‘Boys don’t cry.’
‘Don’t be a sissy.’
‘Come on toughen up, you are a man.’
Haven’t we all heard statements like this often enough. My child is a creature of habit and likes to do things a certain way. Every day he gives me a kiss and a hug before he gets into school. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to do that yesterday and what followed were huge tears and heartbreak.
Knowing fully well that this could dampen his day at school I sent out a quick mail to his teachers giving them a heads up of what had transpired outside.
In the afternoon when I went to pick him up, one of his teachers in a slightly miffed tone told me that I should toughen my boy a little. I cringed but refrained from saying anything.
As I turned to walk out, his class teacher from last year and his present class teacher walked up to me and said, ‘oh, we were looking for you. We have to share something with you.’ My heart sank, I wondered what I would be told.
His teacher smiled and started speaking, ‘this little fellow ( ruffles R’s hair) comes up to me today in the corridor and complements me on the saree I am wearing. He then walks back to his class and suddenly turns around comes running and asks me if I can do him a favour. I asked him to go ahead and ask me and here’s what he said.’
By now I had eased my heart and was listening to every word she was saying. ‘He asked me to get the exact same saree for you and was very particular that he would only want this same colour,’ she said.
At this point his current class teacher pitched in to say that he’s such a caring and sensitive child. Children like this are very rare today.
And just like that I was smiling again.
It is so important to let these children be. Let’s not try and mould and change their inherent traits. We will be doing them the greatest disservice if we change them or steer them in a direction they aren’t meant to take.
Let’s let them be 🙂