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'.
'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 is 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 the numerals in maths. 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 as she cowers in fear, then clenches her fists and teeth in anger.
This incident 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 are 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? Do we go to any lengths to ensure our children do well in academics? Do we ever worry about the trauma we cause our little ones by the abuse we heap on them while pushing them to perform well?
Here's an expert's analysis of the instance. Arundhati Swamy, Counsellor and the Head of Parent Engagement Programs at ParentCircle, Chennai shares her thoughts:
The ways in which we interact with children are influenced by a number of factors - what we observed of our parents while growing up, parenting practices we have learned from watching how other parents raise their children, and the impact of our immediate circumstances and stresses.
In the video, the adult may have been harsh for the following reasons:
It's easy to point fingers and lay the blame on parents and caregivers, but let's not forget that empathy and guidance can help us grow as parents. Oftentimes parents feel helplessly trapped by difficult emotions and life experiences and lose control in challenging situations.
What you can do to make your child's learning experiences pleasant and enjoyable:
Let this video be a clarion call to all parents and tutors about the negative impact of harsh approaches on children. 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. 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 and learn as they grow.
As the American author, Donna Marie said, "Every happy memory created for a child is another treasure of a lifetime." Let us give children that treasure.
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