This is what my son (in III grade now) told me one evening. I had to visit our doctor for a viral infection, and while waiting there, my son had read this flyer on “tuberculosis” and its symptoms.
So, after our return, there I was trying my valiant best to make him take his medicine, while he coughed a bit and said “Amma! I have tuberculosis! What is tuberculosis??” Being the ‘overload-your-child-with-information’ kind of a parent, I patiently explained what tuberculosis was and went on to tell him that it is no longer the dreaded disease that it used to be. Pat came the next question – “Then, which is the world’s worst disease?” I thought twice before answering that one, wondering whether or not I should gratify his curiosity every time.
That set me thinking - How much of a protective shield can we give our children as they grow?
I have always grappled with this issue of letting children learn life’s lessons the hard way around. While the idealist in me would love for my children to learn from failures, the mother in me instinctively tries to act as a shock absorber every time they fall. But then I tell myself, no child ever learnt cycling by not falling – so, let go.
As my child grows, I know I will have even tougher conversations with him – but one thing is certain, I’m not feeding him the ‘don’t worry, all is perfect’ story line every time because, not all bicycles come with shock absorbers!!