The rape of a nine-year-old in a Mumbai suburb was no doubt shocking. But what was more shocking is the fact that boys as young as 12 and 13 years committed this. Just what are today's children headed for? Children are playful, but nobody is game to such play. One might say the children would not have known what they were actually doing and the consequences of their act. But just like how children know that touching fire will burn their hands and jumping from heights will hurt them, they should also be given to understand the consequences of crossing certain limits when it comes to getting physical.
The children's parents seemed to be at work when this incident happened. Working parents might not be able to keep their school-going kids under constant supervision if they don't have elders at home. They are left independently when they are not at school. But parents will do well to inculcate some human values in the minds of their children from a young age. This will help children learn ways to overcome their anxiety and stress. Also, some schools have value education as a curriculum which gives children an insight into non-violence and being sensitive to mankind.
If you are a working parent, here are a few things that you can do to help your kid grow up as a better person:
Communicate with your kid: How many minutes a day do you talk with your kid? Talking is not about preaching your kid to study well. You can discuss your day at office or even about your friends. This will enable them to know about the environment beyond home and school and how different people behave differently. Equally important is to give an ear to them. Children would love to tell you stories about their day at school. And discussing about their classes, teachers, friends would be fun for them too. This will make you understand who the child is moving around with and his way of thinking.
Give quality time: Yes, and it's not just the quantity of time that is going to determine your love and affection for the kid. Tell him/her stories and a moral at the end of it. This will give them the power of knowledge.
Display your love: No, it is not going to spoil the kid. On the other hand, if he/she goes wrong somewhere, explain in a friendly and mild manner where he/she has gone wrong and how to improve on it. Telling them about the consequences of their act/s will help them improve themselves.
Visit elders: It may sound silly, but often children don't know how to respect elders. If there are grandparents staying nearby, make it a point to visit them frequently. If they are staying far away, then visit them at least once a year. Who knows, your kid might like his/her grandparents more than you because of the attention he/she gets from them. And grandparents are adored by children for their story-telling skills!
Have at least one meal together: Be it in the morning or night. Please switch off that idiot box when you have food together. Also do pay attention to what your kid is eating. Healthy food is a basic necessity for a healthy body and mind.
Extra-curricular activities: Once the kid is back from school and if there is nobody around at home, he/she might sit down to watch one of those violent films on TV or browse the Internet for possible undesirable contenet. So, see that your kid is kept occupied during your absence by way of making him/her participate in extra-curricular activities like painting, music/dance, Yoga or some sport activity. This will give him/her some respite from his school curricula too.
Avoid fights in front of kids: In case you are unhappy with an act of your spouse, have your fight, but not in front of the kid. As far as possible, do not make him a witness to anything violent – be it in reel life or real life. Otherwise, he will become desensitized to violence.
Take a break: Schools and studying must be certainly stressful for the children. So whenever possible, take a break with your family during weekends and/or vacations.