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“Thud” and I arose from my reverie while packing my daughter’s tiffin box. It took me some moments to realize that it wasn’t a cracker busted by the truant kids, but it was my neighbour who was beating up her kids. Yes, it was not the first time that I heard such ‘thuds’ and ‘shrieks’ and ‘no, we will not do it again’ sounds reverberating from the thin walls that separated our houses.
As much as I tried not to dwell over it and think of it as nothing but a usual affair, I could not. Can we hit our kids every now and then? There have been lots of arguments as to how corporal punishment should be banned at schools. Parents would not want teachers to bash their kids no matter how severe the offense might be. But, at home, do we follow the same principles of non violence? Here I would like to confess that my daughter who is four, tests my patience very often (no, all the time actually) and I am often driven to the saturation point. I have a couple of times hit her on her back (keeping in mind amidst acute rage that it would not hurt there ). But, later on ofcourse, I have repented and shed many a tears for my indignation.
Parenting requires oodles of patience and perseverance. Many a times, threatening the kid goes in vain. But, I believe thrashing the kid also would not serve the purpose. The child would not only end up hating the parents but frequent bashing would make him even more headstrong. Also, once the moment passes, even parents tend to feel guilty as to why in the heat of the moment they could not restrain themselves.
When I am not being a mom to my little one, I teach management students. My stint as a professor, gave me many insights in to instilling discipline amongst the students. I could not help but feel that the same could be applied to parenting our children. For example, as we make a certain percentage of attendance compulsory for students and only then they are permitted to sit for examinations, similarly, we can create a condition for our kids too, like, if they do not listen to us, they would not be allowed to watch their favourite show on tv and so on. Also, children can be given certain ‘carrots’ if they do what we ask them to. It would not be synonymous to bribing , as we are merely reinforcing their good behavior, till it becomes a way of life for them.
Nobody in this world is perfect. While growing up, we also troubled our parents to their wit’s end. It is a part and parcel of growing up. So, instead of giving way to fury, we should look for solutions. And it is not an insurmountable task to find meaningful solutions. Corporal punishment is definitely not one of them. It is said, that it is love and only love that makes the world go round. So, let us spread love and bring up our children with the tenderness that they deserve.