Bringing Up Your Child In His Natural Environment
Sometimes a blessing comes disguised as a problem. A problem which lasts not for days or weeks or months but for years.
Son’s growing up years were pretty tough on all of us and of course for him because he was the one who suffered. He used to be perpetually sick. Always down with some respiratory infection. It used to be so bad and unpredictable that he would get up absolutely fine in the morning but would be down with either cold, cough or high fever by the end of the day. Inspite of all the home remedies, he would end up having antibiotics. Also, one thing which always aggravated his problem, was being in the Air conditioning. Everything suffered. His diet, his activities and his health.
Came his schooling time. We all look for that ONE perfect school for our child where once we put our child in, we don’t have to worry for the rest of the fourteen years. For some parents, it is the school program, for some, it’s the air-conditioned classes and a fancy building, for some it’s the school’s previous track record and reputation, for some it is the school’s philosophy etc etc. And why not? Every parent wants the best for their children. For us, it was the school’s progressive thinking, a comprehensive curriculum, and most importantly a CHILD-FRIENDLY building.
We were very clear, we DID NOT want air-conditioned classes or buses because that would have harmed our son’s health and immunity immensely. We wanted open spaces, naturally created air channels, lots of greens, naturally lighted and aired classes and we got one. Throughout his twelve years in that school, son never ever complained of any discomfort inspite of our extreme weathers. He adapted pretty well. Even during super humid weather, when he used to come home drenched in his sweat, he never complained.
I guess, children at that age are as it is pretty resilient. Also, I feel the various outstation camps that he took right from his class sixth and the fitness programs that he signed for, went a long way in building the much-desired attitude in him. All of this helped him outgrow his problems also. He became physically and emotionally strong.
Came his college time. Those who have their kids in twelfth, would know how for almost eight months these kids are home preparing for the various exams of twelfth and now this covid. They hardly go to school. This time of theirs is mostly spent in their rooms studying with the air-conditioning on. Same was with son. He had gotten used to being in the AC for most of the day. So when admission time approached, he made it pretty clear, “main 12 saal non air conditioning mein rahaa Hoon…but not anymore…I will go to a college which has air conditioned classes…global warming sunee hae aapne?”
He took admission in Symbiosis Noida, which had a centrally air-conditioned building. He was happy but then Delhi University happened to him. For all the obvious reasons, it was Delhi University for him now. We asked him, “what about global warming and your preference for air-conditioned classes? Delhi University has a very basic structure. No fancy building, No air-conditioned classes.” He answered with a grin, “12 saal aese school bhee to gayaa tha na….no problems with me…”
Today, while we prefer comfort over everything, son happily roughs it out. Although Covid has changed things for all us and son has no other option but to drive. However, he never had any hang ups using public transports even earlier. Always preferred taking metros, walking down to the metro stations, avoided cabs, took autos, practiced and performed drums with his band even in non-AC jam pads.
We often used to tell him to take the car or call a cab instead of an auto but he didn’t. Which means, physically and mentally, isn’t he better prepared for the mainstream?
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