Saturday, February 23, 2013

Leading them to failure in a big glass shell

One day, we were playing tambola at home. The ones who won were jubilant, and the ones who lost.. some of them, the kids, were really sore losers. The biggest heart burner was Quick 5- typically the first prize to be won.

Suddenly, i laughed and said, "If we played tambola like we do grading at school, everyone would get a prize on their Jaldi 5".

A few days later, the gravity of that statement hit me.

The reason the children are sore losers, is not just that they are children. It is also this - Systematically, we, as a society are working to remove failures from their lives. The net result of that is that they also lose the chance to learn coping skills that are so crucial .

Life is made up of failures and successes. its a mix of both. Part of parenting and nurturing children is to teach them how to handle both - success with humility, and failure with resilience. Instead of teaching children coping skills for failure, we, as a society, are working to remove failures from their growing up years. Which is, in one word - STOOPID.

How long can we keep them in this mass glass shelf where there is no failure? where everyone gets a participation prize and no one fails because there are no exams? and when there are exams, we get grades and not marks, so there are no passing marks, and no failures?

And then? And then they enter the "big, bad world" - totally unprepared. This big bad world has dissapointments, and that criminal thing - failure - to secure every job that they sit for, to get every promotion that they want, to get the kind of raise they think they deserve.
And then, 14 year olds commit suicide (we blame the system of course, not the coping mechanism of the child), 24 year olds get stressed, 35 year olds get diabetes and cardiac / BP problems. And adults treat success, not with humility, but with obvious gloating. And failure, not with healthy coping mechanisms, but by blaming the boss, the interviewer, the world, or, best of all, the parents and the spouse.

Here is, in brief, what I am trying to say:
  • Removing failure also removes the opportunity to teach children healthy coping skills.
  • The system is not to blame if your child commits suicide at 14. His/her coping skills are to blame.
  • It is as important to teach children how to deal with success as it is to deal with failure. And gloating or putting other ppl down is NOT  a healthy response to success.
  • When we dont teach our children coping skills, it has definite impact on their health and wellness later in life because we have to deal with failure all our lives.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

bravery awards 2013

every year, as they pass in the parade, i wonder about the stories behind them smiling faces, and wonder why those stories are not published a lot more.

this link above is all one cld get for national bravery awards 2013.