Shield your child

By Julia Fernandes

September 21, 2011


Two recent news reports left me a bitsad. One report was on how two teenagers (both 16 years old) admittedto having being inspired by crime-based television shows killed and robbed asenior citizen in Mumbai. Another report I came across today was on how modernday pressures are causing alarming rise in suicides among kids.


Both the reports have one common factor -- children harbouring and eventually succumbing to negative tendencies to theextent of either ending their lives or taking somebody else’s life. So, whatexactly is driving our kids to the edge? Childhood is the time of joy and wonder, of playing, studying and dreamingtowards a wonderful future. What is it that is robbing our children of theirinnocence?


Is it the explosion of information constantlybeing thrown at us? While reality TV shows place exaggerated emphasis onsuccess and money, we have crime-based television shows that provide graphic accountof how crimes can be committed. Not to mention the news channels thatconstantly harp on negative news such as bomb blasts relaying disturbing imagesof the blast sites as and when it happens.


As an adult if these things can disturb meone can imagine what impact such information could be having on kids? Children lackthe coping mechanisms which adults have. They are unable to process the plethoraof information coming towards them. Inevitably, then end up subconsciously absorbingmost of what they see and hear. Later on, depending upon their overall emotionaland mental makeup, such information leads to negative behavioural changes.


One of my colleagues had bought his cute3-year old child to our office. When the child entered the office the firstthing he said, clutching his toy tightly to his chest and walking in adetermined way, “Papa, I want work.” He kept saying it two or three times. I wasa bit taken aback. Now, why would work figure in a 3-year old’s wish-list? Somethinghas given the child an impression that work is a very good thing and that isprobably why he is asking his father for work!


Which just goes to show that what wediscuss and how we behave in the house greatly impact our kids. Today, childrenare growing up seeing both their parents working with little or no quality timefor them. No amount of material things can replace a parent’s undivided loveand attention. Unfortunately, parents have everything to give to their kids excepttheir time.


As parents it is not enough to ensure the physicalwell-being of your child. Take care of their emotional and mental well-being too.Listen to your child. In a child’s world even the smallest things matter a lot.Observe and note changes in their behavior. A little alertness in addition todollops of love and care can go a long way in shielding your child fromnegative tendencies.