Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
It was the onset of summer break and the scorching heat in Gurgaon was unendurable, so we decided to traverse Canada, joining the extended family. While we were at the mall in Canada, we confronted a little toddler who vehemently insisted on buying toys. The mother was trying to pacify him, counseling patiently and wiping his tears. Sheepishly simpering at the passers-by over the embarrassing sight.
Whereas an Indian mother in me was boiling with anger and too enthusiastic to explain her about the concept of one tight slap. My kids, who were walking ahead of me and my folks, turned back to look at me, grinning to sight a mother folding hands in anticipation.
"Magic number 911! I wish we could have this emergency number in India too.To bring back the fading patience in our parents." My 12-year son demonstrated.
"Anticipating in partnership, my daughter nattered " A typical Indian mother uses all her gestures to be a control freak, firstly the leering looks, to scare the hell out of us"
"Then she would gnash her teeth and reprimand her fragile kids with the famous dialogue 'Bas karo, bahot hogya drama" Mimicking, my son further gave his input.
"Oh, brother not to forget when she fiercely begins the countdown 10,9, 8..... 1 and despite these many warnings when the gullible child in us is not able to programme the brain. She would rebuff us with one tight slap and a warning ‘Next time if I see you repeat this, then you see'."
"The saga doesn't end here, If the situation is more intense she would outpour it to daddy immediately and in case she is able to hold her emotional hurricane, she would wait until the evening or flare -up on the next day when we visit the place.”
Masi and bua enjoyed the hilarious eavesdropping whereas for me it came as an epiphany.That night I could not sleep, not because they unbosom it to the family, but feeling ashamed of the conventional ways of parenting we have been following from ages.
Mulling over the authoritarian style of parenting, we Indians tend to follow, and imposing regulations implicitly we snub the budding confidence in them and respect towards us. We often hamper them vaguely.
Why are we so sarcastic at times? Our self-manifested dialogues, which are running from generations are deeply penetrating and inapplicable- I realised that day, that we have been rehearsing those obsolete, uninspiring phrases consistently.
Here is a list of those duologues-
1) I was so much responsible at your age – We don't realise that our child is in a learning phase. We need to respect his feelings, giving him a little space to breathe in!
2) Why are you in a hurry to take decisions? – I realised, what if he has taken a wrong decision? He will learn through his experiences. Let him do a little analytical thinking, to proliferate his confidence level.
3) Most of the times our children are perplexed because our punishments are not relevant to the mistake. ie. Don’t talk to me because your score is low. Why do we subdue ourselves, when it is required to articulate? What message are we trying to communicate? Then comes the inappropriate, unhealthy comparison between siblings and children around us. We forget to appreciate the individual difference.Each child is unique and has own tenacious habits and qualities.
4) You should be ashamed of yourself- What is wrong with us adults? For a small miscalculation, why do we nudge them to feel unnerved?
5)You are like your mother/dad or khandan Ka asar he- How about the other things which he does gracefully and impeccably?
6)Leave me alone, now you have found another way to hurt me- Can a child hurt his mother? Why do we want to play Nirupa Rai of old Hindi cinema?
7) I wish I was childless-For such small mistakes this dialogue is a complete misfit. We cannot even imagine how the child feels castigated.
8) Be in a good company- It's not only the company that he/she keeps, but it is a lack of our confidence in a child.
I realised that day,