When Rayyan was in SSLC, he had tough time learning Urdu, which was compulsory for him. He was in a school where Urdu was a part of his syllabus. None of us had been exposed to the language during our school days.
Rayyan is mildly dyslexic and has trouble with languages in general. Urdu and Kannada turned out to be tormentors. He is a good student and follows the rules of schools well. He listens to his teachers and tries to learn the way they teach him. But unfortunately, with all their good intentions, our teachers are not equipped with methodologies which help children with LD to learn a language. In fact, we can say, that they cannot handle a child with different needs.
I once saw his Urdu teacher almost in tears in desperation. When everyone threw up their hands and said that there is no way Rayyan could clear Urdu exams, I decided to learn the language and teach him in my own way. I had some knowledge about the alphabets, but I decided to move ahead from there. This was my child, and I was going to help him. One month to learn the language, one month of coaching for Rayyan and he did it. He passed his 10th with good grades, including Urdu.
A person who had a tough time learning the language, Rayyan was highly impressed with what I did. He did not hide his appreciation for me when he held the marks card in his hand. I may have achieved a lot in my life, but for Rayyan, that is something very great.
Yet I was surprised at what he said when he walked in with his Report Card:
"Thank you Maa for letting me know that no matter what the result would be, you will never make me feel bad about it. For all these years, when my performance in languages were not good, you never ridiculed me even when you were so good with languages and could learn it in such a short period.
Today, when all were nervous about the results, I was very confident that no matter what the results are, Mom will find a way out for me. When everyone made me feel there is no life without clearing the board exams, you somehow always said, that is just a part of my life. Not my life itself.
That made a huge difference to me. I am so glad you are my mom and I feel so happy to know you are as glad to have me as your son”.
For me, it came as a shock that I had achieved something bigger than learning a language and coaching my son for board exams in those final months. Somehow, we parents are so result oriented that we forget that children were not just meant to write exams and score good marks. There is so much more to an individual.
Being a topper in my school, many had assumed that Rayyan would follow my footsteps. The pressure was always there, but somehow I could overcome it and let Rayyan be my son and not ‘ME’.
Though Rayyan appreciated what he loved about his mom the most, he did not let go my achievement of learning a language in short duration unnoticed. He mentioned that I should have done something with my skill and ability and somehow showed me a light at the end of the tunnel.
With more encouragement and pushing from him, I slowly began the change. Earlier, I had given up my education and settled down to take care of my family. Now, I decided to take up studies back again. I completed my graduation, post-graduation and took up serious work.
I wanted to become financially independent, a dream which took form when I was 44. People said it was too late to change, but I knew it was not. Today I live my dream. With my graduation, I had enough courage to move away from a coastal village where I spent 10 years, to Bangalore.
I have done many workshops, training sessions and coaching in life-skills for many people, but I know I got my own life-skill from my child who always appreciated my efforts and encouraged me to achieve my goals.
Picture Via Shutterstock
Picture Via Shutterstock