Being a parent is never easy. While you can afford to make wrong choices for yourself and take responsibility for your actions, you can never afford to go wrong when forming the million impressions on the mind of your child. For it is these impressions which more or less will form their character as they grow up.
My latest dilemma stems from a situation at school. Each new day at school brings home a new story to be told. This boy threw water at me, that girl punched me, that boy hit me with his water bottle, and some boy pushed me while I was standing in line. In all stories there are some things which are common – I didn’t do anything to ask for this, I am terribly injured by this action and Yes, I told the teacher and she didn’t do anything.
While she is not complaining and I know it is nothing serious, yet I sense the need for a solution for these daily problems. The choices seem simple –
1. Follow restraint – It is not good to hit others. If someone hits you and acts bad, it doesn’t mean that you should act bad too. Ignore them and move on. I am sure they didn’t mean to hurt you on purpose.
2. Eye for an eye – If someone hits you, go hit them back. You are strong and you can show your power. Once they know what they are up against, they will never try and harm you again.
Both these choices are right and will stand good in the world of today. The question then is – which one do you recommend to your child? Of course both options come with their side effects –
1. She might be branded as a softie and will continue to get hurt because others will think they can hurt her and get away with it.
2. She can be branded as a bully herself and get reprimanded by teachers, principal and the society.
After thinking about it for a long time, I realized before my daughter reacts to the situation, she needs to be aware that she posses a strong, fundamental power within her. This power is not the power of strength, her Takewondoo belts give her but this power comes from the knowledge that she has a choice she can make. I call this power – The Power of Choice. She can choose to ignore or she can choose to punch the teeth out of anyone she wants. I am pretty sure she is physically and mentally capable of achieving both. Once she realizes she has the power to choose, she will no longer feel the victim in the situation and will be able to stand up and react to the situation not the way I want her to but the way she decides fit.
Since each situation whether at school, on the road or at home is bound to be unique and in all likelihood she will be in the situation alone herself, the sooner she learns to make her own choices and learn from them, the stronger her power will become. Amen!