I’m the admin and founding member of an academic forum called SeniorSchoolMoMs. Today I share with you a discussion we have had earlier, in the wake of recent events.
One of the members, Shilpi Goyal, had posted this question on the forum.
“Maybe this is a wrong time to raise the issue as most of the moms and children are busy preparing for exams. But as the children prepare to move to colleges in a few months what choices should we allow them regarding their outfits, timings, socializing. Particularly after the horrific incidents in last few days, most of us have started getting very worried. Should they be allowed to pursue normal teenage aspirations or do we need to curb them because we cannot change the perverted mindset of our society. Their security is the biggest worry.“
An active member on the forum Dee Ksha had this to say in response.
“It is very subjective. It all depends on the city and institute. Broad guidelines remain. Be acutely aware of your surroundings. Observe and learn for first few weeks. Have local help numbers on speed dial. Don’t leave without your phone and keep it fully charged. There is safety in numbers so of it is late or you are in a deserted area, take a couple of friends along. Text if moving out alone e.g. stepping out to get milk from the market; then text upon return. Discuss or mention anything which is out of place or routine. Carry a whistle and pepper spray. As for attire, wear what you feel comfortable and confident in. Body confidence sends out a strong message. Also dress according to the environment, as there is no point drawing unnecessary attention to yourself especially if you are in a new city alone. Once you have found your feet and a sense of familiarity, you’ll know instinctively what works and what does not. I have always suggested, regardless of that situation, do not let out too much information about yourself. Not until you’ve figured out the people around you. ‘Wait and watch’ always works!“
Another member, Dr-Harmeen Homoeopathy had this to add
“As a parent we are worried about scores and admissions. I feel, one has to train our children in self-defense, for it is equally important. Not only does it develop confidence, but also prepares the teen for the world.“
Aditi Bhatia, another member added,
“I have already agreed with my daughter that the time she gets after exams and before admissions start, she will learn basic techniques of self defense…after all it is important to be pro-active and we cant be with them all the time. Prevention is best.”
My two bits.
“I answer this as a mother of a teenager. The hemlines or necklines are dependent on Your’s and daughter’s comfort level. Also explain to her all about peer pressure. Enrol the child in self defense classes. If she travels alone often, then pepper spray, one touch Helplines on mobile are a must. Curfew timings and socializing are up to you and her.“
When there are ugly animals roaming around, we send our daughters into this world to become champions, with prayers on our lips and sprays in their purses.