copying in a terminal exam and had the punishment meted out to her.  I was almost certain that the child would hold it against me for the rest of her life.  But, I was in for a surprise the next morning when I entered the school premises.  The very same girl, with an enthusiastic smile on her face, ran up to me and wished me “Good morning ma’am”.  I was stunned.  Emotion choked me.  I could not see the next few steps clearly.  My vision was blurred with the tears that had welled in my eyes.  That little girl taught me, an adult, a lesson—a valuable lesson—to forgive and to forget.  That is what is meant to be child-like.

On this beautiful day, I would like to wish every child “HAPPY CHILDREN’S DAY.”

Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and may not reflect those of this organisation.

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