Freedom with responsibility

Children should be guided with care to face and solve problems on their own so they can understand the real world and be confident

Many of us feel concerned but I think it is better to leave children alone. At times when guidance is required, it is the duty of parents to show the path and control them if they are going the wrong way. However, at difficult times, it’s best to leave them, so that they may cope it in their own way. Being conservative and protective may bring negative consequences in their behaviour and way of thinking. Besides, children will get a better insight of life if they learn from their mistakes and experiences. Those who get knowledge from their sufferings will be independent in future rather than the protected ones.

— Nischal Thapa, Lalitpur

In addition to letting them decide what they want to do, children must be aware of what right they are entitled to get and what responsibilities they need to bear. Parents need to let their children decide what they want and how they want to fulfil their desire, but with guidance and support the children may expect from the superiors. This develops in children the confidence and decision making capacity to become a ‘chooser’ instead of simply a ‘user’ of goods and services. This will help grow the children to tackle the real-time opportunities and challenges.

— Basan Shrestha, Ghattekulo Marg

A child should be set free, to think wisely and set own dreams. However due to advancement of lifestyle our new generation is becoming more familiar with the modern technology and are less likely to be social. They don’t want to play and rather spend time sitting on a chair, watching cartoon series, playing thriller games et cetera. So, it is better that parents/guardians take care of the child and keep an update about their activities because at young age they are more attracted towards negatives activities.

— Preyjisica, Kathmandu

My parents say I am still a child and treat me like one. When I feel bad they try to make me feel good, when I cry they try to make me laugh, when I demand something they try to fulfil it, and when I achieve success they praise me with love. But they hesitate to let me do any risky task. I am not allowed to go out without them as they say no one will be there to protect me from bad people. They don’t let me try something new, participate in any programmes or games. They fear that I may fail and if I’ll fail it is a matter of shame. From my experience, I think children should be given chance to experience all sorts of feelings and learn themselves. It will help them build confidence, develop their personality and become bold and fearless. Children need love and care but it should be in limit. When they indulge in wrong activities, they should be given guidance. Instead of giving them physical punishment, its better to make them realise the need to improve their attitude and behaviour.

— Subhamitta

Happiness is a relative term. Thus, one cannot say that they can shelter a younger one from being unhappy. The path of life is the one chosen by an individual alone whether it is a child or an adult. However, as an adult what we can do is to make them aware — aware of the things unpleasant in life. With each passing day, a child learns something new and the experiences that the child holds is what makes him, himself. Experience may be sweet or bitter. Eventually, he adapts to it. So, I don’t think a child should be sheltered from unhappiness, he should be allowed to experience the things he wants  and we should be alert about what he is doing so that if he is in need, we can guide them with wise advice.

— Anisha Tamang, Kathmandu

Life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. When we start sheltering our children then they would be utterly incapable of learning coping skills. When a toddler is learning to walk, he must learn to fall. People die, tragedies happen, people are mean and life is full of pain sometimes. Learning to deal with that pain is essential to knowing how to be happy. I think children need to see the reality with age-level appropriateness. Children are resilient and it would do them more harm than good if we shield them from everything to protect them and their feelings. Doing this would leave them at mercy of life and people.

— Nirajan Mahato, Imadol, Lalitpur

We should not shelter our children from unhappiness but they need to be toughened up. They need to learn about how the world works. It is a universal rule that without unhappiness children can’t understand joy.

— Saugat Thapa, Lubhoo-5, Lalitpur

Children are precious. But I am against all those parents try to protect their children from unpleasant things in life. I am also against those parents who think they are protecting their children from malnutrition, or think that they are providing them so-called modern education but by unfair means. And do you know what children learn on their own? Children start believing that earning money by hook or by crook is very important as their near and dear ones and their parents alike are involved in such activities in the name of their bright future and happiness. Also, those parents who are doing real hardwork for the happiness of their children should not shelter them from unhappiness either. If anything gets worse and unhappiness prevails, children should be left behind to handle the situation by themselves. We should not shelter children from unhappiness by using unfair means. Instead we should let them cope with the hardships of life together with us so that they learn to be compassionate and happy.

— Deepak Shrestha, Nakhipot, Lalitpur-14

For a growing mind there should not be any hindrance. They should be provided with proper care and motivated

to live a happier life because they have immense power and infinite potential. There is the vast difference between children who have grown up in happier life and those who have not. There will be feeling of violence and scarcity when they grow up in an unhappier environment, which can eventually create devastating result. Such children will

always look disappointed and depressed.

