It’s a big bad world out there for our children, but with the right systems and devices, we can be confident on giving kids a world without fear.
“Living with fear stops us taking risks, and if you don’t go out on the branch, you’re never going to get the best fruit.” Sarah Parish
When we were kids, my neighbors’ kids and I used to attend a tuition class near our home. Well, the tuition center was near, but there was a bit of walking involved, but it too no time as we giggled and chatted our way to and from the class. We felt safe & comfortable with each other. You can say this was among the best parts of our day.
But one day, this feeling changed forever. As our final exams were near, our tuition sir took an extra hour to finish the syllabus. As we stepped out, it was already dark, but that didn’t bother us. We walked along at our usual pace, discussing our post-exam plans when out of nowhere, a man jumped in front of us. We screamed and our hearts stopped for a moment. The man was clearly drunk, and couldn’t stand upright.
He was standing right in our way and we were all frozen in our spots, unable to breathe, let alone shout for help. The man’s shirt was unbuttoned and he started swaying towards us. All of us gripped each other’s arms and a few steps before he reached us, we heard someone shouting in the distance. It was my friend’s uncle, who had come looking for us because it got late. The drunk turned around, saw him and ran as fast as his jelly legs would carry him.
As you can imagine, that was the end of our tuition classes. Our families offered to drop us and pick us up, but the three of us were so traumatized we couldn’t even think of that path again without remembering that horrible man. This also meant that we had to study on our own now, and missed out on some valuable exam tips. We were the ones who suffered – all because of one man and the fear he created in us.
The Cost of Fear
That’s the thing about fear – it can be quite powerful, especially to a young child’s mind. Such incidents can permanently scar children, and create unnatural fears of certain places or situations. Like the quote at the beginning, this fear then prevents us from setting forth and realizing our full potential in life.
According to Harvard University, early exposure to circumstances that produce persistent fear can have lifelong effects on brain architecture. It affects the free development of their personality and stunts the growth of their confidence.
When consumed with fear, our children tend to focus only on it, which makes it grow even further in their minds. Besides being unhealthy for personal development, it also causes them to miss out on opportunities. They may be too scared to go somewhere, like we were with our tuition class. Or they may stop pursing an area they were interested in due to a traumatic event. All this only makes it harder for our kids, and stops them from achieving their dreams. That’s the thing about fear, the more you focus on it, the more it grows.
Fear is everywhere
When our kids are babies, they’re at home all day, and in our sight. But once they start school, we lose that control over their surroundings as they venture out into the big bad world on their own. It is estimated that school age children spend as many as 8 to 9 hours a day away from home.
Besides school, there are extra classes, tuitions, sports or other activities. Along with all this, kids do quite a bit of traveling on their own these days. This is probably the riskiest area, since you have no idea where they are at any given point of their journey.
So what shall a parent do in such circumstances? Well, we rule out personal transport, which means we resort personal driver ridden cars. Whether it’s to tuition classes, a sports event or a friend’s birthday party, our kids are always accompanied by a family member. And in cases when no family member is available, we just trust the driver and the staff at the school or wherever the child is going.
Unfortunately, even this isn’t enough these days.
Child Safety – the Numbers
Study after study conducted in India show how dismal child security is everywhere – at school, on the streets, even within the home. Here are just a few harrowing statistics:
- According to a study by the National Commission for Protection of child rights (NCPCR), about 53%, or one in two children are victims of abuse1
- A study by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation says that sexual crimes against children have increased by 34% in the past three years2
- Sexual offences and kidnapping account for 81% of the crimes against minors3
- Over 90% of abuse is by people known to the child, like neighbours, relatives, house help, school staff or drivers4
Isn’t this scary? But this doesn’t mean that we lock up our kids indoors or keep them safe in bubble wrap – this will damage them in other ways. Kids need to have the confidence and determination to go out into the world and find their place, without any kind of fear or hesitation.
Under such circumstances, it’s only natural to wonder if there was some way we could have our kids in our sight at all times, even if we weren’t physically present. A way in which they’d feel safe knowing their parents were with them wherever they are.
Giving Kids A World without Fear
As parents, it becomes our responsibility to ensure that our kids have a safe environment for them to thrive and grow. We cannot control external elements, but we can control our own surroundings. And that’s where technology can play a huge role.
Is there a device through which parents can monitor the car, while kids are in there with drivers. Needless to say, this will takes care of a lot of stress.
First of all, the kids feel safe that their parents are virtually present, and it also acts as a deterrent to drivers who know that they are being watched. Any attempt to tamper with the device will send an alert to the car’s owner, so disconnecting it is not an option. This way, even if you do hire a nanny or a driver, you can make sure they’re doing their job well.
Our kids deserve to grow and soar, but they can only do so when they live a life free from fear and anxiety. Kids also catch on to parents’ emotions, so if you are worried or anxious, your child will be so too. But with the help of the right tools and proper measures in place, we can ensure that our kids have a safe and beautiful world to grow and follow their dreams.