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Leave them alone

08:00 am | Saturday, 20 June 2015

In sailing, every child learns to think on his feet. Your coach is right there (and so is the rescue boat thank God) but you have to gauge your surroundings. How fast is the wind, in which direction, the physics and mathematics of it, its up to you. Or just go for a headlong plunge, and then promptly climb back on and resume taking control of your boat and yourself.

Isn’t this what our kids lack the most.. taking control. Cause we have all the reigns. Even which friends they should make is governed by the parents so their lives are too much to ask them to take over. Have you ever been to a swimming class. We had compulsory swimming and our teacher thought the best way to teach us swimming was well.....push them, if they don’t drown they will swim. Now don’t get me wrong I would not risk advising you to do this (or will hear from some parent’s lawyer). Today its very different. I heard this mother once screaming at the child for not swimming properly. You see the child was crying because the full 6 year old was swimming for the first time without his float! So childish of it. Well in this case the coach exasperated with the mother asked her to enter to pool to assist him, but sadly she could not, as, well she was afraid of the water ...the coach’s loss.

But take any other sport if the parent by some strange luck does take a back seat, the coach is around to assist at every step. On the sea, he teaches you and then lets you learn on your own. It is so beautiful to see the sense of accomplishment of each and every child that gets the boat back to the shore....I DID IT.  Just one more reason I love this sport.

Sheetal Jhaveri Mehta.
Freelance writer.
Worked with Mid-day as a features writer,  and researcher with the Wall Street Journal Mumbai Bureau