Friday, October 21, 2011

Hey! Teacher, mother-father, leave them kids alone!

Last year in one of the most prestigious colleges in Delhi, the HoD of a certain Department along with many of his colleagues threatened to resign if a certain boy, the Principal had caught in a compromising position with his girlfriend in the college compound, on Valentine’s day, was rusticated for his behavior. The boy had earlier, on being checked several times, spoken back at the Principal saying that it was not his business to check his behavior as he was over 18 years.

The Principal gave in to the pressure raised by his teaching faculty.

Really, most of them had used the opportunity to strike back at the Principal, holding the gun on the boy’s shoulders.

In another incident, a school going girl threatened to kill herself if she was not allowed to bring in her boyfriend and spend hours with him locked inside her room, without being interrupted. The boy was a college going indulgent lover, ten years older than her. The parents, who had always been reasonable and taught the girl to reason out things and talk with them, had lost the battle with their brat. When they saw a Child Psychiatrist, they were advised to ‘keep their cool’ and not push it too much. The girl was only rebelling and it would soon change. It has been three years since then. The parents are now seeing a councilor to keep from breaking down.

What we are facing today is a fall out of what we as parents did in the past. We dropped the stick and reasoned with our children. Friends and doctors adviced, that parents and teachers must not wield the stick or be too adamant about what is right and wrong. The child had its own voice and its reasons too and that has to be respected. We did just that. How could we as parents, educated in Public Schools and convents, living in cities and hugely exposed to public opinion and parent peer pressure, reveal ourselves as rudimentary by picking up the stick and striking the calf muscle or the buttock of our child? Or even raise our hand on our child? Of course, we had to bear the tantrum and comply to every whim and fancy of our child. We could not scream or shout for fear that the child might take to rebellious behavior. When they were in their teens, we had to project the image of being a friend rather than a parent, so that we fitted into the prescribed formula of a city bred, yuppy parent, who is managing her home and her work efficiently. Also as a friend, we believed the child would not be afraid to tell us everything!

But alas! When the child grew up, in many cases they exhibited behavior that spoke louder than words – their actions spoke to say, that we as parents failed to be parents and they as children, grew up not really knowing what is right or wrong because, we gave them the liberty to do and to say, whatever they liked, because, after all, we were parents who wanted to see our children, free and creative.

Dr Eric Burne, famous author of Games People Play and founder of Transactional Analysis (See: ) spoke of three states –Parent, Child and Adult. In his breakthrough work, he states that the Parent symbolizes the figure of authority, one which has rules and regulations, do’s and don’ts, and is generally thought to be rigid in content. The Child is the one which is just opposite, it is free and without bindings and rules is the seat of all creativity. The Adult mixes the two extremes and is rational and thinking. We as humans therefore change and interchange these states to suit the requirement of our needs. Thus, an adult in real life might want to act like a Child or may be caught in the other extreme of being a rigid Parent and not reasoning Adult depending on what the situation asks for.

“Please do it for me, pleeeeeese!” is a Child speaking

“Listen, we can talk about this.” Is an Adult speaking

“No, you will not do that!” Is an Parent speaking.

At most times, we are only too anxious to be a Child with a child or become a rigid Adult.

Do you think then, that there is a mismatch here and the fault lies with the way we have dealt with our children or are we going to say that Mass Media, globalization etc etc are to be blamed more than the homes we gave our children?

Reference read: My question is: Who is to blame?

Immortal songs: The Wall by Pink Floyd


Amrita said...

Hi Julia I can open this page, thanks

Amrita said...

Hi Julia I can open this page, thanks

Julia Dutta said...

Welcome back Amrita:))

Durgasankar Mandal said...

If you are trying to say Julia - parents tried hard to be friends with the child - the deterioration started, I say thumbs up to that.

I see parents as victims of the society here. the children have so many friends everywhere. Why is the use of getting two more? In the process they lose their parents and get two lousy friends that are nothing but pretenders. Let the parents be paretns - since the kids need their parents.

Secondly, if I were the principal I would have stood my ground and rusticated the boy. there is something called appropriateness. I know of several cases in corporate India where employees fornicating at office were caught and summarily dismissed from service. No voice of "I am 18 so I can ready to pi** in your mouth" was raised. it's as simple as one does not go to the church in bikinis.

The 18+ years kid should have been expelled from that school on the ground of inappropriate behaviour. it's just as simple as that.