'If my parents had to raise me & my siblings in Norway, the Norwegian government would have had to issue a shoot at sight order against them' this was my reaction which I posted on Facebook after reading that an Indian couple has been jailed in Norway for beating their son. But that is the lighter side of it, on serious thoughts 'Why would you jail parents because they were trying to discipline their kid?' 'Can parents not punish their children?' But then this child had burn marks on his legs which he claimed his parents had done with a hot spoon, in my opinion that is going overboard with punishment.
Many of my Indian friends with whom I had discussion on this, seemed not to agree on the whole jail thing. But that is about us, we try to protect the whole Indianess within ourselves. Remember we had not liked the comments Oprah made on our eating habits when she was in India. So yes anything and anyone who judges us for what we have been doing for generations is questionable. True we have a way to discipline our children and a beating here and there is sort of an acceptable norm, and so is threatening with dire consequences if not behaved properly, which in most cases parents just say for the heck of it and don't really intend to do it. But no, we cannot do the same when we are in another land, we got to follow the law of the land.
Indian parents are normally proud of their children and the way they raise them when compared to their western counterparts. After all we need our parents approval even for our own marriage, so what is it? fear or respect? For a 10 year old it may be fear but for a 25 year old it probably would be respect, or so I think. Coming back to our Norway incident, I am not sure how the Norwegian government handles all this, but to jail someone who is doing what he or she has seen for ages in their country, I am not sure it is justified. But then speaking of beating up kids then we have cases like Baby Falak & Shaurya which puts humanity to shame.
So how much is too much? When do we know not to hit the kid or when do we know that a normal talk would discipline the child? Is it only about the child's behavior or does it have something to do with the mental health of the parents? I don't even know whether to say 'Joys of Parenting' or 'Perils of Parenting' !!