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Friday, December 7, 2012

Parenting - Hand or Heart??

'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' !!


  1. I know I would never raise a hand on a kid... but I've also seen the terrible aftermath of spoiling the kid and letting the child do whatever they want - it does not translate well when they grow up.
    I do personally feel the Norway laws are being a little too protective of the child : disciplining a child and abusing a child are two separate entities in my head - but I can see how easily the lines can get blurred.

  2. Now I am thinking how the Child will feel now. I am sure he will feel guilty after some years and it will influence in his character too


  3. The mental health of the parent is much in question here. I read somewhere that when the parent is angry and has to deal with a troublesome kid, its better to walk away and return when the anger has subsided. That said, its difficult to handle a child's tantrum after a hard day's work at office or home.
    Its important to discipline the kid and teach him/her whats right and wrong, but going overboard with the punishment(as in the Norway case) is also not going to discipline the kid.

  4. Being a parent is a tough job as you said perils or joy. I think we have to evolve, I mean Indians. Again, I am not the best person to comment on it for lack of experience but beating kid is not a solution.

  5. Social Pressure, and a self proclaimed competition with society is building very strenuous situation between Parents and children, is what I feel. So there is need for newer way of teaching to children with changing time!
    So The open mindedness for accepting the way the child is and the way it has to learn or the newer way it has to be taught about values of life is very important and yet to be realized.
    Very good post SuKu!

  6. I guess there has to be a balance between freedom and restriction given to a kid...we all got our share of a bit of scolding and that's fine...but beating a kid with hot spoon? That will leave a scar in the kids mind for a long time....


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