Friday, August 22, 2014

Who Enjoys Those Kids' Sessions - Your Child or You?

Recently I walked into the Crossword bookstore in the mall next to my home on a weekend. It was just by chance as my daughter was looking for something in stationery that we couldn’t find at Staples (which is a big stationery store, just in case). So there was this nook where about 3-4 kids were sitting on the carpeted floor, surrounding a woman who seemed to be handing out some craft materials.

Of course we had to go and take a look immediately. It turned out there was a weekend activity session for kids that would be conducted each weekend and anyone was free to walk in. That particular day happened to be Harry Potter’s birthday (and if any of you has been on my book blog, you would know that this is one series I really tried reading, but gave up after the first book – I think it is best left to my daughter to read when she grows up a bit). So it was going to be a story telling and interactive session about Harry Potter and there was also going to be a cake cutting. Quite interesting!

I deposited my daughter with the lady and strolled through the aisles with my baby in the stroller. It was then that I heard a young voice protesting – ‘No Mamma!!!!’

I turned to look at the origin of the voice.

Just there behind me, in the aisle adjacent to where I was standing, stood a little boy of about 6, with his arms in the air, and his t-shirt stuck over his neck, being pulled out by his mother. Even as I was wondering what the mother was planning to do by making her boy naked in the mall, the lady quickly turned the t-shirt inside out, took a marker (that I realised later she had picked out from the stationery section) and wrote in capital letters on her son’s tee – I Love Harry.

Oh….so that was what this was all about.

If you thought that was all, well, she took that very same marker pen and drew a pair of round glasses, quite the Harry boy style, on her son’s face, ignoring his tears and his red face. He was trying hard to hide his face, but no luck. Even as the poor boy struggled to wipe off the marks from his face, resulting in a quick whack on the backside, the mommy dragged him towards the circle of kids in the activity corner. Once there, she proudly pushed her son to the forefront.

As intended, the lady who was conducting the session looked at his face and tee and commented ‘Wow, we have a little Harry Potter here amongst ourselves today.’ To which the mommy smiled and nodded with visible pride, while the little boy tried to merge into his mother.

In any other situation, this would have been a ‘wow, what a creative and fast thinking mommy’ moment.

Not this.

I couldn’t help but feel bad for the boy. Throughout the session, he kept looking down, trying to hide his face, while his mommy egged him on.

I love getting my daughter involved in various activities and sessions. I love it when she participates, I encourage her to take part in as many things as interest her, and even those that she has never tried out and are new to her. I love it when she tells me later that she enjoyed it.

But not at the cost of her feeling embarrassed or not enjoying what she is doing.

The point of getting your child into such sessions, as to my understanding, is not to prove that you are a great parent who does so much for the child, but instead, to ensure that your child is genuinely enjoying and gaining something back from it.

I have seen the mother and the son many times after that session, and in some of those he has really enjoyed himself.

As for me and my daughter(s), I do take the little one along too, and while the older one loves her crafts and glitters and stories, the younger one spends time crawling and learning to walk amongst books….something that we three really love  :)

- Debolina Raja Gupta

And like I always believe in and say:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ

 Happy Parenting!!!! Be good to your little one, and to the millions of little ones out there who truly need every bit of love and compassion they can get.....Be a grown the little ones.... Debolina Raja Gupta
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