Let Them Ask…
Who did that?
Where did it happen?
When did it happen?
Why did it happen?
How did it happen?
Yes. I am talking about children. Of all ages. Don’t just shut them away.
I hear complaints from a lot of parents that their child is not inquisitive. Or he/she doesn’t take initiative. What I have noticed in most of the cases including mine is that we do not allow them to talk. Yes, it is purely our mistake.
All fingers are not alike. All children are not the same. Some are born as risk-takers. Some are under-confident.
When a child asks repetitive questions, we tend to shoo them away either because we are tired of answering the same questions or we fear them to become rebels who question anything and everything. Isn’t that what we have grown up with? Were you allowed to ask questions, raise your doubts or voice your opinion as youngsters? I was not. Every time I opened my mouth to ask something, I remember being asked to shut up or being labeled a rebel. Either by my parents or by an elder in the family or by a teacher.
I shut myself up in my cocoon. But thanks to my habit of maintaining a journal, I did ask all the questions I had. I did raise all my doubts. I did voice my opinion. Of course, without an audience I did not receive any answers for most of them.
But there was just one person who I wish had more time to spend with me. Dad. He answered most of my queries. Silly or otherwise. I wrote to him almost everyday. My letters reached him in bunches of seven to ten. The high cost of sending an Airmail was the reason. But Mom did sent him every single letter of mine. And she did let me maintain my privacy. She would never read them. And Dad took the time to carefully answer every single question of mine.
I asked Dad almost everything that I had in my mind. With him I never had to think twice before opening my mouth. You might not believe me if I tell you that it was my Dad who cleared most of my doubts about puberty and adolescence, even though Mom was the one physically available with me at all times. Mom did answer some of my queries. But I didn’t find any logic in many of them. Because she would tell me exactly what she had heard as a child. But Dad gave me logical answers. Many a times he asked me counter questions to help me find the answers myself.
So, why I sat up early in the morning and scribbled this post is because I read this piece of news the first thing in the morning.
And in this article, the one major thing that caught my attention was this.
“We have always been very vocal in our family and encouraged our kids to do things they believe in,” said Shreya’s mother.
If this 21-year-old wasn’t allowed to discuss openly about her opinion with her family, if she wasn’t given complete support to try what she wanted to, Section 66A of the IT Act which vaguely prohibited us from freedom of speech, would not have been struck down.
It is very important to let our children be vocal. It helps them develop into responsible human beings. It helps them differentiate between right and wrong, what is justified and what is not justified. So while we try to educate them to be polite, mannered and disciplined, we should also let them speak their mind.
Remember, inventions wouldn’t have been possible without minds that questioned.