In the US, kids are treated like little Gods! Every passers by will greet or nod at your child… some would come over and compliment your kid. They are petted, hugged and encouraged for even the smallest effort like murmuring a soft ‘Thank You’.
Teachers are kind, neighbours are sweet. Your kids are little Kings and Queens surrounded by doting courtiers. And then there is the dreaded emergency number 911, which stops you from dealing harshly with your child even though he or she has been very, very naughty.
I really appreciate it and am very happy when my kids get attention. But sometimes, I do not know how to handle so much sweetness at home. When kids’ behaviour start going out of hand, my Indian roots compel me to go sour.
Back in India, life includes bitterness too for kids. Parents scream, teachers yell and relatives chide while a kid is expected to take it all in a stride.
Grown ups have plan for your studies, career, marriage and a child listens it out respectfully.
I have been through all this in my growing up days. My parents have done everything to stop me from taking bad decisions, I have fought back too, yelling – “It’s my life”! But at this point of time, I am grateful to them for I got stopped from taking some crucial bad decisions… just in time.
I agree that parents do not know everything but they do know something based on their varied experiences of life and people. If parents remain diplomatically sweet, they are not doing their duty. To put your foot down, to even cross the line to make your kid see sense is not a bad thing.
In India, some parents still use all the four upayas mentioned by the great Chanakya (philosopher, teacher, economist of ancient India) to get things done.
1) Sama – Appealing to reason or sense
2) Dama – Offering or bribery
3) Danda – Punishment
4) Bheda – Diplomacy
While I do not agree with taking extreme measures and psychologically damaging a child to get things done, I do agree that a child needs a little bitterness for his own betterment. Just like a clay pot needs the right pressure to get moulded beautifully.
So, parents do not feel guilty if you have punished your kid for some wrong doing. If it is for their good then harsh words are thousand times better than sweet talk.
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