Rajee calls on parents to re-evaluate their relationship with their children – all parents love their children, but are they connected enough for children to feel safe to express feelings of embarrassment, sadness, anger and fear? Are parents connected enough for children to not feel judged or criticized even in their shameful, silly, scary moments? #mindfulness #kids
I might have been six or seven years old. I had a friend at my next door. We lived in a village. Everything was individual houses in the long quiet street. My friend had cousins and so we were 3 or 4 girls playing always.
It was the day, I visited my friend’s house and I heard lot of noise from laughing and screaming from their room. I entered the room, I noticed there was a man playing with my friends. May be there were 3 or 4 kids, could have been boys and girls.
At first I hesitated, but then the amount of fun they had right in front my eyes pulled me like a magic force to join their fun. Kids could not know such a fun person could well be an evil to them, I was just a little kid who could not resist from playing and fun.
I didn’t know it was going to make a scar in my young mind and haunt me later at my adolescents.
I know now I was fortunate, it could have been worse or a nightmare that many innocent kids had(have) been experiencing around the world.
We were playing for a little while, I remember I was so happy, laughing and excited and my brain was fully engaged in the excitement. But all my excitement came to an abrupt stop when I realized the man’s hand had reached me in a place that was awkward. As soon as I realized it, I got up immediately, feeling violated, shameful, sad, scared, I walked straight to my house without further word or look to anybody or anything. I was confused and I didn’t understand what happened, but I knew that should not have happened. He was a child abuser. I came to my home and locked myself in the security of four walls of my home, I was so scared. I did not go out to play for 2 or 3 days until I was very sure that he had left. I remember my mom was curious about me imprisoned myself in the home like a chicken incubating eggs (that’s my mom’s term). I heard my mom talking to herself aloud, “Why is she always inside the house and not getting outside and playing”. With whole respect and my heart full of love to my dear mom who sacrificed her life for her kids and always puts the kids ahead of her own preferences, I was uncomfortable with the tone she was using, it was her usual teasing voice with bit curiosity.
I was this little kid who was embarrassed talking about the thing happened to me. I was shy(?) to my own mom from whom I always found warmth. I didn’t know what she would say, I was frightened by the experience. I kind of felt secured keeping it to myself , I couldn’t go running crying to my mom and hug her and knowing deep in my mind, she was going to soothe me and give me the safety and assurance I needed very much at that point in time. I wish I did that and It might have wiped that shameful(just as I remembered in later life) experience out of my budding mind like the rain clearing the writing from a chalk board.
I forgot that event 3 days later when I started to do my usual routine. But it haunted me many times in various forms in my adolescents. It judged my self-esteem and it became the starting point for confusions in my teenage years and opened the door to mild depression which I silently fought for almost 2 decades. Teenage years are tricky, if we don’t have anyone to go to and talk to about what we are feeling and thinking. I was always fighting within myself against myself. It impacted how I interacted/reacted with the outside world and sculpted me in many ways to where I am today.
Why didn’t I go to my parents when a terrible unusual experience hit my little self?
I think, I now know the answer for the question why I didn’t run to my parents telling them what happened? I loved them and I knew they loved me, but I missed the connection to my family. There was no one to go, I was afraid of the unknown consequences.
We need to educate our children about their own body and its functions and teach them the good touch/bad touch. There has been so much awareness among parents at this age. It is very good.
But what about the connection that the parents need to have with their children so that the their children would come to them in embarrassment or sad or anger or frightened and hug them and seeking comfort, having trust that they are not judged but empathized for whatever ugly/silly/pretty/bad/shameful/sad feeling they are experiencing ?
Are we (as parents) certain that our young child, teenager, grown up son or daughter would come to us seeking empathy when they experience any of those feelings without the fear of being judged/criticized/blamed/teased/the parent freaking out ?
Parents are the most loving people to their children (there will be exceptions), But do all parents have this connection/bond to their child? This is a question every parent should ask and find out themselves!