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We all hear and complain about children’s Anger Tantrums. I had the opportunity to see an Adult Anger Tantrum!
A few days back, as I sat on the pool side bench watching my 5yr old son frolic around in water with aninflated colourful tube at his waist, I witnessed a horrific incidence. I saw a father howl in anger at his son who was around 4 yrs age. This dad was very pestered by the fact that it had been all of 7 days and his kid was not willing to remove his swimming tube. He called the child and glared at him..then threatened him that he will come into the pool. The child was in a playful mood and so kept repeating that he wanted juice. The father gave him a hand and the child in all his innocence held his hand and came out of the pool. Then he was held with lot of force and the child already recessed into his cocoon by fright! The next scene got me to get up and scream! The father held the child and flung him into the pool with full force. The scene reminded me of Kansa mama throwing his sister’s kids on the wall to kill them! The tube came out and the child partially drowned. God bless the reflexes of the life guard, he scooped inside and brought out the child. Inspite of such a horrific incident, when the child came out of the pool, the father was screaming obscenities and saying he is ashamed that the child doesn’t make an effort to learn. It was the swimming coach who was mothering the visibly horrified and distressed child.
I, as a witness didn’t know how to process this! I was shocked, angered and distressed and couldn’t stop tears flowing down my cheeks. Can we say the father is a bad parent? Can we fault the child? What if this situation would have ended at the mortuary where this father would have had to say a final good bye to the child? Would he have slept as sleepless a night after the incidence like I did?
And I figured the only way forward is for all of us to work on anger management. These are the same personality of people who have severe road rage and do not hesitate to pull the trigger for a simple car accident, the same people who break hospitals and bash up doctors when a dear one becomes critical or succumbs to an illness, the same people who can be the romantic husband at one time and become extremely violent towards their spouse if anything does not go according to their wish! And the root cause for all this is an extreme disconnect with their own soul and inability to manage anger!
As important as it is to manage anger in front of one’s own clients, parents, bosses, teachers or colleagues at work, it is million times more important to control in front of your child. Abusive parent is giving birth to an abusive bully at school, abusive partner and abusive parent in future. The fear for water or dark or loneliness may seem silly to a parent but is as real to your child as the fear of failure of business, or fear of losing a deal or fear of losing your partner is for you. The real joy is when you walk with your child hand in hand through his fears, around his fears, learn coping mechanisms together and learn to look at the fears in the eye. We have to teach our children to not be afraid of their weakness and to strengthen their strength. Building a healthy positive attitude will go a long way when this 4 yr old at the age of 16 faces lower marks in his 12th. The thought of giving up his life will never come if he has a positive attitude to face failures and make newer paths and walk newer roads!
I wish this father would know that Steve Jobs was a big failure in life by our standards. He was a college dropout, failed in multiple businesses and had failed relationships. But what he had was a right attitude which made him a successful CEO of Apple!
So when the next time you feel your child is testing your patience at the end of a tired day try these steps:
May we learn to enjoy the fragrance of a budding child, rather than trample it with too much water and fodder that it turns sick and withers away!
At the end, just remember, the child is not YOURS, you are the mere caretaker. He is God’s child. So take care like a caretaker would and do not claim ownership! Happy and Safe Parenting!