A couple of months back my 13 year old daughter came home with a notice from school. It stated that the school would be taking the children on a trip to Kerala for ten days during the 1st term break. She was thrilled and wanted to go. I was a bit skeptical about sending her, as I was not sure if she could manage on her own. When I put across my concern to my daughter she said, “Mom if you don’t send me, how will you ever know if I can manage or not?” She had a very valid point there.
That question clinched the deal for her! She got the green signal for the trip from both of us. As the date of the trip grew closer, the excitement in her was palpable. Last minute shopping, check lists, packing…….she was on cloud nine. On the day of the departure she was up and ready in a jiffy. They had to report to school from where the school bus took them to the railway station. We bid her good bye and I held back my tears. This was the first time she was away from me. She seemed to be very happy chatting with her friends.
She had a great holiday with her friends, managing so well. She was amazingly responsible, taking care of herself quite well, in spite of the hectic sightseeing schedules and erratic meal times. She was back with tons of pictures and bagful of beautiful memories, more confident and responsible!
Looking back, I feel sending children to such trips from school helps them in many ways.
It fosters responsibility in them
Taking care of themselves, packing and unpacking at different places, understanding money matters, waking up on time on their own, staying together with the group. All these go a long way in helping them evolve into responsible individuals.
Teaches them to make adjustments
She had to share the room with a couple of her friends. By doing so, she understood that people have diverse habits. Though some of them were not to her liking, she learned to adjust to them. Being a little choosy about the food she eats, the trip taught her eat what was available to all.
They traveled by sleeper class and had to carry their own luggage. It taught them humility and developed a sense of gratitude for so many things they are blessed in life, which otherwise they take for granted.
Values for life
At one place where these girls went shopping, it was the shopkeeper’s birthday. The lady was distributing a few chocolates to the children there. So these bunch of girls got together and sang the happy birthday song for her. She was overwhelmed with emotion. It was probably the first time somebody sang a birthday song for her! Such incidents help them evolve into more warm and caring individuals. Sharing and caring for each other was something they learnt through the trip. Experiencing certain things has a profound impact on the personality, than it merely coming down as an advice.
Equipping them with life skills
With kids taking up admissions in colleges in different cities, staying away from home and managing on their own, is the first step in learning to be independent.The trip gave them the confidence for that.
Bonus lesson for parents
It teaches us, the parents, to develop an attitude of detached attachment. It prepares us to accept that the children are developing their wings, ready to soar and fly into the big beautiful sky with their own identity!
Image courtesy: Pictures clicked by my daughter on her trip