Children need guidance above all else

Whether children are exposed to the harshness of life, sheltered from it, or simply left to discover life for themselves, most agree that proper guidance from relatives and teachers is the key to raising a successful and happy child:

A potter makes pots from clay. He puts the pots in the shade to be dried, then into the fire when the sun has made them strong enough. He never puts these pots directly in the fire because these pots will break into pieces or will lose their majestic shape. This is the way we should behave with children. They are as mouldable and delicate as clay. Putting innocent children directly into the hardships of life damages them. Their lives will shatter like clay pots or they will become shapeless with no moral boundaries. Children should learn the hardship of life in their own innocent time instead of being exposed to it. If they are exposed to unpleasant things we must explain so as to ease their burdens. They should be dried at first in the shade of knowledge, before thrust into they fires of human suffering. Innocence paves the way to knowledge – knowledge of both hardship and pleasure — which are the two wheels of the same cart of life.

— Raju Lamichhane, Kirtipur

“The child is the father of the man.” How can one be a parent unless s/he experiences the ups and downs of life? Life is full of struggle and new experiences from the day of birth but only some realize this very fact. If parents let their children face each obstacles in their way, giving them the wisdom of their past experiences rather than preaching, then children can succeed in life, and will have the skills to overcome the thorns hidden in the garden. Children should be free to live their life so that they understand that’s its their own life and they are the only ones who must live it. If they are able to face reality at an early age they might find the key of success.

— Samikshya Sharma, KIST, Kathmandu

What I think is that children are better off living in a state of innocence rather than knowing the harsh realities of today. It’s just so natural and it certainly makes sense – a child grows into an adult. While doing so, the child will comprehend right things at the right time. A child should be given some space to think without parental involvement and contemplate the realities of life. If a child is exposed to intimidating and mortifying tragedies at the wrong time, a very negative pattern will be imprinted in the child’s mind that says, “Its okay to be cruel, unjust and formidable when it comes to winning and being the best. Others are doing it, why not me?” Children should be given a chance to think for themselves. The adult that a child becomes should not be a product of influence but is a natural product of the child’s hard work and life experiences.

— Manaslu

Leave children as they are! Childhood is the best part of life. It is full on innocence, love, and enjoyment. All of us cherish our childhood, because we miss innocence upon reaching adulthood. As children grow, they understand the upcoming hardship of life themselves. It is not convincing that they should be exposed to the mire and muck of inequity and unjust competition just because they will face that reality in the future. In the course of their development, children understand things step-by-step. If an adult tries to teach a child about things beyond his/her development, s/he can’t understand all its complexities. Let the children experience life by themselves because learning is best done by oneself.

— Amit Kumar Sharma

Children should not be sheltered from life’s hardship to grow up in a state of innocence – they should be brought up in hardship. Children who are sheltered from life’s more unpleasant aspects may pass a luxurious and comfortable life. but will not know the reality of the world and will not be able to face hardship, as they have no capacity to tackle problems. Those children who are exposed to the mire and muck of inequity and unjust competition may find hardship and trouble at the beginning of their life. However, they would be well trained to learn discipline, obedience, punctuality, diligence, regularity, forbearance, good manner and perseverance, which are essential to good character. With this good character, they will be able to have a good career in the future. Those children of good character can face reality better as adults.

— Mohan Narshingh Shrestha, Kupondol

Children are the future of our country. I personally feel that there should be a balance between sheltering them from life’s hardships and exposure to inequity and unjust competition. I agree that children should be sheltered from life’s hardships in their initial phase (from an infant to the age where they really start realizing what is right and what is wrong). When children are young they should really be taken care of so that they grow up and develop well. When children are small, they should not be bothered about life’s crude ways and hardships because this is the time for them to enjoy life and be protected by their parents and guided too. They need to live a carefree and fearless life without any worries. But there comes a stage in their life that is when they reach their teens and they start to think and realize the ways of life. We, as parents, must explain to them the realities of life gradually so that they become aware of the facts. Once they are adolescents they will understand that life is not a soft “bed of roses” but that it also contains thorns. They will come across many obstacles throughout their life for which they have to be prepared. If we shelter them until they become adults they may not be able to do anything on their own. They may want us to be by their side all the time. In the present scenario, where the world solely revolves around the theory of “survival of the fittest”, we must raise our children in such a manner that they are aware about the stiff competition and reality of life. We must guide while educating them so that they can be able to face life’s challenges and become successful human beings and citizens of the country.

— Geetanjali Gurung, St.Xavier’s School, Jawalakhel