Little Anu is the second born, a girl who is 5 years old
She tries to imitate and copy her elder sister, and does more than she is told
It all started when Mommy said, ”Look at your sister and try to be like her.
Eat up all the veggies and I will reward the fastest eater be it whoever.”
Anu became ready and steady as she set on her mark
But little did she know that it was a journey towards the dark
She raced and raced in every little thing
She emerged a winner in most of those things
Her teacher said she was ready for Grade 5, no need for her to wait
No need for her to be in kindergarten when she already knew tables of 8
Anu became over confident and competitive too
Whenever she won the race, her mom smiled and casually said, “Oh my daughter is so competitive, what to do?”
Little did the mom realize that it was not a virtue she was encouraging
She only created a future for her daughter, full of racing, winning and beating
But when she did not win the prize, she won a bout of anger instead
That anger paced her heartbeat and made her see little sense
There was a fellow student, he was John, a boy diagnosed with ADHD
He was hyperactive and would not even read or write if told from A to Z
The teacher lost her patience and said John should go back to KG1
He is too naughty and does not listen to anyone
Anu smirked with delight when anyone else got scolded and rebuked
She silently upped her collar, and told herself, “Ain’t I proud of you?”
She realized that someone was looking, looking at her with disgust
It was Mini, her classmate, who was also good in most things, but never came a first
Twenty-five years went by as fast as the scenes seen from the window of a train
A school reunion was planned and all those once little friends would meet again
Anu quickly popped a pill of Benzodiazepine, and straightened out her collars
She looked at the mirror with pride, and thought of her salary, worth a billion dollars
“Hey aren’t you John?” asked a slim and attractive lady to a handsome and well dressed man.
“Mini?” and he stepped down from the van.
There was excitement and fervor in the air, but Anu stood aside
Waited for someone to approach her, as she clutched her purse tight
Then she sighed and walked up to them
“Hi! Everyone,” she greeted them with a smile, as she adjusted the ring in her hand
“Anu? Nice to see you again,” greeted back John, trying to raise his voice above the banter
They laughed and joked, and then the surprise announcement came
Their class teacher was arriving soon, she was now a wise old dame
“Oh no, I got to leave,” Anu said to her buddies as she rose up to leave
“I have an important Joint venture meeting,” and a loud sigh she heaved
She listened to no requests. “I have a meeting too, “ said John
Nothing could deter her, leaving behind her friends forlorn
She rushed so fast that she bumped into an old woman with a walking stick
But Anu had not a minute to waste, to help or to pick
She reached her conference room and there she was ready, steady and on her mark
In walked the new joint venture partner – Mr. John De Park
They both were surprised to meet each other again, it started in the classroom
And a new story began in the conference, once again.
As parents, and more as mothers, we take immense pride when our child achieves something. There is an immediate and spontaneous reaction on our face. And the child sees that. What does the child see? A happy parent. So, the child knows that achievement results in happy parents.
They derive happiness in achievements, to them their achievement is making the parent happy. And they learn from us, to be happy when they achieve. When they don’t achieve, what do they see? They see disappointment, and sometimes even sadness and anger on our faces.
So, a child who has, let us assume, won a Maths competition once, does not win the second time….. will innocently come and tell his parents about what happened. He is sad that he did not win and someone else won. But if the parent gives a negative reaction, it only gives vent to the little monster. The little monster who gets angry with himself when he does not win, gets angry when others win, so he tries to win at any cost and if he does not win, he learns to blame and sometimes lie only to inflate the ego, which gets a high with a sense of achievement. And as the child grows with age, so does the monster. He takes a bigger form, till the apparition scares that child who is now a man.
As parents and teachers, on occasion of Halloween today, let us pledge to only dress our children as monsters to have fun and do trick or treat! Let us not create them.
Unknowingly or casually, we should not pass any remark that creates over confidence in one child and lack of confidence in another. As a parent, and am sure I speak on behalf of all parents, and even teachers who are parents, I expect teachers to always remember that children are very gullible. I fondly remember my kindergarten teachers and they are the ones who left an everlasting impression in my mind.
If you joke about a child’s incapability, he might start believing that. When I say good-bye to my child, as he boards the bus in the wee hours of the morning, I resume with my other chores assuming and inherently believing that at school, my child will be taken good care of, both body and mind!
As a parent, I try to tell my children, that there is no competition between brothers and sisters, not with anyone else. Try to do better than what you did last time and Mum and Dad will be happiest, for we know you tried your best.
It is important that you stop to pick up the spectacles of a classmate(if it has fallen down) during an activity or competition, than finish the task first.
Always, remember that when you are working with a class or team, there is more often than not, a shy child, who is hesitant to start or complete an activity. Helping him to pace up is more important than completing the activity first.
Talking emotions with children is something that we usually do not do. But if you tried, you will be appalled at their understanding of emotions. If there is a death in the family, help your child to grieve and let him learn to show affection towards grieving family members.
In kindergarten, the child is learning how to choose a best friend. Sometimes the child realizes his best friend’s best friend is someone else. He can be a melting pot sometimes. On some occasions, he may express, sometimes he may be cranky, because his little inner self is discovering new emotions like jealousy. All we need to do is treat him with hugs, on Halloween Day and every single day of our lives.