Monday, 10 July 2017

Parental Abuse

Child abuse is a grave concern, which the world is trying hard to address. However, there is something called 'parental abuse' by toddlers which is hardly known. This involves slapping their moms/dads, pulling their hair, yelling at them. This open defiance is mainly indulged by toddlers like mine afflicted with 'terrible twos' syndrome. All efforts to deal with 'parental abuse' are nullified by these ingenious pranksters!

My childhood years were charaterized by the usual mischief, fun and excitement. I can
never recall an incident where I openly defied my parents and sweared at them though! As I watch
my toddler-daughter indulging in a range of tricks and pranks on me and her father as well as on her grandparents, multitude of questions arise in me. As I spend time with my mother, I try to jog her memory, prodding her to go down the memory lane to remember any incident involving me hitting her and yelling. She immediately responds with a big 'never'.

For a change, I trotted out the most favourite line that our parents and elders use. "Gone
are those days when young people held older ones in awe and respect". Elders back then inspired
fear and power, so much so that many youngsters feared to speak up in their presence! Voicing opinions were done in hushed tones and a hierarchy was established and maintained at all times. Any suggestion, plan was to go through several rounds of hearings and reviews by every family member before it was approved by the patriarch. Direct confrontation with the eldest and oldest family member was prohibited completely.

It is obvious that the older status quo is no longer applicable now. Children are now bold, strong and
confident. Thanks to their modern parents who give them the freedom and space to explore, share and learn. While I appreciate and endorse the new age parenting and strongly dislike our earlier formula of raising kids, I am still at a loss to correct my kid's aggressive behaviour. As seasoned parents, do you have any ideas for handling 'parental abuse'?



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