I was passing by a house in my friend’s neighborhood. Outside a house a father and a mother were beating up a child. I watched in horror as people walked by not even noticing the event. The parents looked very annoyed and I heard them explaining to an old lady who intervened that the child had failed in his exams. It was unbelievable!!! What lesson were they thinking that they were teaching their child through beatings? The value of education or the fear of physical violence!?!
If it is the latter, they have succeeded. But if it is the former then they have failed miserably. So who should get the beatings now???
I have never understood the concept of beating a child. Beating a child would essentially mean a failure on the part of the parent to communicate with the child. This happens when people have children for the sake of having children and hence are not committed to its upbringing. They take care of its physical needs but his emotional needs are never a consideration.
I have observed many young parents within my family and our family friends circle. Parents who don’t have time for the child are the ones who beat kids. It may not be brutal beatings but some form of punishment like pulling the child ears. On the other hand, totally involved parents seem to guide their kids through life without having to use any force or threat of force with the child.
Before I have parents hurling brick and stones on me, let me explain that I am an experienced baby sitter and I have through sheer common sense got kids to listen to me without resorting to the “I will tell your parents if you don’t listen to me” type of threats. Kids are very practical people and I have noticed that a lot of talking and interaction with them is needed. That requires patience and time.
And what is striking is, when you treat a kid like an adult he/she tends to responds to you better than if you were to treat him like a kid. Of course there will be petulance and sometimes they just don’t want to listen, which I think is a child’s right as a child :)
I love kids and love having them around and there is one little one peeping into my monitor right now as I type. When parents talk about how difficult it is to handle kids, I normally keep quite or I get the “wait till you are a parent” lecture. But then I have been a parent a hundred times over with the kids I baby sit and never have I encountered a child who does not respond to me unless he has been handled badly by the adults in his life and hence looks at me like the adults he is used to.
But even in this case, the moment the child sees an adult treating him reasonably inspite of his past experiences with adults, he will respond positively.
I just wish people would realise the damage they inflict on a child's mind when they beat his body.