When will we ever learn?
After finishing all my busy and hectic daily chores , the very little time I can manage to scroll through my face book, I believe it's not unfair that I mostly want to be entertained and therefore consciously avoid the newsfeed with a caption assuring me that I won't be able to hold my tears after watching it or bla-bla-bla. But shockingly I very often come across some videos that are vastly considered to be innocent or highly entertaining while they appear to be utterly bitter and painful to me and ultimately leave me with Goosebumps.
Dear readers let me give you a bit of hints of the type of contents I'm talking about and I'm sure you'll find yourself familiar with stuffs of such kind. Just a couple of days ago I saw a video with a caption saying 'See How Cute It Is' with a sticker that tells you it's funny and entertaining while in the video I found an angel-like baby girl of 5 or 6 flooding her innocent cheeks with tears as she is being forced by her mother to write some numbers she can't remember anyway. The girl tries with all her efforts to convince the outraging mom not to blame her but the reaction of the dragon mom is as if the kid is asking her to sell one of her kidneys to buy her a Barbie- doll and rather than helping the kid remember the numbers, she starts slapping and beating her showing no mercy to whatever the kid pleads with her inability.
Yes, surely, both the girl and her language are cute to another level but how come this cuteness goes beyond the nerve wrecking experience she is undergoing to its viewers or most importantly to the person who was recording it? Isn't it simply like praising the build of a gun with which you see a terrorist going to shoot someone? You may argue with me on the point that she is with her mother and is being beaten up for something as important as studying. Then, tell me, how is learning for kids meant to be? Is it to make her swallow all the bookish garbage down her throat no matter how much it chocks her up or to help her to be curious and enthusiastic about learning with all the fun around?
Then, here comes another video with a little boy whose hands and legs are tied together with a rope as an innovative and funny way of keeping him under control by one of his family members. And what his crime is? He is accused of being restless and naughty trying to discover all the reachable and unreachable corners of the house and ultimately breaking or toppling some of the stuffs. Here as well, the boy sobs for sometimes may be because it was hitting his self-esteem which we hardly believe to be existing in kids.
Then, the boy starts wriggling like an insect caught in a spider net to get out of the unease and finally starts crying and screaming as a sign of feeling completely helpless. And what the other family members are doing then? They are filming the ordeal of the little imp and cheering to their cruelest victory. Now, isn't it ridiculous that the same family members will expect the kid to be an explorer as he grows up and conquer the world with his unquenchable thirst for knowing the unknown, seeing the unseen? Isn't it unfair that these very parents will expect all the delicate emotional privileges in their old age from the kid when the scenario will be a vice-versa?
No more from the virtual world but few of my real life observations: well, I'm an English language trainer and most of my students are grown-ups and many of them are parents. So, during the tea break or after the class I sometimes enjoy the privilege of talking to them about their ideas about parenting and in these sessions I always try to be very open and receptive to get better ideas for myself. But, sadly enough, in such cases as well, I very often find that parents are too possessive and prone to focus extremely on the academic achievements of their kids putting a brutal pressure on their tender emotional world. One of my colleagues once boastfully shared her ninja technique of squeezing out the best of her kid. Here she says 'I have told my son that once you lose the first position in the school, I will jump from the tenth floor and die!' What a heroic idea! Now the petrified little lamb values his grades more than his own life only to save himself from being an orphan!
But what I wonder is, I am surely not the only person my colleague shares about her iron-man way of getting an upper hand over her kid; she must have shared it with her other family members and the relatives as well. I wonder how they react to it. Don't they have any role to play?
There is a saying, 'It takes a village to raise a child.' I still remember how my father and my grandmother used to act as a human shield for me and my siblings at times our mother went mad on our poor grades. Definitely they talked to us later on, tried to encourage us for doing better the next time and convinced our mother not to feel low. That is may be why we more or less were able to perceive the value of learning, not the price of it.
So, we must acknowledge that abusing a kid mentally or physically, putting pressure on his/her cognitive way of learning is a social crime. Knowingly or unknowingly the whole society is responsible for it. In most cases, parents get carried by the set-up decorum of their surroundings. A kid is not good at learning and the society is always there to put the parents down; a kid is not doing fine with grades and the society is there to fuel the anguished soul of the parents; but when the parents are doing wrong to the kid, we are silent because their child is their property, they have the ultimate authority over it, how can we poke nose into this issue? This is how the silent crime keeps snowballing.
Now, the way we learned that charity begins at home, this is the time we realized that abasement begins at home as well. The parents, the other members of the family, the near and the far relatives, the neighbors, the teachers, all consciously or unconsciously somehow act as a catalyst to this slow poison that ultimately devastates the tiny world of a kid.
So finally, there is nothing much to say except asking when will we realize the gravity of the issue? When will we ever learn?
The writer is the English language Instructor at Gurukul (An English Language Institution)