Every role we play in child’s life as parent or teacher in the name of upbringing or education, they have those traits built in. The need is allow them to see these traits by themselves and create a life of their own.
As parents or teachers we wear some hats unnecessarily (or may be to show importance of our role). Here is the list of such false notions around our roles.
Its not your job to like me – Its mine.
A clean shaven head in spite of being topped by a new rusted cap can sure be a case for being teased. How Nikhil had managed to fight his anxiety and reach till reception of our center was not clear to me – but his courage faltered at this threshold. I asked, “What will you do if other children tease you. “I’ll ignore”, came a choked response. “How?” I pushed. “That’s easy”, he replied with a smile rising on his lips, “I like my shaven head!”
When I use my own awareness, my own thoughts, my own reflection as mirror, I am able to see myself. When I am able to see myself I am able to like myself. This liking is neither arrogant, nor vain, nor construed, nor comparative, nor speculative. This liking is my investment into understanding and appreciating me as a person; in knowing that I am able.
Its not your job to teach me – Its mine.
All of them were busy with the colours, papers and all the sundry material they had collected from the garden. I plonked myself in one corner and announced, “I can teach you how to make the green puppet, if you want”. None came. With a smile inside me, I tried again after some time, “I can teach you how to make your puppet look awesome!” None came. Little later the persistent me tried again, “I can teach you a new, better technique to make puppets”. One little girl came to me, shoved her puppet into my face and said, “Uncle I can teach you how to make THIS.”
I have an engine inside me – that goes whole day chuk chuk chuk chuk – like the (video game) character ‘pac-man’, gobbling away every bit of learning lined by my life. Very similar to the voracious hogging by the caterpillar. Just because I am not yet flying don’t start feeding me. I can cause, construct, and create my own learning. I am able, I‘ll chrysalis into a butterfly.
Its not your job to correct me – Its mine.
It had been thirty minutes of sweaty complaining, cribbing, cursing basketball session, The score was 20 to 0. Dhrupad had yet to put the basket ball into the ring, while I had pocketed 20. This time when he threw, the ball went up, bounced on the ring and went in. Loud exclamation was followed by a big hug and an eureka insight – “Thirty shots taught me how to shoot this one daddy, he piqued! Whoa, I was floored. Who was the coach here?
I like to be corrected when I am wanting to be coached. I like to be told, when I am asking your opinion. I like to be shown, when I am looking of a demonstration. I like to be questioned, when I am trying to clear confusion. I like to be admonished, when I am begging for some feedback. I like to respected as a work in progress, cause I am able.
Its not your job to raise me – Its mine.
We were splashing in the gushing waters of the mountain river. Asawari suddenly stood up and started trekking upstream – slippery uphill task ahead. I asked, “Where are you off to?” “To find some challenges” was her plain retort.
I can literally raise myself. – if you let me. All I need is a balanced diet of all kinds of good / bad experiences, of failures and successes, of trials and tribulations, of challenges, et al. I have a tummy full of strengths, which can digest the nutritious and excrete the unwanted. When you allow me to live my life, then life raises me. I am able, let me be.
Its not your job to assess me – Its mine.
I had just given back the MBA students their first assignment with my comments. They were confused, “Sir, you have not graded our papers?” I replied, “It’s your efforts. Take into consideration that, my comments and maybe feedback from your peers and grade yourself. Be fair to yourself. Its your life, be fair to yourself”.
By the end of my six month course, with unconditional acceptance from my side in whatever grades they gave themselves, all the 56 students claimed that they enjoyed being fair to themselves 🙂
When I use my own judgement I develop wisdom. In many cultures that is the highest order thinking ability. When I am able to see gaps in me, I am able to fill them. When I am able to see the strengths in me, I am able to use them more often, more effectively. When i am able to see myself from many perspectives, I am able – to enjoy myself, my life.
Its not your summer holidays – They’re mine.
Clear memory of my summer holidays is my parents giving us the gift of totally unadulterated, expectation-free, holidays. Result we had full bloomed holidays – doing nothing, yet doing so much whole day for two months. Sigh!
I don’t want my holidays to be like school.
I want my school to be like summer holidays.
I am able, for my holidays, my education, my life.