In contradiction, some people believe that children should be taught every lesson in life so each suffering gives knowledge and willpower to improve in the life’s long journey. Similarly it has been seen in our society that the person who had the struggling life in earlier age, enjoys better life in the later age.

— Nirmal Aryal, Jitpurfedi, Ktm

We should protect young children from threats but it is difficult to shelter them from unhappiness as  happiness is a very private state of mind. Also life is an individual journey and we must encourage young minds to live it their way, shorn off our thoughts and expectations. While elders can guide and counsel youngsters, there is no guarantee that they will be happy with over protection. At least I was not when I embarked on an individual journey at a young age. Shelter and over protection can also turn children into imbecile parasites. I have seen this in my own family.  I am a strong advocate of giving children a head start in independent living.

— Manohar Shrestha

Life is not as easy as we think. So passing through every thick and thin, every ups and downs we have to learn different lessons struggling ownself. Therefore, to learn from life children must not be sheltered from unhappiness because without the pain, the value of gain is not understood. The value of happiness in life can be known from every grief a person experiences in life.

— Deepa Adhikari, Pokhara

I definitely want to protect children from being unhappy. I want to do so by delivering a lot of motivational views, understanding their problems and trying to solve them correctly. I would like to involve within good activities and try to prevent them from indulging in wrong things.

— Shivang Dutta, Kathmandu

Of course, children need to be sheltered from unhappiness as they are really sensitive by nature. For that to happen, parents/guardians must be responsible as they are the ones who always have to look after children under any condition. Sheltering them certainly doesn’t mean hiding their bad habits and nature. It means giving them food, shelter, clothing, water, education, proper health care and not to forget protection. All families in this world are concerned about children because later on children will return the favour to their families in the form of love, care, support, and protection. Hence, the matter of sheltering children should never be taken seriously but normally as it should be.

— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor

Protecting children from unpleasant moments can make them shy and timid in long term. To make them extrovert, bold and confident children should be trained and made aware realistically, rather than hiding them from unblissful and fearful situation. Such protection makes them dependent on their parents or elders and their problem solving capability might get reduced. They start searching for easy way out to handle any situation without making their own effort and facing realistic conditions. Life is full of lessons in every step — from childhood to old age. So, we should not shelter our children from unhappiness or unpleasant moments. Guiding and loving them is different but making them psychologically strong and independent is a must in this dynamic and competitive world.

— Santosh Bayalkoti, Prayag Marg, Shantinagar

Protecting children from the misery and sadness in present time is like keeping them away from this world. Every senior should guide their child according to the need and demand of the situation. One should help and teach children to cope with the situations instead of sheltering them from the unhappiness.

— Susmita Thapa, Besigaun, Jorpati

The parents of a child in my neighbourhood cared him much. They always told him not to go outside of home, otherwise he may be injured. They instructed him not to play with other children in the community, else they would beat him. They always reminded him that he was weak and couldn’t move off his pace alone. This made him emotionally and psychologically weak and despaired. He thought himself as a weak and worthless guy. As he grew up he closed himself inside a room and remained alone. He didn’t make any friend with whom he could share his feelings. Even in school he remained solitary and sad. He couldn’t feel the joy of life.

Now, for him life is like a boring and flop movie. Is it a kind of life we really want to impart to our children?  Obviously, no.

In my opinion we should protect and guard our children without letting their self confidence fade off. Therefore we should tell our children that life does not always go through straightforward path but it is a mixture of elevations and depressions. We should tell them about likely paths and should prepare them to defend themselves against obstacle. Then only the child flourishes with full enthusiasm and vigour and can enjoy the beauty of life.

— Kamal Kanta Dhungel, Jhapa

The youngest minds are the easiest to teach. It is this mind that can grasp things in ways which is almost impossible later in life. So, children need to be shown what unhappiness is. But unhappy moments make harsh impacts in children’s minds. Showcasing unhappiness needs to be done in the gentlest way possible. There are tons of different kinds of unhappiness in our lives. However, not all are applicable to be shown in a child’s life. Only if a child sees and tries understanding the small problems in a family, only if a child gets accustomed to emotions other than happiness, can s/he cope with such moments. It is preferable to make children aware of these emotions slowly when we can teach them, than to leave them to adjust without any guidance later in life.

