In Delhi, searching for a good school is a tedious exercise, the Right to Education enacted by the Government, notwithstanding. The whole exercise – on average a parent submits applications to close to twenty schools – all to be submitted physically, then they visit each school expectantly for the admission list- it is so tiring that once you land your child a seat in a good school, any school, you feel your job is done.
What is the point of the expensive school if they are not going to take the entire responsibility of raising the child -transforming her into a well-educated citizen? I had to let my child be taught entirely in her school, while I would land myself on the couch in front of television, after the office, to enjoy my moment of bliss, having done my duty as an indulgent father by finding her a good school.
An acquaintance whose child also studies in the same school as my daughter, always expressed concern that their child was not learning much and I would ward off his worries, assuming him to be a paranoid father. The school will have a modern looking hypothesis to support the slow learning of the kids and why kids were playing on their own most of the time in the school. They claimed they were giving kids space to grow. I was woken out of my blissful slumber last week, when my daughter requested that she needed a study table and chair.
Once I had stationed her on the newly bought table, I could not help but bring in some activity books to go with it. And once in, I placed it in the bedroom, so I could watch her as she sat down with all the seriousness on the table to study. I could not help but notice the difficulty she was facing, when working on numbers and writing down some of the alphabet. Failing to write down the number five, I felt she must be kidding and shouted.
The shout came back at me with twice the force as her eyes welled with tears. I got up and hugged her and could immediately feel the helplessness, arising out of lack of knowledge, preventing her from pleasing her father, which she was so hard trying to do. My heart broke, one for letting her out, leaving the oars of this little boat to the school, and more so for distrusting her, not believing that she did not know.
She did learn to write 5, after half an hour, but that is not important, what is more important is that I learned a big lesson, rather, two big ones.
- One: The school, no matter how good it may be, is not a father. They do it as a job, you do it as an act of love, for them it is science, for you it is Art.
- Two: Trust your child, listen closely, very closely. Your child can not speak to anyone as honestly, as truthfully as to you. You have to respect that transparency with complete trust. Your are the world to your toddler, and the world is merely a prop for her. If you don’t listen or don’t trust what he/she tells you, you are alienating him. Believe her, and let her know that you believe her.
This is going to be staying with your kid for the entire life-time. She will know that in front of you, she can be vulnerable without the worry of being weak. Vulnerability is a fact, and weakness is the environmental impact. No school can do it for you. Create a home school for your child, no matter how good a regular school she might be going to. It is not only for academics, it is for how she will grow as a person.