We have always heard that our parents are our first teachers, guide, and friend. They don’t just teach us to take our first step but also, how to deal with various situations in life. Most valuable lessons of our lives come from them. It is essential to be a good parent because your child is your reflection. Children can grasp better than adults, and therefore, it’s necessary to give them the right direction and education.
There are many types of parenthood from authoritative, authoritarian, permissive to uninvolved. You are the best judge on what kind of a parent you want to be.
Although there is no fixed formula to be a good parent, there are a few things that are a must to be an ideal parent and good role model for your child.
Patience is the key
Being a parent is a 24*7 job. With every tantrum and mischief, you get closer to losing your patience. Try and stay calm even during the frustrating times, no matter how overwhelming it gets. You need to find a solution instead of reacting in a certain way that you might regret later. Good parents never lose their patience; they remain cool and calm which helps their children feel safe and secure. Learning how to handle stress and responsibility can help in the long run. Children are innocent and faint-hearted, they need to be treated with love and nurtured with patience.
It is essential to have a healthy relationship with your child, and it starts when you show love and compassion towards them. They learn empathy like every other skill from their parents. When you express your love, they feel important and secure and also, open up to you. It makes them expressive and helps them to share their emotions with you. As they start building trust towards you, they share their perspective. This also helps them to grow empathetic towards others, as well as, it makes them strong enough to cope with stress and failure in future.
Respect and mutual trust
If you want your child to respect you, you need to respect them too. They feel important when they are included in important decisions. It also helps them to differentiate between wrong and right. When they make mistakes, it is essential to make them understand why it is wrong; it helps them build their thinking and not repeat the same mistakes in future. Constant advice can hurt their confidence and lead to fighting. When you do not trust them, you are pushing them to become rebellious.
A boundary is necessary
While being a good friend, you also need to maintain specific rules in your house. Teach them about personal space and keep some limits. This helps them to build discipline and encourage them to maintain a routine. Teach them about the healthy distance one needs to keep with others. Also, do not contradict yourself and break the rules. If you yourself won’t follow them, it will confuse your child and eventually will lose interest in respecting your rules and decisions.
Clear and understanding communication builds a healthy relationship-same goes with you and your child. Good parents never give advice and judge their children without listening to their perspective or their side of the story. Always listen to your child, this will help them to learn the same and they in return will listen to you better. When you maintain a frank and healthy communication, it makes you approachable. They might not feel comfortable talking about certain things, but communication is a skill that every parent needs to learn.
Infano is a platform that aims to impact every facet of a woman's life - health, career, motherhood, lifestyle, and much more. We are a team of like-minded individuals who wish to be a support to women from all walks of life and in everything they do. Our aim, through our posts and articles, is to bring to light the issues and problems that women face in their day-to-day life, to try and make their life a little easier and a little better, provide the latest news updates of women around the world, and to highlight their big and small achievements. We celebrate womanhood each and every day.
Chennai Schools’ #MeToo Movement Demands Better Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy
Written By: Tasneem Akbari Kutubuddin
June 15, 2021 | 09:00 AM |
Many students from across various schools in Chennai have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment at the hands of the staff.
As parents, we need to create a safe environment and non-judgmental spaces for our children at home where they feel free to discuss any small or big issues with us without any hesitation or fear.
Unless we openly discuss topics of sex and make our children feel comfortable in their bodies and help them set boundaries, we cannot expect others to be proactive.
The first step has to be taken as parents where we believe and trust our children’s experiences, question abusers and bring them to task and help the children to deal and heal from their traumas so that it does not affect them mentally and do damage to their self-esteem.
In what can be called as a student’s #metoo movement, a number of Chennai schools came under the radar recently after students from a leading school complained of sexual harassment. Soon many students from across various schools in Chennai have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment at the hands of the staff.
What began as a call out on twitter for casteist statements made by standup comedians in their shows, gathered traction on the social media platform. This escalated quickly with attention turning to educational institutions that are known to be caste exclusive. One of them, Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan (PSBB), a well known school in Chennai, was being mentioned for its casteist nature when the conversation suddenly took a turn with allegations of child sexual abuse and sexual harassment by a teacher came to light through an Instagram handle. These were made by both former and present students.
A revelation and outpour like this gave courage to many other students (old and current) to come out with their experiences of similar stories in their educational institutions. Students of Chettinad Vidyashram, opened up on Instagram about instances of sexual harassment and sexist behaviour, mainly involving three teachers. Student accounts of other physical violations like hitting, intimidation, and harassment within and outside the classroom also were being spoken about.
