Last week we took Kanna to another session of his tennis class at the leisure center. I fondly looked at my boy going out in the court and acquainting himself with his new teacher. As I took out the book which I was reading and made myself comfortable in one of the chairs, I noticed this boy from the previous session of the day sitting at the viewing side of the court. He kept watching the door. The growing impatience on his face was hard to miss.
I assumed that his parents were late to pick him up after the tennis class and he that he was waiting for them. After almost five minutes, I couldn’t help myself and went on to ask the boy if he was waiting for his parents. He replied yes. I asked if he would like to use my phone to call them up and let them know that his class was done. He said that he didn’t know his parents’ phone number. There wasn’t anything else I could do. After ten more minutes his dad came and the boy left.
In the above incident, everything turned out to be fine, but not before putting the kid in a nervous situation. That boy would have been more relaxed had he had his parents’ phone number, if he could talk to them over the phone, and gotten the assurance from them that they are on their way. Ideally, parents should stay at the court side when the children go about their practice. But at times we won’t have the luxury of time, forcing us to drop our kids for their class and pick them up later. No parent would want to put his/her child in a tensed state driving them to the verge of tears waiting for the parent.
When this boy, who was around ten years old, said that he didn’t have his parents’ number, I was very surprised. Because kids should know their address and important phone numbers, especially if you are going to leave your kid in a place like the sports center on his own.
My six year old kid knows our home address. He is yet to learn our phone number. We started teaching him our address when he began his school last year. It wasn’t like we were going to leave him anywhere without one of us being present. But since he started spending more than six hours at school without either of us around him, we made him memorize our home address even though the school has our details. And the dependency on public transportation encouraged us to make sure that our child knows our address just in case anything undesirable happened.
The incident at the leisure center made me think that even if kids can’t memorize the contact details, they should be given all the details, which goes a long way in keeping kids safe. Write the phone number and address on a piece of paper and leave it in your child’s bag or pocket. Of course, the hope is that they will never have to use it but one can’t be too careful, can we?
Vinitha says – I am an ex-Software engineer turned into a Stay-At-Home-Mom with a love for words. I secretly wish to be called a writer. You can read my affair with words at Void Thoughts and Reflections…