Schools, parents prepare to counsel teens
‘Into your hands, O Lord
We humbly entrust our sister...
Deliver her now from every evil
And bid her enter eternal rest.’
With these words a few friends and acquaintances created a community for Aarushi Talwar on the social networking site Facebook. A month after her death, the community boasts of more than 14,000 members some saying how they feel for Aarushi, others explaining how the teen’s brutal murder has brought them together.
People from diverse backgrounds are following the case closely, including teenagers curious about the crime. It brings us to the dilemma of the best way of dealing with the less-mature-yet-overly-curious children. Is it wise to expose them to the harsh realities of life? Should they be told whatever the media is more than willing to share?
“As parents, it is our responsibility to talk to our children. They are exposed to numerous sources of information. So they’ll get to know about the case anyway,” says Neelakshi Barua, mother of Neesha, one of Aarushi’s closest friends. Neelakshi says the initial few days after the murder were tough, but her daughter is gradually learning to deal with reality.
Schools in the city are gearing up for the post-vacation session when children will meet each other for the first time after learning details of the murder. Teachers, too, are doing their bit to handle the situation delicately. Aarushi’s class teacher Darshan Sodhi is prepared to face a barrage of queries. “I’ll talk to students as a mother would and hold a prayer meeting in Aarushi’s memory on the first day of the session.”
Mount Carmel School Principal N.M. Williams says the school is ready to tackle queries related to the case. “Our counsellors assist teachers in dealing with such sensitive topics.”
Neeta Gupta, parent of a Class XII girl who didn’t know Aarushi personally, says the best way to deal with children’s queries is take them head-on. “I have discussed the media coverage and even the unfair slanderous stories in public domain with my daughter."