You surely know the hardest part of raising a child. Answering their questions is often super challenging. By their very nature kids are inquisitive little critters. From the second they can talk they are on a crusade for knowledge. Apart from few simple answers there are questions that throw you under the bus and/or put you quite gratingly on the spot, they are not so easy to answer. Once Bern Morley was dropping her son into school, when in front of his teacher he decided that then would be a good time to ask her this: “Mum, what’s a dildo?”
The teacher looked at her, his classmates within earshot looked at her. “Well let’s just say that I wouldn’t have minded if the school chose THAT particular moment to set off the fire alarm. Luckily, as I was both time-poor and ill prepared, I calmly told him that I’d get back to him about it later that night and watched as his teacher directed him inside, ever so slightly hiccupping with barely contained laughter” she recalls.
Deepa is a mother of two curiously eager little girls. She works as a leniency to parents of all ages when it comes to answering acutely bumbling questions beetled to them by their young ones. Whenever she tried talking to her daughters about adolescence or child sexual exploitation, she faced a lot of uneasiness, which always yielded jitters and blurring in her kids.
Deepa started up, ‘How to Tell your Child’ in May 2013 in Bangalore, an online platform that creates fun videos and content to educate children about serious but awkward topics in a fun and informative way, be it on matters of sex, periods and puberty in general. It is a freakish yet the most germane startup of our times.
She created friendly dragons such as Ms. P and Mr. P for this platform. These dragons make these definite awkward lessons positive, empowering and even fun to learn.
For instance the video of ‘safety lessons on child sexual abuse’ is an easy 7-minute animated video where Ms. P helps children to identify the bad guys. It also teaches them simple visual vocabulary consisting of 5 alerts–See Alert, Talk Alert, Touch Alert, Alone Alert and Hold Alert. She challenges children to spot perilous plots so they can score their own security armor.
Besides it shares a part of the earnings with Shantamma Ramanna English Medium School every time you buy from them. Situated in Yemmiganur, a small town in India, the school provides its students with education, books and uniforms. They also provide the children with 2 healthy meals and a snack to keep them motivated to attend school.
‘How To Tell Your Child’ runs a programme for schools too. It has 3 modules, with the help of which an organization can certify itself to become child safe. The first module focuses on understanding and reporting abuse. Adults do the workshop at module two to identify and report abuse. Understanding the organization’s policy and taking a pledge for the safety of kids is also a part of this module. Module three concludes with the creation of a clear organizational policy for child safety. All the adults of the organization should comply to this.
Deepa is thinking on the videos in regional languages. “And then of course there are so many other topics that we fall short of teaching our children. I would like to address those as well. We also plan to reach out to children through schools,” she adds, speaking about her future plans.
The website of ‘HowToTellYourChild’ has clearly defined sections for girls, boys and parents. The power to teach children about sexual abuse without teaching them about sex is a way preferred by the guardians. A drill that invokes the worst might have happened, but get help, propel and live a beautiful life. This in turn would lessen depressed children growing into depressed adults.
Now we know awkward is useful. Thanks to the atypical mind of Deepa Kumar. Eyezon salutes all her efforts to empower kids.
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