Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
My little one had just turned two years old and i noticed some drastic changes in him. Changes that left me disturbed as a parent and highly embarassed at a few times. The ever smiling, innocent and loving boy was becoming aggressive. He was biting his playmate, hitting people and refusing to talk to certain people.
All this was getting too much to handle and pressed the panic button in my mind. Since the day he was born, i had been following what i had read earlier that yelling, punishing and shaming have negative impacts on the child's mind. 2 years had passed and I had never raised my voice, even in the most frustrating situations where I would cry but made sure I did not vent out the anger on him. He still had not been exposed to the television so it was also not the culprit.
Where was this aggression coming from, I wondered. For me, when nothing works, google is the only answer. Little children turn aggressive when they try to protect themselves and wish to show power and superiority. However, what disturbed me was that he has always been the centre of attention and is pampered, then why would he have to use his defense mechanisms.
One day when he raised his hand at one of a regular guests at home, I tried to explain that he was wrong. The little boy retorted that he was not a good man because he says he would eat all his food up. There, he had just solved the mystery! This uncle of mine saw him fussing over the food everyday and to make things easier for me, he said he would say that he would eat the food up if my son did not finish it up. My son was finishing his food everyday but had slowly started thinking that my uncle was a bad man. Hitting him was his defense against this perso who he thought was not a good man. At times to inculcate a good habit in a child, we are unknowingly creating a confusion in the child's mind which may lead to aggression.
The entire family was sitting in the living room when my sister came to me and hugged me tightly. Naughtily she told my son that i was her sister and not his mother. This got him very irritated. The child's possessive streak was being played upon here. He would hit my sister and ask her to stay away. Every time he did that, people found it funny and he got all the more angry. Again, we were finding fun in a behaviour which would turn unacceptable as the child grows up.
The little boy slipped while playing and started crying. People ran to pick him up while 2 people slapped the floor hard. The floor had hurt the child and it was punished for the deed. The child stops crying and is happy. The child therefore learns that anything that hurts him should be punished by hitting back. At this age, he would not be able to discriminate between things that should be punished and not.
An adult mind may not understand the gravity of the impact of certain action on a child's mind. We do not know what a child's mind may interpret from our bahaviour. Therefore, it is very important to act with discretion in the presence of children. Also, a little bit of introspection instead of blaming and shaming the child builds a better parent-child bond.
It is important to be very careful of our actions in front of children as we may be pressing the wrong buttons unknowingly.