Ms. Raheen stressed on the importance of honesty while working with a child. Children have a tendency to become attached to any person who gives them the requisite care, love and affection needed to win their hearts, however short the time period. In such a circumstance, it becomes vital to explain to the child the sudden absence of a volunteer or replacement with a new, unknown person.
She warned us of over enthusiasm, encouraging us instead, to listen more than talk and observe not just the obvious, verbal clues to a child’s personality but also the more subtle ones. A refreshing point that was brought to our notice was the necessity of knowing when to give up in case a certain child seemed unable to respond or take to your personality. As frustrating as it may seem, children may harbour extreme likes and dislikes, leaving a volunteer with no choice but accept the situation as beyond remedy and move on.
However the essence of the workshop could be summarised in the inherent need to trust your instinct. As we learned that day, taking care of a younger person, being sensitive to a person’s needs and background cannot be taught in the four walls of a classroom, it must be acquired through experience, through a keen sense of observation and through an earnest desire to be able to help. Working with a child implies an immense responsibility, the responsibility that you undertake with the power to shape a life, the power to influence a budding mind, the power to bring a little light into a life that has probably seen more than its share of miseries. You could be careless with this responsibility, decide that it doesn’t amount to much and let the consequences follow or you could make a conscious decision to care for the child, respect the trust placed in you and to honour the duty you have committed to.
- Nikita Saxena (SYBMM).
Project Secretary, Workshops.