— Udipta Bohara, Gongabu

A parent must ‘protect’ a child ‘not shelter’ him. Protection means to guide children to face and solve problems, not to hide them from situations. This will help the children to face any difficulty and act on it with his own sensibility.  Parents can keep an eye on their children but, sheltering means to suppress their originality. Trying to curtain children from all the wrongs will isolate them and disable them from making their own decisions even after growing up. It is true that parents have very soft corner for their children but, it should not be forgotten that if birds do not let their babies fly, knowing that they may get hurt in first few takes, they will never be able to fly.

— Nikita

Children are innocent and  they are excited to try everything on their own. In this process, they might choose the path that leads to unpleasant or bitter experience in their life. So, we should guide them to the right direction but, without hampering their fun and learning process. Too much control and protection will only affect their development process and might also stimulate in cultivating a rebellious child. At worst, it might also end up making them more dependent and indecisive as s/he grows up. A positive reinforcement might do a better job than the over protection technique . Hence, it is vital to analyse the situation first and then decide whether to intervene or just show the better path through guidance and suggestions.

— Asha Manandhar, Gyaneshwor

We should shelter children from unhappiness because they are sensitive in nature. If something is bothering them, affecting them and making them unhappy, we as parents/elder siblings should try to understand what’s wrong with them. After knowing the actual reason we can guide them in a better way so that they can lead a happy life.

— Tejaswi Pahari, Jawalakhel, Lalitpur

Psychologically children are more vulnerable, physically they are fragile and socially they are immature who can easily be manipulated by any kind of exposure. It is both challenging and arduous for the parents and the seniors to keep the younger ones happy in the sound environment. As the children are overexposed to modern technological upheavals, their happiness or unhappiness is likely to be demarcated by the modern gadgetry than the sociological phenomena. At this juncture, the collective attempt must be made to shelter the children from the unhappiness that may possibly be caused either by social or technological changes. Since the unhappiness is a negative emotion, it is often melancholic. It breaks off the sources of happiness and drags the sufferer into frustration and depression. Finally, it may lead the victim to any kind of tragic circumstances too. So, to avert such unexpected situations, it is better to shelter the children from any sort of unhappiness that the children are suffering from. It is a tactful strategy that helps maturing them into a responsible individual. Safeguarding the children from unpleasant emotion avoids a risky zone of their life leaving them into the world of hope, courage and progress. Nurturing the children in the absence of unhappiness is an approach that supplies the necessary moral, ethical and practical norms and values to them.

— Padam Rai, Jaljale, Udayapur

It is not possible to shelter children from unhappiness but that doesn’t mean to let them go the wrong flow. It is necessary to help them deal with their life and their issues. The question is how are we going to make them understand what’s right and what’s wrong. It is necessary to let children explore, expand and learn on their own as they are the ruler of their life. Leading your life with your rules makes a person satisfied rather than living on perspectives of others.

— Dikshya Limbu, Lalitpur

People should not protect their children  because none can live forever. If parents keep on saving us from troubles, we become used to their protection. But life is a learning process. So, to help their children learn and make them strong and confident, parents should not shelter them from unhappiness. This way, they will learn to tackle with every situation on their own.

— Sonika Lamichhane

We should take care of our younger ones and help them whenever they face trouble. Every person learns life lessons on their own and it is a natural process that cannot be taught by any single person. So, abandoning children to make them ready for life lessons is senseless.

— Prakriti Bista, Bafal

Parents should pave the path for children and equip them with self-discipline and moral attributes so that they will be prepared to learn the life lessons. So, a child needs moral and social exercises before taking part  in the race of life independently. Likewise, unhappiness is nothing for those children who can create a positive self-esteem and who  have learned to co-mingle with critical situation. Therefore, it is necessary to shelter children from unhappiness by offering them with proper foundation, moral values and positivity.

— Anuj Thapa

Children are likely to be influenced by the environment in which they live. They are not mature enough to distinguish the right and wrong; and may indulge in mischievous activities. Due to the lack of proper guidance of parents and elders, they may fail to be an organised person. As a result they have to live an unsuccessful life. Hence, I believe every child should  be sheltered by the elder members of the family. Though pain and unpleasantness are lessons to  be learnt and faced by everyone in their life, children are not strong and ready enough to tackle them by themselves alone.

— Bal Krishna Niroula, Balkot