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Values & Education

Role Reversal

Parents are supposed to be role models for their kids, but how often kids teach us valuable lessons too! I attended a parent-teacher interaction at my elder one’s school yesterday. His exams had just got over and the discussion would be about the child’s performance and other things. When my turn came, I introduced myself and the teacher’s eyes kind of lit up when I mentioned my child’s name.


“Oh, so you are S’s mom? I have been waiting to meet you”, she said.

My son is hardly the mischief monger types and the expression on the teacher’s face clearly was happy, so there was no reason to be concerned!

“You have an adorable child,” she said. “And I must complement you on bringing him up so well.”

Felt good to hear, but I didn’t think I had done something extraordinary. Perhaps she was trying to be pleasant, I thought as I thanked her.

“No, I mean it,” she said, as if she had read my mind, “It is rare to see such compassion at this age.”

Now, I wanted to know what she was talking about! But I didn’t have to ask.

“I have a differently-abled boy ‘A’ in class”, she said. “He sometimes tends to get violent, throw things around and create quite a racket. Sometimes it gets difficult to contain him. No one in class wanted to sit next to ‘A’. Every time I put someone next to him, a parent would come requesting that their child not be made to sit next to the boy. It was almost as if they thought his problem was contagious.

It was quite a dilemma for me, because making ‘A’ sit alone, would make him feel alienated and I didn’t want that to happen. That is when you son stepped in. He volunteered to sit next to ‘A’. I saw him help ‘A’ with little things, like turning to the correct page while reading, helping him to work out a difficult sum, or sharing lunch with him.  He even spoke to the class one day, explaining how things are already so difficult for ‘A’ and asking them to stop making fun of the poor boy. The bouts of temper and his tantrums have gradually come down and if he listens to anyone in class, it is your son! I am so proud of him.”

I did not know what to say. But I felt incredibly proud of my boy too! He had just taught me a lesson in compassion!

Compassion. Isn’t that such an important value? When we stop making negative judgment about people we encounter. When we look for good in everyone we meet. When we know that everyone’s journey is different and thus learn to respect their journey. When we realize that we know nothing about the battles they fight. When we know that life cannot be too kind or too fair to everyone, and hence taking time to be kind and courteous to all we meet. When we wish to see that people around us do not suffer.

More than anything, being compassionate is a statement of love. Pure unadulterated love.  

Thank you my little one for one of life’s greatest lessons!

My name is Shubhangi Srikanth and I write under the pen name Titli. I started my blog “the little princess” and it helped me channel my thoughts in the proper direction.
After having worked for more than 12 years in the Pharmaceutical and Banking sector, I now freelance as a content writer for medical and health websites. I have two adorable boys, who have taught me more about life than I could teach them. Being a mother is one of the most fulfilling roles of my life, one that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world!