Maira comes home running from the school bus, brimming with excitement she exclaims “Mom Ache din agaye” Removing her bag from her shoulders, with a radiant smile on her face, she starts discussing the day. Initiating the conversation she describes her SST class where the teacher explained them about the Prime Minister of India.
Surprisingly, that day she changed her uniform in no time!
“Mommy, I want to be like Mr.Narendra Modi,” she exclaims Oh! So you want to become the Prime Minister of India?
“No mom, not a Prime minister, I aspire to be like Mr. Modi .”
“Aww! That sounds interesting” I squished my eight-year-old daughter gently, made her sit next to me and started feeding her lunch. She was so overwhelmed that with every bite of her food she was going gaga. It looked like she was too influenced by Mr.Modi's individual personality and most importantly teacher’s words were embossed in her mind.
I asked her politely “May, I know, why do you feel so?”
Her innocence came pouring out, “He has a funny way to make kids smile by pulling their ears. Despite his busy schedule, he takes the time to reply to the letters of the children in need. May it be for ailments of their family members are suffering from or lack of Railway crossings in some villages, which give a pause to their commutation."
Pointing towards the maid she further adds, “Lakshmi aunty now your daughter too can study in a decent school, Mr. Modi has excellent plans in his mind." Lending her ears to Maira, Lakshmi joins us, leaving all the errands of the house “Maira baby teacher ne aur kya btaya?”
“Lakshmi aunty if he meets you in person he will love you, and hug you because you are making his dream of ‘Swachh Bharat’ come true. “Aap unhe Namaste bolna mat bhoolna”, he loves to greet people by folding his hands. “Once he gave a surprise to the villagers by visiting them and offering sweets to the kids. He can visit your village too. He loves traveling!” Said Maira with a big smile on her face.
Caressing her, I participated in the conversation “yes! Lakshmi, she is right! One Diwali morning he went to meet the jawans on border areas. He is quite approachable and humble too.
Recollecting her memories of the Republic day parade Maira prompted “I remember twice he broke the protocol and walked down to greet the crowd for anyone can do Mann Ki Baat with him”
“No my sweetheart he addresses the nation on AIR and DD channel, through Mann Ki Baat. I explained.” “Oh! So, he does his Mann Ki Baat addressing us,” she grinned.
Bedazzled by our conversation, joins my father- in -law from the next room. Holding a newspaper in one hand and spectacles in another. Maira quickly clings to his back and enquire him if he knows about Mr. Modi's innumerable friends, brothers, and sisters in the country. With the astounded looks, dadaji, pats on her back and proudly announces, “No my dear! That’s a confidential thing to know, but I am sure about my grand -daughter knows it all” Nodding her head with innocence she answers “It’s so simple he addresses everyone as ‘MITRON, BHAIYO AND BEHNO’.
In the meantime, the bell rings! Mira goes running to the door “Long time Sana aunty what a surprise! Sana embraces her and is quick to read her mind. She feels sorry for not getting her any toy this time. “That’s okay, Demonetization, I guess! Maira responds with a sulking face. Sana quickly opens her purse and takes out a bright envelope “Here is a small token for you. Buy some chocolates for yourself.” To this, Maira gives a hilarious remark “I hope this is new currency else my mommy has to get it exchanged from the bank.” Everyone has a hearty laugh!
Children are born innocent they, learn what they see. Their love is pure and unconditional. Nurturing them from the tender age by consistent, caring, encouragement and affection makes them confident, strong and a good decision maker. Although they are engrossed in their world of extracurricular activities, school, and friends, they are still vigilant enough to make their mental notes. Learning is an ongoing process, they keep getting enlightened through Active and passive learning methodology. Convergent and divergent thinking also plays a vital role.
Tips to help your child choose a positive role model:
Parents are the first role models in a child’s life- Parenting is a long investment. Keeping the communication open, believing in your child makes a lot of difference. Your actions should speak louder than your words. Set an example for them! Treat others with respect and kindness. Talk about your values and morals. Exposure is equally important! Inculcate good habits and discipline. Self-expression and physical activities also pave the way to build up character and behaviour of an individual.
Teachers and coaches -Teacher’s words are always set in stone. For a child, a teacher means a world! Positive Attitude and Behaviour of a teacher can do wonders! Timely motivation and regular reinforcement can make the child confident enough to achieve the goal.
Friends /Relatives/People - Children learn a lot from their social environment. Always keep the discussion open. Help them choose their friends. Keep a track of their activities and explain to them about different social abuses.
Portray an aura of a ‘Positive Role model’ you wish your child to follow! All the best!