Senin, 17 Juni 2013

A Child-(Un)Friendly Community/Nation: Part 1

Image (retouched): aconcordcarpenter.com
Being a mother, makes me aware, how we see children in our community.

Let's start with the smallest unit: family. I believe, today there are much more parents who treat their children as individuals. Children have the right to express their thoughts and opinions. But sometimes we forget to let them play a role on special occasions, even special family occasions  Many of us think, what can a child do? Yes, children often make disasters, but if we don't give them opportunities,  how can they  learn to do the right thing or to be confident?

I remember, last year we had a birthday lunch in a restaurant. It was my mother-in-law's birthday.

"Let me say the prayer," my 4-years-old daughter offered herself.
To her, saying a prayer for adults is an important role. She always feels happy and is proud to do that.

Instead giving her the chance, my father-in-law did the job. It was understandable. It was his beloved wife's birthday. A very, very important day. He had to say a prayer of thanks.

But, my daughter felt disappointed.

Yesterday, we went to the same restaurant in celebrating my mother-in-law's another birthday.

"You say the prayer," my fahter-in-law asked my husband.

"Me, me, me!" shouted my daughter, defending her right to say a prayer.

"Okay. You pray first, then Daddy," I said, trying to fulfill her wish.

She agreed and began to sing her prologue, a short song, then said her very simple prayer, "Be with us, we want to eat. Amen."

A very short prayer that means a lot to her.

Very often we also neglect the fact that children have feelings. too. We ask children to apologize for their wrongs, but we don't want to say sorry for our mistakes.

Some relatives asked my daughter to be one of their flower girls, at the wedding in the morning and at the reception at night. After having carried out her first task, my daughter refused to take a nap. She was very eager to be a flower girl again.

But what did happen that night? The event comittee cancelled the task without telling anything to us. I was so disappointed and very angry. I didn't want to come twice a day if only they didn't ask us to. What made me angrier was that they didn't say sorry, especially to my daughter. Not a single word, until I sent an SMS, telling them to say sorry to her.

I myself, sometimes forget to say sorry. Then my daughter will remind me, "What do you have to say to me, Mommy?" 

Feeling ashamed, I'll say to her, "I'm sorry."

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