Today’s grazing slap can be a knockout punch tomorrow. Reports of children taking extreme steps or running away from home after being disciplined stare at us from newspapers every other day. Yet, in a recent shocking video showing a four-year-old child pleading with her mother not to thrash her as she is unable to count correctly recently went viral. What is even more shocking is that spanking of children is more evident in the families living in Urban than in the rural areas.
Urban Parenting is a highly demanding journey and as parents, we tend to raise our children comparing their performance with other children in all spheres of life, hence pushing them to the brink of existence. What trend are we setting for our younger generation? The scar this act of disciplining the child that has left on the psyche of this child in video is beyond repair. Hitting children turns them into angry, resentful adults with psychological and emotional problems. When a parent tries to get children to behave better by hitting them, that parent is telling them that hitting people who are smaller and weaker than you are an acceptable way of getting what you want from them. Why should it surprise that parent when their children beat up smaller children at school, or grow up to be wife beaters? This video is not an isolated case of an adult who lost it while inflicting physical discipline. As adults, we frequently come home frustrated, tired, and angry. We don’t have the patience to deal with what our kids may be dishing out & the likelihood is that you will go over the line.
As a parent, we need to make Conscious efforts to follow positive discipline approach towards our child. Undoubtedly no one gets more defensive about their issues, more than a parent, because they are disillusioned to believe that they possess the life of their child. So, the ego comes roaring inside within with such velocity that you believe you can contour this person into the ideal image of yourself. Imposition of parental ego puts on the burdens of our emotional past, that are not really theirs to hold to. This kind of internal fixing has to be done by our own self, but we are unconscious of this, hence onto our children comes our past baggage & all our desires, all our wishes for our own ideal self to be manifested, that we couldn’t but we make our children do it. So, in this process of imposing the ego on the child, the child loses its authentic self, and has to forsake give it up for its parents. The child loves his parents & doesn’t even know it’s happening. Hence, in this process, year after year after year, the child becomes more disconnected from his authentic voice and then you have an adult who is direction less, purpose less not knowing how to access that inner voice.
(The author is an Early Child Care Consultant & Vice-Chairperson, Rayz International Preschool, Noida.)