Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Anger and Parenting...

A short temper is something I've struggled with a lot, especially after becoming a parent. It happens so often that just when I feel like I'm getting better and have a handle on things, I start flying off so often on the kids, and then regretting it in 2 minutes :(. Yes, it might be the summer holiday effect I guess.

But I saw something today, that brought my own shortcomings to the fore but also weirdly made me feel just a bit better about myself. It was at the class that my kids go to 3 days a week (yes I'm being a bit vague on purpose). I suddenly heard this gentleman, one of the parents, really raise his voice in anger against one of the older boys who had apparently corrected his daughter on something. From what my kids tell me later, I don't think the boy was particularly picking on the girl or being extra rough with her. It may have been the culmination of other incidents along the way, which all built up today - I don't really know. But whatever the case, it does not justify displaying your anger in public, and even more when it's on someone else's child! That boy was definitely quite scared, until the discussion was taken over to the teachers, and even then the raised voice of that parent was maintained for a few minutes more with all of us on the road and many metres away being able to hear "How dare he behave like that to my daugher?".

As a fellow parent, I would like to justify this over-protectiveness at least a little bit, but unfortunately my churning stomach at witnessing the incident wouldn't let me do this. And this is coming from someone who has no trouble telling off other kids if they are in the way of my child's safety. But I dare say, I prefer to do it more gently and if that does not work, I would just remove my child from the scene. I don't think he did his child any favours too, as now everyone is just going to be on tenterhooks around her, which cannot be a great feeling.

I wondered how I would react if my child was on the receiving end of something like this parents' tirade. First, I hope he or she is strong enough to take it without erupting into tears, of which the boy in mention did an admirable job. Next, how much ever I would love to go and confront this father and tell him what I thought of him, I hope that I would be able to hold back enough to just talk to the teachers about it and entrust them the responsibility of calming the waters.

10 comments:

  1. I am really wary of such over-protective parents..something about which I had written a while ago..Now, this very parent will at another point exasperate about how his ward cries or gives up at the first instance of a minor obstacle. Fighting the child's battles and in this instance unjustifiable ones is doing serious damage to the child's self esteem and sense of right and wrong.

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    1. Thought of your post as I was writing this Uma! Really left a very bad taste in the mouth, and I wasn't even directly involved.

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  2. You're right about keeping a check on one's temper. I don't think twice before taking a kid to task.. any kid.. not necessarily mine. However, the intention has to be right and it has to be done without losing one's temper. The gentleman, if we can call him that, was way out of line.

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    1. Exactly my feelings too Tulika!

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  3. From what you say, it does not seem to have been any major mistake on the kids part to have been shouted at this way. Whatever the provocation, there was no call to raise one's voice and tick off someone else's kid! If my kid was yellled at that way, I think I would definitely have a chat with the other parent - yes my kid made a mistake but do correct him in a mature fashion.

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    1. Yes, Aparna, it was sort of crazy just standing there and watching because you couldn't help but see and hear what was happening.

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  4. That person's over-protective nature is going to be so harmful to his li'l daughter and unknowingly he is creating problems for him. I understand that he might have some reasons but yelling is completely no-no and that too in a public place....what lesson he was giving to his kid???

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    1. Exactly my thoughts Nibedita !!

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  5. I do not think any parent has the right to scream on another kid.
    There are lot better ways to make him know he was wrong.

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  6. No matter what the incident is one cannot shout or scream at another's kid period. YOu can talk it out trying to understnad what happened & how/why the otehr kid responded to & if it is out of line there are always teachers/ coaches etc who can be approached to handle it & take it up. This approach also gives our kid a sense of security that the parents are concerned & direction in case of such incidents occur again. I think I sound very theoretical but it is very important to learn & teach kids that these incidents will occur & they cannot be bullied or how they have to protect themselves.

    I was in a zoo with my 2.5 year old in a kids goodies shop.I went for billing & gave my card, had to wait as the guy at the billing desk got a call ; my kid started to cry asking for other toys on the table & I was consoling him. At this point the guy still on the phone started yelling at me & my kid to go away from the desk as the crying was disturbing him - in a very degrading tone. I was quiet for about 60 secs trying to comprehend what was heappening, then I rasied my voice & literally pulled the phone off his hand & almost hit him while simultaneously knocking off his computer. The whole shop was watching a lady in a white dress manhandling a man. I was yelling at him on how dare he behaves like this & that I would complain esp when he has a toy shop.....

    A zoo officer came & quietened me...... I guess all the animal watching had rubbed off the maternal ANIMAL instinct in me. My husband next to me was too stunned to react.

    It has been over 1.5 years but I still think of it & wonder if I could have behaved differently. I decided that in case of related incidents again I would watch my kid's reaction first & then act with an even tone with others after which I would talk about it to my kid.....

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