Hello, not now.

“You must teach him to say hello if someone speaks to him,” said my mother. This was after a neighbour tried making conversation with my 4 year old and he just refused to open his mouth or even nod in acknowledgment. “But amma, he does say hello when he wants to,” I said defending him. “No no, you must keep on telling him that if someone talks to him then he must reply. He shouldn’t just walk away or turn his head,” my mother went on. I nodded, not because I agreed but because I did not want to get into a discussion just then.

This happened and then a few days later I met my son’s school didi who said, “R is such a sweet child. Whether I say good morning or not to him he comes up to me every morning and wishes me. He also wishes all the Bhaiya’s (guards and helpers) when he sees them.” Now isn’t this what makes a mother proud and happy and all things mushy? I was super elated to hear this.

Made me wonder, the same child wishes a set of people on his own and chooses not to wish some others. It really should just be his choice to make. I have never coerced or forced him to shake hands, hug, kiss, smile, or talk to anyone who he chooses not to. We must learn to respect them.

Watching this clip and reading everything that is being written about Prince George not responding to the ‘high five’ by Canadian Prime Minister is what made me write this now. Let the kids be….


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