We send them to school at age of 2, and so that they can get admission into these 'portals of learning' we send them for preparatory classes well before age 2. We attend 'practice interview' sessions so that we can boast that our children are in this school or that. Chances are this school for which we have stolen practically every childish attribute is a box with no playground or a tiny one, maybe, where the children are taken in a scheduled period once or maybe twice a week for 'games'. And so, when the child is supposed to play and sleep and freely wander around in the fantastic world he/she can create naturally, we bung them, sometimes 30 to a class, into rows and columns and shove 2 languages, Math, Science, and Social Studies down their as yet unformed throats.
We have become experts in dulling their sparkling eyes by taking away their world of fantasies. We have stolen their natural ways of sharing by thrusting them into competitive zones which they cannot even begin to comprehend. And, before the child is even conscious of himself/herself, we have stuck labels on them. We scold them, we yell at them, we beat them (never mind that we are not supposed to use corporal punishment) because we do not know how to deal with them, or even talk with them... let alone respect them as individuals in their own right... and all because we have put them in a place they are not even meant to be at age 2 or 3 or 4 or 5.
We don't give them time or space because, why they have to be better than the neighbor's kids and somehow, instead of being a source of strength for them, we link our sense of self-worth to these fragile, beautiful minds. We won't let them flower because we need to be 'up there' in society.
When they get caught in lifts, or are molested, or lose their hearing because some 'teacher' has boxed their ears, or have wheals across their faces, we, the adults take out all our frustration in the media... never mind the pain of the child... what pain?... what child?... If they take their lives, we quickly blame the system little realizing that we have created this system. Since most of the schools are 'corporate' run, they have the money and wherewithal to either silence the parents or fight them in court. Society goes up in arms briefly but then... well... why get involved...?
After stealing their time with Nature and 'educating' them by stuffing their heads with reams of information and digital data, we wonder that these children - and I will call them children for technically they are still children - have skewered, digitized brains, and prefer to hang out in shisha dens, pubs, and bars, and internet cafes, and haunt malls.
Do we ever ask children how they are feeling? What they think of this, that or the other? Do we stop to take their opinion on something of importance? Do we recognize that they may have feelings/opinions/thoughts? Do we spare a moment to think of how the child who has been hurt, or who has died, or whose dignity has been violated, or who has been humiliated by some 'all-knowing' adult, must have been feeling? What thoughts go through these as yet unformed, hurt minds? Do we identify with their suffering? Do we consider their questions important enough to answer them? Do we acknowledge that they may have a point in the suggestions they offer? Do we take them seriously at all? Do we even know who they really are?
Each child is so precious... What are we doing to them?
And all they need is unconditional love...