Thursday, 26 January 2012

Why Should Children Not Be Interviewed


Are they applying for a job? If the answer is NO then why should we interview them?

In fact parents should be interviewing the school to find out whether the school will be suitable for their child.

Does this kind of interviewing harm children?
Yes it does.

First it creates a stress in the parent, the stress of ‘performance’ that my child must not fail. And so in their anxiety parents end up putting undue pressure on the child, start getting irritated with the child, get tense, worried and end up completely ‘anxiety ridden’

Having an adult in this frame of mind especially an adult that is your mother or father can cause undue damage to the child’s emotional development and brain development. It can also harm the child’s social development.

Let’s understand the emotional damage-
So what are the emotional development stages or growth that a preschooler goes through?

AGE
STAGE
STRENGTH DEVELOPED
0 TO 1 YEARS
TRUST V/S MISTRUST
HOPE
2 TO 3 YEARS
AUTONOMY V/S SHAME AND DOUBT
WILL POWER
4 TO 5 YEARS
INITIATIVE V/S GUILT
PURPOSE
6 TO 12 YEARS
INDUSTRY V/S INFERIORITY
COMPETENCE

As you can see above, most children of the age from 2 to 6 years are being interviewed and that is the age when hope, willpower, purpose and confidence are developed in the child.

So when you interview a 2 to 3 year old and the child  is unable to answer, he/she develops a sense of shame and doubt about his/her  own abilities, and  you end up hurting the child’s self worth for life

When you interview a 4 to 5 year old and the child is unable to answer he/she  develops a sense of guilt that ‘I let my parents down and I am worthless’,  and so this child will never take initiatives in life

When you interview a 6 years and above child and if the child is unable to answer he/she develops an inferiority complex and zero self worth.

How else does interviewing harm children?-

It makes the children scared, nervous, frightened, terrified, and edgy, all these are negative emotions and negative emotions bring to fore the ‘fight or flight’ tendency of the brain. So either the child feels like hiding behind the parent, or bawls his/her head off, or acts aggressive and throws a tantrum

Negative emotions also release ‘bad chemicals’ in the brain which affect learning and memory.

This kind of unnerving experience also leaves a long lasting wound on the child’s personality and the child can get scared of meeting strangers, or learn to avoid going to places with the parent.

In many children the whole experience leads to nail biting, tantrums, upset tummy, fever and bed wetting. Nail biting and bed wetting are vicious cycles, once entered into can cause a long term burden on the child.

After Reading all the above should children be interviewed?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!


Here is a quote-
Sam Meisels (HEAD START PROGRAM) offers these tips-
   
·       Young children should never be challenged during assessments by being separated from their parents or familiar caregivers.

·        An unfamiliar examiner should never assess young children.

·    Assessments that are limited to areas that are easily measurable, such as certain motor or cognitive skills should not be considered complete.

·         Formal tests or tools should not be the cornerstone of an assessment of an infant or young child.

LETS JOIN HANDS AND BANISH ‘INTERVIEWS’ FROM THE LIVES OF PRESCHOOLERS, LETS INSTEAD START INTERVIEWING THE PEOPLE WHO ‘INTERVIEW’ KIDS, LETS FIND OUT WHY THEY DO IT. LETS WORK FOR HEALTHY PRECHOOL EDUCATION IN INDIA.

DO JOIN US ON eca-india.org 

2 comments:

Anita Kotwal said...

It is society to be blamed for adding anxiety in minds of our blooming buds. Parents feel that its the rule in some schools, accept it as a system.Each child is unique has his own moods and may never feel comfortable in new environment If he does not do well he himself will be blamed adding stress

Radhika Joshii said...

There is a ban on the use of polythene because it is harmful to the environment.There is a ban on cigarette smoking in public because it harms not only the smoker but the people around him. Same way practice of tiny tot's interviews are harming our children's over all development. Children at this age are too young to be subjected to such an assessment.

- Neha Khanvani
PJK Bhavnagar