Are children their parent’s possession, or rightful property? Or are they imbeciles or idiots who have no sense of their own? I am loading Indian parents with these questions because of the increasing child abuse cases by them reported or otherwise. I am not saying Indian parents are bad; in spending even the meager resources they have, to feed their kids, even on empty stomach, and to send them for education, they have curved out a niche for themselves. All these involve measureless sacrifices from their side.
It does not mean that it is only the Indian parents who do that. I do have a colleague here (South Africa) who have five kids to take care of; none of them borne by her. They come from her two sisters and an aunt who was shot dead at her home by robbers. She spends her money on them, without any complaint, to feed, dress, educate and shelter them. Here it is common to have children born out of wedlock, accidentally, deliberately or rape. The young school going girls when become mothers leave kids with their grannies, so that one granny may have many kids to take care of, in many cases, out of her meager pension.
So let us demystify the thinking that it is only the Indian parents who provide for their children. But it is the Indian parents who do it in the form of a business; to have returns in big ways. Even when they take pride that they do sacrifices for their kids, it is not so; they do expect the children, their future in-laws and even the children born by them to remain their rightful properties. This indebtedness if anybody says is out of love; there are tons of facts to prove otherwise. Possessiveness is something they very much enjoy, to the point of getting obsessed with their children; so that when children commit mistakes, especially in public; their pride is wounded. They recoil fearing what would others think, without trying to understand why the child has behaved so.
Children are small does not mean they are not individuals; apart from being less strong physically and mentally, and being dependents, they still have the will and passion to do things on their own. They need freedom to accomplish that. They are active individuals having their mind in the making and a passion to discover the world. And a human child does not do things out of instincts like an animal child; perhaps that is where the two categories part ways. Means, a human child learn things on his or her own. She also learns a lot of thing through copying and imitating elders mostly parents.
The other day, I saw a tiny girl, might be three in the supermarket, when she handed over something to her mother; the mother thanked her saying ‘thank you’. She is teaching the child values, manners and respect. I also did the same to my both children. The elder one since the age of three would wait to be appreciated by saying, ‘’good girl’, when she did something. The same she would say to appreciate me as well. You cannot tell your children to have good behavior without you showing it to them. If you shout at your child, she will shout back at you. The children who throw tantrum have learned it from others; a child from 3 to 9 does exactly the same. So if your child misbehaves do not beat her, burn her using hot metal rods or anything like that, but look at yourself; what has gone wrong with you? How do you behave yourself in the family, especially, the men in the Indian household? They are generally least skilled to love and be kind; and they think male superiority through indulging in all kinds of controls can create an ideal families without realizing that their children learn the same from them.
Recently we read about an Indian couple being punished with jail terms in Norway. They are a couple from the Krishna district in Andhra, India; the husband V.Chandrasekhar works there as a software engineer and his wife is Anupama according to DECCAN HERALD. The husband is jailed for 18 months and wife 15. The Norway Court’s charges against them include inflicting serious physical harm to their seven-year-old son- Sai Sriram who schools there. There are marks of burn and of belt whipping on his body. The child was also threatened with burning his tongue with metal objects.
The incident stirred-up serious tongue lashing in the Indian social media both for and against the punishment; the family of the couple in India saw the sentence one-sided. According to them the Norway court should have seen that the parents had discharged their responsibilities under difficult circumstances that Sai Sriram was hyperactive and violent and his younger brother asthmatic. They are also blaming the Indian government for its non-interference.
There are big differences between discipline and punishment. While discipline can make behavioral changes in children, punishments can create monsters out of them.