The alumni of Kendriya Vidyalaya, CLRI, also complained about a language teacher who had sexually abused and misbehaved with them.
Another horrifying incident of a school named Sushil Hari International Residential School, which was being run by a self-styled Godman Siva Shankar Baba also made news this week. The allegations range from molestation, sexual abuse, intoxicating minors with alcohol, showing pornography to minors and even rape. He had declared himself as saying he was “Lord Krishna” and the girl students were his Gopikas. The Baba, bunked the Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child Rights (TNCPCR) hearing saying he had suffered a heart attack. The case has been transferred to Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID).
The Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child Rights (TNCPCR) has summoned representatives from various schools regarding all allegations and the investigations are ongoing. Six schools in the city including three private CBSE schools, one Central government school, one Anglo-Indian school and one international school, are currently under the radar.
How did it come so far?
How did these incidents go unreported you may ask? The most worrying fact is that many students had raised complaints about the staff on several incidents about the inappropriate behavior but their complaints were either ignored or invalidated.
They were told to be ‘overreacting’ and that they misunderstood and made to feel guilty instead. In some incidents the staff member was let off with a warning and continued to teach.
Why is it a matter of shame for schools?
The fact that the schools have not been proactive on the complaints of students brings to light the importance such incidents have on the priority list of the management and school authorities.
The fact that students’ well-being and safety was not the utmost priority and that they have been exposed to such brutality time and again over the decades shows how we as a society have failed to create safe spaces for our children at home or at school.
The fact that there is a lack of apathy towards the suffrage and the effect on long term mental health of the students reflects how we are willing to sabotage the students well being for the sake of reputation and better name of the school.
While we wish more power to the students for finding the courage to speak up even after years of these incidents, we also need now a better system in place in educational institutions and even the society at large where our children are protected and safe from such perpetrators, where they are able to differentiate and call out the wrong doers and a space free of judgment where they can heal.
What are the steps that need to be taken?
Educational institutions must have an inclusive harassment prevention policy. The solution to students #MeToo pandemic lies within the premises of educational institutions which can be achieved by addressing it from the root, says AWARE India an NGO, working on Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. Recently they came up with a 6-point strategy which should be mandated in the inclusive policy.
The proposal of “Inclusive Harassment Prevention Policy” demands:
STEP 1: Formulate an inclusive policy for children, teaching and non-teaching staff bringing together
STEP 2: Set up an independent, effective Internal Committee Board (ICB)
STEP 3: Appoint a CPP sensitized child counselor effective immediately and failure to do so must amount to punishable offence by law.
STEP 4: Monitoring & audit by child welfare officers or child protection agencies every quarterly
STEP 5: Existing staff or recruitment of any faculty member into an educational institution must be subjected to rigorous background investigation
STEP 6: Mandate child abuse prevention and gender sensitization sessions in all educational institutions.
These 6 points are the basic framework around which a comprehensive policy will be drafted after gathering extensive feedback and suggestions from all stakeholders. You can read the detailed mandate and sign the petition here.
The NGO further states that the issue can be solved by addressing 2 systemic problems, which are:
(a) Change MUST originate from redefining ‘School Culture’ where student safety is paramount. As directed by the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, every educational institution must sanction Child Protection Policy (CPP). Members of the organization should include the institute’s board, administrators, teachers, other school board employees, school volunteers, parents, state agencies, law enforcement, and Students.
(b) Institutions should look beyond Good touch-bad touch and inculcate a comprehensive understanding of child sexual abuse. Institutions as a workplace formulate new channels to identify and address patterns and behaviors often associated with adult misconduct. Therefore, necessitating the implementation of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at workplace (POSH) Act, 2013.
Having said that, as parents we need to create a safe environment and non-judgmental spaces for our children at home where they feel free to discuss any small or big issues with us without any hesitation or fear.
Unless we openly discuss topics of sex and make our children feel comfortable in their bodies and help them set boundaries, we cannot expect others to be proactive. The first step has to be taken as parents where we believe and trust our children’s experiences, question abusers and bring them to task and help the children to deal and heal from their traumas so that it does not affect them mentally and do damage to their self-esteem.
Tasneem Akbari Kutubuddin has done her masters in Journalism & Communication and has worked as a senior journalist, editor and columnist for leading publications like The Logical Indian, Deccan Chronicle, Worldwide Media Corporation, The Bridge and Provoke.
With Infano, she hopes to create more awareness about women’s health issues. Suffering with Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, she has also been advocating for its awareness through media.