Information is everywhere..

Information is everywhere..

Isn’t this too much for maya?

When I posted a reel on dowry death with Maya, who is 7, some comments sounded like this.

Isn’t it too much for your child??

I’d like to also pinpoint that most people who have these questions are not parents. Not all, but majority. Why? Because non-parents have no idea how a 5, 6, or 7 Yr old thinks and talks. When I was not a parent even I didn’t know kids are so smart, observant, and sharp. Just playing with them for an hour and living with them 24/7 is different. In fact, as a kid, I was sharp too. Just that my questions weren’t answered clearly by adults around.

Truth be told, The things these kids observe, the way these children can articulate, and how they understand their environment is something so fascinating that only parents or people who live with them will know.

Also, for people who have such questions- I want you all to think about this – what is too much & too little these days?

1. Adult conversations- Kids are watching & hearing adults
Have conversations every day. And what do adults talk about? Just about anything. Conversations between partners about work, about your arrogant boss, about nagging relatives, about social issues, about TV shows… Most of the time, having absolutely no idea how much the child is learning from it. Don’t you think when the parents discuss dowry deaths, the child won’t have a curiosity to know what it is..?

2. News channels – In most households news channels are on at least 30 min every day. Imagine when your child or teen is having their dinner, or playing on their phone, or writing homework, won’t they notice when there is a burning issue that’s being discussed? Do you really think your 5 Yr old or 8 Yr old hasn’t come across the words dowry, acid attack, abuse, rape, harassment, death, etc? Do you think only Maya heard of dowry death and not the kids in the millions of families that play news channels? 😅

3. Society – On Nov 30, when I and Maya were on our way to get a haircut, she was reading boards on the road. Maya asked me – Amma what is AIDS? I was shocked for a moment. Then she showed me a poster on a hospital wall- It was written – World Aids Day. I told her it is a disease. Did she ask, like corona? I said yes, but it is a bit more dangerous. So there’s a whole day when you talk to people about how to stay safe from this disease. And that day is tomorrow.
Maya – Oh… OK, ma.

Are you all aware that kids are observing all the advertisements around? Sexualized images on Movie posters? Condoms kept on the shelves in the department stores?

4. Home environment- Are you keeping all magazines and adult novels and books away from children? Are you making sure you watch 13+ movies, and Netflix content only when your 5 or 6 Yr old is asleep? You are sure no music channels are on throughout the day? Are you sure when you have relatives come over for tea, no one talks negatively about people? Do you make sure your family members do not body shame you or your child? Are you sure the content in your phone is not fully accessed by your child? Are you sure your child doesn’t know where your sanitary napkins or condoms are kept? Are you aware of what your child hears in the playground while other older kids or adults are around? What if someone is talking on the phone around them and says, I asked them to fuck off, or her boobs looked amazing in that dress..? Are you sure your child won’t be curious to know why..?
So, those who think – isn’t this too much for a child?
My advice – Don’t live in a well..!

Children watch, read, observe, listen & experience so many things. What matters here is not what they come across. Are you willing to have open conversations on just about anything, so they feel they can get back to you if they don’t understand something, Or need more clarity on something.?

And your job is to simplify concepts according to what they can understand. Not to tell them- They don’t need to know about it now and then shoo them away.

They’ll get disconnected from you!

If they shouldn’t have known about a certain concept, you should have raised them in a jungle. Unfortunately, they live exactly where you are. Absorbing whatever comes your way & their way. Be ready to answer anything they ask about. In a short and sweet way, based on what they can grasp for their age & understanding.

And stop telling me what is too much or too little for my child. Because you are not living our life. I decide what to talk to my child based on what she wants to know.

When I start living based on what you think is right, I’ll let you know.
Then you can come advise me.
Until then, learn what you can from me & my experiences, & if you feel something is too much for you, DON’T TALK about that to YOUR child.
Simple no? 😁🙌
Swati Jagdish
Sexuality health educator
A parent who decides what’s best for her child. 😊❤️

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