Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A question on drawing

I met a kid I know after her Board exam. “It was super easy,” she said. “Everyone cheated.”
We all laughed. That was funny. And then sad.

It took me back to my own student days. I remember an exam where I squinted hard at question no. 29, all the while being prodded by someone’s foot from behind, getting a loud whisper from the left, and a dig in my ribs from the right. The 2 students ahead of me had their heads joined into 1 big solar eclipse.
Did I cheat?
No. Maybe…. Yes ! Once or twice. Or maybe thrice. To help out a friend in need. Or just to be cool, and ‘with it’ and ‘with them’.

It took me to the future too. What am I going to tell my own little boy? To draw the line? To be honest, and then get shredded to pieces outside the class by his mates? Will I sweep up the pieces, cello-tape him up and tell him I’m proud of him? Or will I tell him to go by his instincts? To go with the “flow”? To do what he wants to do?

No, I will have to say No. Not once. Not ever.
Because I’m not his pal. I’m his Ma.
Because I first put that pencil into his tiny hand. And now, if I don’t teach him to draw the line, who will?

18 comments:

  1. Nothing like surviving a crime unpunished to convince you it isn't really a cime. So, my prayer is that if my kid goes there, I hope she gets caught the very first time.

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  2. hi jane this is vikram.awesome blog and i think it rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. Hi jane, brings tears to my eyes. I remeber those days. Check my new post at, may be has some answers to this indirectly : http://emotionalparenting.blogspot.com/

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  4. vikram - a 13-year-old's "awesome" is a compliment i (and my blog) will cherish for a long long time !!!

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  5. I tried drawing the line in school, but it got blurred through the lens of the report card. stopped drawing lines since. now i write them ;)

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  6. your blog is extremely interesting - tongue in cheek. Today's post is an exception though. It is a disturbing topic, and I disagree with your conclusion. Having cheated yourself, as you admit yourself, you cannot now sit on a moral high chair. You must train your son to perform in reality. And life has no rules.

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  7. well have we all not done something that we would never want our children to do!!and sure our parents would too have have had the same feelings... but you, me and if I can all our friends (guys my honest opinion)all turned out be good people (and yes we all also have our flaws)...

    So just teach the little ones the best we know and then let them find their way out in the world.. and i am sure they too will do things that they wont us to know or later their children... but atleast they wont go harm others or worse....

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  8. nice one jane. education is a farce. well... the way it is practiced for sure. write wut is true as long as you know ur lil one will leave a comment like vikram, and soon.

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  9. First and foremost...I love the way you write...I had already checked out the post and infact even read it out to Supreet. I agree with you 100% in your viewpoint. But, I am also scared...my parents raised me the right and proper way...be honest, be good, admit fault, say sorry....all of that. But, growing up I often felt a misfit for walking the straight and narrow while I watched others leap frog to positions I deserved...
    I just hope that I don't end up making my kids feel the same way when they grow up....I want to teach them everything my folks taught me but I also hope they grow up to be a little more street smart then I am!!

    Hey, I also updated my site.... www.artbyaarohi.com do see it when you have time...new section on kitsch with all new work.

    Cheers,
    Aarohi

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  10. well said Jane. I agree completely, as parents its up to us to teach our children what is right and where they should draw the line. Whether they are able to internalise the message and listen to what we have to say is another story. Personally thats what I teach my 10 yr old: its great to be popular amongst friends and be "cool", but I ask him to remember that their definitions of "cool" and popular keep changing. Mom and dad on the other hand have already specified what they think is really cool and rarely change their mind...so a brief popularity amongst freinds is hardly as rewarding as being a hero in our eyes! This works for now, is all I can say! I have a feeling the real challenge is yet to begin!

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  11. he he he... u cheated jane "auntie".. lol

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  12. It's all in the genes dear... so just pray they've got more of S's... hee..hee..

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  13. Hey Jane great topic, but I 100% disagree with the conclusion!! I believe in balance and openness as a parent and more importantly as a friend (that's what I want to be with Kiana). If we keep telling the kids to draw the line on all underhand activity they will only find in-genius ways to do it and be very good at it. There are certain rules for sure but rather than impose them why not discuss them and give them the confidence to be able to speak to you.

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  14. bobby, i think neel has enough friends, what he needs, and will not get from elsewhere is a 'parent' - and i find myself increasingly playing 'bad cop' - saying NO, because it's important to me that he learns what is good, from bad (or acceptable). whether he hates me for it, or not, i need to take a stand, because there are too many grey areas in life today, and i see too many people capitalising on them.. i want to raise an honest young man, :-) much more than merely a popular young man (which he already is, without any of my help) - great exchanging views with you, tho, on this

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  15. leela_shaju@hotmail.comApril 13, 2009 at 10:08 AM

    Hi Jane...wanted to share this with you....my son(was 13 yrs then) came to me after his Half-yearly exam and asked me,"Amma,what should you do when you see someone cheating?"Believe me,I had a tough time figuring out what to say.My answer was-"Understand that it is wrong."I completely second your thoughts.As parents,we need to create responsible human beings...I told Achu-"Son,in life you see many things that are not right..and if you are able to identify right from wrong,that is a good beginning.Because we may not be able to correct others but surely ,we can keep ourselves from doing what is wrong.Cheating is wrong.FULL STOP."Left it at that.

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    1. Wouldn't expect anything else from you, Leela.

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  16. Nice post, I never cheated, nor did i do well, my mum a teacher was embarrassed that I would scrap and pass each grade... But she always told me ... If you're gonna fail ...fail with dignity style and pride. :)

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  17. Proud of your mom. They don't make them like that any more!

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