Tuesday, September 11, 2012

To chastise or not


Education is the key to the bright future of the country and in that also school education plays an imperative role. That is the reason maximum importance is given to the school teachers and teacher`s day is celebrated in schools with a lot of enthusiasm. Though even the college and university teachers also play a very important role but remain academic centric whereas the school teachers have a significant role in the overall development of the child and by the time they reach college those areas are already developed. The role of the schools and the colleges is, no doubt very important but the environment of the family and the way parents bring up their children is also equally important. I happened to read a poem in which the poet portrays the importance of the action by which the children learn the most. The summary or the essence of the poem is that actions speak louder than words. Even if some harsh words are said to somebody but the way of expressing the same is effective to make the other person realize what is being conveyed then even these words may not disturb the other person so much as the gesture or the body language can do. Here the teachers and the parents both should be very careful before reacting to anything done or said by the children. At this point, I shall try to understand the problem of the parents in today`s situation and the impact of the same on the growth and development of the children. We all know it well that the present age is the age of competition and everybody is trying to achieve better position than the other in all the fields. The children are also not spared from the same. The parents start thinking about the career of the child even before they are admitted to a school. They themselves work very hard to ensure good education to their kids so that they get good placements and jobs. In this process they lose track of the real meaning of education and the children tend to lose their childhood because of a lot of pressure and the stress created due to unreasonable expectations of the parents. Most of the parents argue that if they do not push their kids then they will be left far behind in the race of getting the so called good packages. In this process they get stressed and the same is passed on to the children. At times the whole family environment is so stressful that nobody likes talking to each other. I know the case where the child was scolded because he could not be selected for admission in a school of parents` choice. He was labelled to be the begetter of ill fate. The child was left so terrified that he hated to go to any school. This made me seriously think about the role of the parenting in today`s scenario. There are many books written on the topic of parenting and how to bring up the children with healthy mind and positive attitude. I am sure all will agree with me that unless that environment is created, it is difficult to make our children healthy in their spirit and for this the parents will have to think positive and treat the children in a manner that they are valued and treated with respect. The parents should enjoy bringing up the children than taking it as the burden or interference in their life. They should grow with the children and make them the part of their life.
Some people rightly say that children should be treated as per the requirement of the situation. If a child has done something wrong, he should be made aware of that. Now there are two ways of doing that. One, he can be told about the reason why he should not have done the same or should not do it again and the other is that the child can be scolded. To me the first option is better than the second one. But the problem is that at times the parents do not understand whether they should scold the children or not and if yes then when and why. Somebody asked me a question if it would be letting the child get spoiled if not treated in time? Like the age old philosophy of –“spare the rod and spoil the child”. The other feeling is that when the parents do so much for their children, do they not have the right or treat them they deem fit?  Though in my opinion scolding will never make the things better but yes we need to be firm at times but at the same time fair also. I would come to the same point where I started from, that if we act in a manner which helps our children learn the norms which are accepted by the society then there will be no need of scolding the children. The children learn a lot from us while they observe than what we tell them to do. Here once again I am reminded of a film Ferrari Ki Sawaari in which the father jumps the red light and when he does not find any policemen around, then he goes to the traffic police and asks him to charge fine because he had broken the traffic rule. When the policemen told him to go because nobody had seen him doing that, the father says that it was his son who saw him violating the traffic signal. This way the father taught his son the lesson of obeying the traffic rules. 
Also we, as parents, need to understand that being angry with the child is no solution to a problem which might have arisen due to known or unknown factors because of the child. The best thing would be to control the anger and then think what to do and how to react. Though this seems to be an idealistic approach but is possible. I have seen the cases where the parents have been very authoritative during the childhood but the children turn out to be rebellious later on and do not listen to their parents at all.  Some parents ask what they should do when the children do not listen to them at all. Once again I would advise them not to lose patience but try to understand the reason behind this kind of behavior. The children can be told in no uncertain terms that they were not supposed to behave in a manner which harms them and their growth. They should also be led by examples and not only lectures. Teaching good manners and values to the children is the prime responsibility of the parents. If you want your child to respect and listen to you then the same should be done by you also. Some parents are in the habit of criticizing others in the presence of their children then, would not the children learn doing the same. They will first do it for others and then later on for their own people also. Sometimes the parents speak negatively about the teacher of the child without realizing that they have taught something wrong to the child unknowingly. The scolding would do no good to the children until they realize and understand that they had really done something wrong.
The parents have to understand that the children also need some space for themselves and that feelings change with age. The children up to the age of ten or eleven are very comfortable in the company of the parents and as they grow they need some private space and want to be heard by adults. As teenagers they wish to launch themselves into a land of independence where there are no boundaries. These children crave for acceptance and also cannot navigate peer pressure in the right direction. If we can understand that then most of our problems will be solved and our children will grow as better human beings. I am still finding it difficult to tell how and when to scold a child because I am of the opinion that scolding a child would not necessarily make things better.


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