I don’t want my child to be obedient

Yesterday, somebody called Poohi ‘obedient’ and for some reason, I was more irritated than pleased.

Both husband and I am not too fond of the word ‘obedient’ in connection to children. It gives us the wrong vibes. As if children are supposed to ‘obey’ without reason, the basic premise that a parent has the right to direct a child and the child who is good – obeys – irrespective of whether the parents are right or wrong.

I guess, I prefer the word, well behaved.  That indicates, to me, a child who knows how to conduct herself. Obedient, to me, in my prejudiced mind, indicates ‘blind acceptance’. I am sure a lot of you would disagree with me here.. but for some reason, that is what the word ‘obedient’ conjures up in my mind.

What we want for our daughter is to become

someone who listens, and then decides to listen to reason, rather than just orders.

someone who understands enough to differentiate between right and wrong  and choosing right- even if it means going against the flow, at times.

a confident but not an arrogant person.

someone who will know that she can tell her parents when they are wrong – surely parents are not super humans and despite having the best of interests in mind, we could still be wrong in many many ways.

someone who has the courage to stand up against injustice.

someone who respects others  – not just elders, respects others,  irrespective of age.

someone who can question…

.. and I hope, that we are mature enough to handle her questions (and her criticism ) and guide her forward, the right way.

Can we trust anybody?

As I watched the news this morning, I can’t describe what I felt to this piece of news..

A nursery worker has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and three charges over distributing indecent images of children.

A nursery worker! A person in whose hands so many parents must have left their children. Whom so many parents must have trusted.. So many parents like me.. parents who must have searched, checked every possible reference..

I remember when I went back to work after daughter was born. I had been to countless nurseries.. rejecting most when some little thing did not match my expectations.. nothing but the best.. All for that sense of trust that these people, to whom I entrusted her from 8 in the morning to 6 in the evening – will look after her well, in my absence.. As far as I know, that nursery was exemplary.. had very good reports.. was a national chain… everything was perfect with it – but how can I be sure?   When I saw this nursery worker in the report above.. my heart comes to my mouth.. What if it had been my child? What if there had been just that one bad apple in the nursery ?

With parenthood comes a lot of happiness and a lot of responsibilities as well as a lot of insecurites.. I remember when we took the decision to opt for a nursery as opposed to a nanny or a childminder.. in the hope that a nursery is more likely to follow processes and with the number of people around, it will be more difficult for one person to do something wrong.. With CCTVs and everything  – it somehow made me feel secure.. But when I heard of this nursery worker.. all my fears came rushing back.. Can we trust anybody? How do we ensure that she is alright when she goes to school? What if something happens there? Can we ever be secure in the knowledge that our babies will safe?

PS: I know I have not responded to most of the comments from the previous posts nor have I been able to read your posts .. Been a bit busy.. but could not stop myself from doing this post when I saw this in the news.