Actions Speak Louder Than Words


Children are very sensitive. They can sense your emotions even if you say or pretend the opposite. They can easily be disturbed by what would be a normal thing for someone grown up. Although we can manipulate many situations, but sometimes things go beyond our control as well.

I am recollecting my encounter with my daughter’s, 8 years old, class teacher, Mrs. Anuja, whom I met on a parent teacher meeting last Saturday. I was waiting my turn, when the couple just before me were having a word with the teacher. I could not get through the entire conversation but picked up bits and pieces here and there. And what I could interpret was that their son, Dhruv, was a little withdrawn and silent from the last couple of weeks. The teacher was worried and therefore she was asking if all was well in the family. Of-course, all was well between Dhruv’s parents, but there had happened the death of his grandfather last month. And Dhruv could not come out of the trauma. He was very close to his grand-dad, and used to spend a lot of time with him as his parents were busy in their respective jobs. Furthermore, although the parents were trying to console their son by counselling him a lot, they themselves were yet not out of grief. Especially Nandini, the daughter-in-law, was pampered too much by the elderly figure, and so now she was all lost like Dhruv.

So the teacher started counselling them, that actions are more important for kids than the words. “If your behaviour is demonstrating grief, even if you do not utter a single word, your child would be affected. Children can easily pick up emotions. So it is better to accept what has happened, come to terms with it as soon as possible, so that it does not get very long term for Dhruv. He has already lost a grandfather, and now seeing rest of the family members dull and gloomy is further deteriorating his state of mind.”

The couple understood well what the teacher was trying to say, and promised to work out on this. Next was my turn, and as I am a bit friendly with Mrs. Anuja, she started chit-chatting with me as well. She told me how she sometimes saw children, with some psychological problem disturbing them, become totally withdrawn and aloof. She compared children to the petals of a flower, that wither away very soon if not watered properly.

True it is, children are a huge responsibility. Even when they grow up, parents have to continue parenting, it’s just that the purview of responsibility changes. But young children, they are very prone to be affected by emotional shifts. And it is that stage of life, which is the formation of a person’s character and emotional stability. So we must definitely build positive and happy environments around our children. Around our young children. I spent about half an hour that day, just sitting in one corner of the classroom. I saw many children come in and go out with their parents. Every child was a different breed, but some could be definitely seen very happy and chirpy, and some as if under some constant surveillance and fear. We must not scold or burden our children at this stage of their lives, with unnecessary restraints and let them be themselves. Freedom is an important factor in their growth.

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