Friday, April 9, 2010

Should they be scared?

"Jaldi se khana kha lo nahin to abhi police aa jayegi"

"Chup hote ho ya abhi monsters ko bulaoon?"

"Wahan us andhere kamre mein budhaa baba rehta hai jo badmashi karne walon ko utha kar le jata hai"

These are some of the lines I have frequently heard from my other friends who have small kids. And I have somehow never felt comfortable with scaring the kids with these tactics.
Because I believe at that age, their hearts and minds are so fragile that they are willing to believe whatever we, as parents tell them.
And, at least, from my own kid's view, I know, he may not take a word from anyone else but he beleives his Mom and Dad like anything
and I am sure this is the same with all the other kids out there !!

I remember when I was growing up, whenever I would hear anything absurd, I would come and get my facts check with my Mom and her word was the final seal of truth for me.
So, when we as parents scare them with such things, they have this fear stamped in their minds and heart.
And I definitely don't want my kid to grow up being scared of anything. So I am a big opposer of this way of discipling.
Many fellow moms I had discussions with, argued that they need something so that in that scare, the kid would listen to them.
Well, my arguement is: Using scaring techniques, there are 2 possibilities: Either you will be really able to scare the kid and discipline him.
But then, just wait and see what you do to his confidence. A scared kid is never a confident kid.
Or else, the kid will realise pretty soon (believe me they are pretty smart at this) that Mom/Dad are just using tactics to get the things done their way.
And so they won't be scared at all.
So, in both the cases, the results are not what any parents would like to see.

See, the school of parenting I came from (which means the home where I was raised) I grew up seeing my mom taking every opportunity to make us bold and fearless.
I remember, when we were in Ranchi, I (was 6 then) often I used to get up in the middle of night to go to the bathroom and to go there, I had to cross an open verandah
I was dead scared to go out, so I would just lay in my bed not going. When mumma realized this, she told me one thing: Whenever you are out alone in the dark, look up at the sky and see if the moon is following you. Then you have nothing to be scared of, since you know you are not alone"
I still remember this when I am getting back late from work or have to go out in the night for anything. One look up on the sky and I know I am not alone !!

Recently, we had some friends over at our house and the friend's kid and my son were playing on the sofa. It so happened that one of the trick they were trying to do was lie upside down on the sofa (with legs up on the seat and hands on the floor) and trying to get up on the sofa.
As it happens, my son all of a sudden, lost his balance and his mouth bumped against the carpert and eventually he bit his lips.
There was some blood and crying, but eventually his dad picked him up and started showing him the "correct" way to do this trick.
Those friends were appalled at this since their idea was to tell the kid to never try this again otherwise he would hit himself again.
And this was a better option for the safety of the kid too, because this was not at all a safe trick to do.
However, my husband's idea (and I supported him on this) and arguement was: "Why should we stop him by putting this fear of hurting in his mind?"
"Let him see what he was doing wrong and then let him make this decision for himself that we was trying to do was not safe"

We had long discussion on this and no party was agreeable to other's view point.And I agree, no 2 parents have same style and views.
In the end, each one of them is trying to do what they think is best for their kids.

But, in all this, I, for sure, feel strongly about this: "Do not scare those innoent minds and hearts"

What do you say? What's your opinion as a parent, as a person who was kid at one point?


Reflections said...

Agree with u husband & I have NEVER used excuses like tht. My parents never did too but just once I remember my mom....
When I really little I had swallowed a grape seed while eating grapes. When I went running and told my mom abt it she told me a story abt how grape tree was going to grow out of my mouth. It was a joke ofcourse and she forgot all abt it but I remember living in fear for a few weeks;-P

Dil se said...

@Nancy: Yeah, so very true. Even I believed everything and anything my mom or my dad used to tell me.. even to this day :-)

Amitabha Ghosh said...

Hi .. chanced upon your blog and this post .. nice one. Agree with you totally. We tell our daughter if she falls on the ground, that "see, the floor is all cracked up. You are so strong. So go and bash it up a little"!! And she is all raring to go