Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hey people, leave us kids alone!

Just saw this event happening. This is a talent-show to spot the city's smartest all-rounder.

This thing is wrong on so many levels. As parents who've lived an average of 30-40 years on earth, are we 'all-rounders' yet? How can we expect babies who've lived a maximum of 10 years on this earth to be all-rounders? And look at the, hair, photogenic?

The kid would 'catwalk' on a ramp and come to center stage. They would be asked to talk about themselves and display their singing and dancing talents-all this in flat 5 minutes. The three judges would then pack the children off with an off handed applause, a cliched comment and a certificate.
I was watching helplessly as a mother was grilling her daughter about forgetting a few lines. She went "Why didn't you say, I'm a big girl and I'm a talented girl'? You said that at home". The girl's smile disappeared like how rainbow would disappear into dark clouds. She quietly sat herself on a swing with her bent. She didn't even play on the swing. The mother and grandparents would still not give up prodding her to go and 'at least' dance. The girl wouldn't budge. The mother soon got busy taking selfies against the banner of the event.

That child might forget the whole incident. Or might not. It appears that children forget easily. The danger is when thoughts of failure, rejection and shame go and get stuck in the deep crevices of the sub-conscious mind. And then we sit back in the comfort of our living rooms and blame schools, parents, films when we see adults with deviant minds. These adult deviant minds were obviously not born as adults. What kind of childhood did they have? Does anyone pause to find out? Think of all terrible things happening in Chennai and around the world. No place is safe any more.

One might think I'm blowing a silly talent-hunt out of proportion. I'm not saying a failure at such competitions will give rise to criminals. All I'm saying is CHILDREN DON'T NEED THIS. Their life is already more complicated than they can handle. Let's not make it more complicated. I also want to say that parenting has never been as difficult as it is now. We deal with a lot more than our parents had to. Let's not make our own lives complicated. Though most parents won't agree, I know the feeling parents go through when their child 'fails'. I have to confess about going through the horrible phase of pushing my child to be 'smart and outgoing'. What about letting the child pick one interest and encouraging them to hone it?

My sincere appeal to parents. Please do not subject yourselves or your children to such events which have nothing but the commercial interest of the organisers. Let's be happy. Let our children be happy. Let's allow children to experience childhood and explore the joys of life. Children don't need medals and certificates. All they need is love, affection and lots of (physical and emotional) space to play.

Love you all.

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