To push children to excel, some parents go to any length – even physical abuse. One such instance has gone viral as a video and has even cricketer Virat Kohli fuming 'at the parent'.
By Arun Sharma
‘Watch: Hands folded, tears rolling down, kid begs for mercy as woman reprimands, assaults’ — Doesn’t this headline from India Today (19 August 2017) sound like a scene from a war movie?
But that’s not the case.
Shockingly, it is the description of a distressing video of a child begging and pleading with someone (probably her mother or tutor) trying to teach her numbers. And, when the child struggles to learn what is being taught, the woman doesn’t restrict herself to just scolding, she goes ahead and assaults the child. In the process, the child goes through a roller-coaster of emotions, where she goes from cowering in fear to clenching her fists and teeth in anger.
This video has come in for a lot of flak from cricketers such as Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh prompting angry outbursts from them. In fact, Virat Kohli was so stunned by the video and could not prevent himself from reacting thus:
'The fact that the pain and anger of the child is ignored and one's own ego to make the child learn is so massive that compassion has totally gone out of the window. This is shocking and saddening to another dimension. A child can never learn if intimidated. This is hurtful.'
This instance should make us sit up and ponder about how we conduct ourselves as parents.
In our urge to give our children a better future, are we forgetting the fundamental rules of good parenting? Would we go to any length to ensure our children do well in academics? Don’t we ever worry about the trauma we cause our little ones by the abuse we heap on them while pushing them to perform well? Let us reflect…
Here's an expert's analysis of the instance - what went wrong and what should have been done, instead. Arundhati Swamy, Counsellor and the Head of Parent Engagement Programs at ParentCircle, Chennai shares her thoughts.
Adults use different approaches in handling children. Past experiences, learned behaviours, and immediate circumstances strongly impact the way they respond to a situation. In this case, it could be any of the following reasons -
Let this video be a clarion call to all parents and tutors to not resort to such unforgivable and demeaning acts. Let’s take stock of the situation and set our parenting priorities right. Let’s understand that inflicting pain will never set a child on the right path. On the contrary, it will irreparably damage a child’s self-esteem and dignity. And, bear in mind that, a daily routine, lots of hugs, empathy, encouragement, and realistic expectations help children feel settled and confident to learn new things. Above all, it will ensure that children have fun growing up. Remember, as the American author Donna Marie said, "Every happy memory created for a child is another treasure of a lifetime." Let us give them that treasure.
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