CBSE Indore branch has directed all schools affiliated to it in the city to become “anger-free” zones. According to a report in The Times Of India, the board has suggested practices such as genuinely smiling at students and teachers, talking to students and everyone in the vicinity calmly, not looking at phones constantly, practicing mindfulness and breathing exercises, etc, to bring about the change. What’s more, the board has encouraged not just students and teachers, but management staff and parents to help make these schools “anger-free.” In a world constantly on the verge of one outrage or another, it does seem like a good idea to inculcate virtues of patient and politeness in students. But then is it just the responsibility of schools to impart these virtues to children?

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • CBSE schools in Indore are set to become “anger-free” zones.
  • Teachers, parents and management staff will all be expected to manage to speak and behave politely and with a smile.
  • Schools will encourage practices like smiling at each other, breathing exercises and practicing mindfulness, etc.
  • But is it only the responsibility of schools to condition children to be polite and pleasant.

 In a world constantly on the verge of one outrage or another, it does seem like a good idea to inculcate virtues of patient and politeness in students.

The initiative to make schools “anger-free” is appreciable. Hostility is almost a habit in the world that we live in. As a parent, I cannot help but observe how difficult it is for children to escape anger, not just of their parents but of their peers as well. They see dads swear in anger while driving, moms cursing on the phone, they see outrage and violence on news, in cartoons and it is no wonder that they imitate what they see. In schools too, they have to bear with a teacher’s anger over incomplete homework, or mischief. Do we adults realise how harmful this toxic exposure to adult outrage and fury can be to young impressionable minds? Our kids are either internalising this anger, getting scared and upset over it, or they mirror what adults around them do. Both these situations are unhealthy for them.
Since schools play a crucial role in the overall development of a child, it makes sense that initiatives are taken by various boards in our country to ensure that children know how to dodge excessive anger that is omnipresent. Practicing mindfulness and seeing adults talk politely around them, with a smile on their faces can for sure help them embrace these virtues.

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Having said that, must the burden of weaning children off anger lie solely with schools and teachers? This is a problem I have with many parents, they thrust the responsibility to discipline or develop the character of their children solely to the schools. They want teachers to tell their children to stop fighting, or watching cartoons, or eating junk food. “They listen to the teachers, not us,” I hear many parents say. At most our children are at school for seven hours a day. What about the remaining 17 hours? Are parents not responsible for overall development of their children too?

Raising children to be good citizens and people cannot be just schools’ responsibility. As a society and as parents and family members, we are all accountable for the future generations of this world.

How many parents make it a point to not shout or use abusive language in front of their children? How many of us mind what we watch on television while our children are sitting with us? Do parents encourage their wards to be polite to other children? If a child has serious anger issues, how many parents opt for counselling without any inhibitions that are bred by social stigma?

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Raising children to be good citizens and people cannot be just schools’ responsibility. As a society and as parents and family members, we are all accountable for the future generations of this world. This is why we must make a collective effort to tone down our anger. The outrage that rages within our hearts is infectious and overwhelming. It is eating into our sanity and rationality. It is also eating into the innocence of our children. Just like the schools in Indore we must make efforts to make this world “anger-free” because anger is incapable of bearing any solutions, it can only breed hostility.

Pic credit: The Hindu

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.

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