Being a child is difficult, and it is also the easiest thing in the world to be. There is a dichotomy here which many adults will understand, having gone through childhood and gone past the stage of being a rebellious adolescent. When you were a child, you were gullible, you would have had “egocentrism” which is basically the lack of understanding that there is an existence of perspectives other than your own, you had self-esteem issues, you compared yourself to others, you once “sweat the small stuff” as they call it for trivial things like not having a properly sharpened pencil, and many more. Your worries were numerous and silly and you never realised it. You thought that being a child was difficult (and hence it probably was in a lot of ways) and you wanted to be an adult as soon as possible. Then reality hits you when you are an adult that a child’s problems are basically nothing and you yearn to go back to those days when you could run around the playground while sucking on a lollipop. Life is as such.
The vivid memories you will have of yourself as a kid is your experiences in school, and you would remember the lessons you learned, both the easy way and the hard way. So, let’s look at the 5 things every kid will experience in school, and these are applicable to children today as well as those back in the day…because some things never change.
Children will not understand the purpose of education nor will they understand how grateful they should be, to be able to go to school and get an education. According to children, they go to school because their parents told them to do so. In school, there might be children who are fast learners and others who are slower in grasping concepts. Children might feel intimidated by academics if it’s a repetitive cycle of not knowing what’s going on and not being able to perform well in examinations.
This is when parents have to realise that what is being taught in school is probably not enough. Parents cannot be in denial, and instead, they need to take quick action. Parents need to accept the fact that their kids might need extra help of a tutor and its okay to send them to tuition. Kids group tuition or home tuition can be immensely helpful if it can supplement their academics from a young age. There’ll be good guidance from the beginning and foundations will be set right.
Children have this innate habit of comparing themselves to others in school and feeling bad for themselves. Dwelling in self-pity is very addictive, it is a visceral space to be in and it is harmful to one’s mental well-being. Children are immature and do not comprehend the fact that everyone is distinct with different areas of strengths and weakness, everyone’s passions and desires are different and that everyone function very differently. Even identical twins have distinct fingerprints. Hence, there is no basis and criteria for us to compare and evaluate ourselves against our peers and yet we still do it as adults sometimes and children do it all the time.
All these unhealthy comparisons lead to feelings of insecurity, which is very unhealthy. Parents need to teach their children that the only comparison that one should ever make is against his past self and never others. Becoming the better version of yourself is what’s important and is the only thing that matters. So what if you are climbing up the ladder and the other dude has a jet backpack?
Children have a foolish yet amusing mentality that they are the only thing that matter in this world. They believe that what they like is what others do too (and if they don’t, they have no choice but to do so), and they do not understand that there’s a world outside their protective bubble which is carefully constructed by their doting parents using materialistic fulfillment and over-protectiveness. This creation of a one-dimensional world causes children’s behavior to take a turn for the worse; they might be insensitivity, be ignorant and never realise how fortunate they are.
It’s okay to dote on your child but there is a limit; you need to know when to say ‘no’. And this will enable your child to be a more sensitive and understanding child in school, which will allow him or her to be a pleasant student and good friend to his or her peers.
Children have the most ridiculous fears and it’s not their mistake because it’s just how nature works. Experience will teach them that there are very few things that are the ‘end-of-the-world’ or the ‘make-or-break’ as they call it. Children will fear some of their teachers at school, fear some students and fear a lot of other things when there is no need to. Parents need to talk to their children and teach them to never worry about the small things and take a lot of it with a pinch of salt. A big lesson, but you should learn it when you are small.
“MY FRIEND IS ALWAYS RIGHT”
It will be highly entertaining when children insist that what their friends in school tell them is an absolute fact (when it actually isn’t). The friendship and support in school will blind children from wanting to find out the truth or myth behind the statements their peers make. Parents should teach their children to be inquisitive and avoid blindly accepting everything that they hear or see.
Children will make mistakes and they will also surprise you in many ways. They are treasures and the future of tomorrow. We need to protect them, nurture them and raise them to compassionate and giving.