We as normal human beings moving around and living in our towns and cities must have surely seen some shocking instances of child abuse by their own parents.
This harsh parenting is highly prevalent not only in the slums and roadside shanties but also in middle class households and also in high society families. It is a domestic evil which needs to be eradicated totally in order to build a new healthy India, new healthy citizens of tomorrow.
What causes this harsh parenting ? One of the reasons is poverty. Low income and frustrations in life causes utmost stress in parents which they vent upon their children physically , mentally causing irreparable harm as children do remember such harsh instances which get imbibed into their minds causing them to start disliking the parent and in the later stage of life they mistreat their parent who now is old and dependent on the child.
Authoritarian parenting is also another kind of harsh parenting. Authoritarian parents try to manipulate and control the minds of their children. Their expectations from their children are very high in terms of academic performances and also obedience to what they say. They lay strict day to day behavioral rules and expect their obedience. Such authoritarian parents also shame their child and make them feel guilty on slightest digression of the rules laid. They follow the policy “ No questions”.
Children raised by authoritarian parents are likely to obey but only out of fear and not sincerely. This type of long term parenting creates a dislike for the concerned parent. Also the child effected by strict parenting is likely to become like them in their behavior socially, be amongst their friends and school mates.
The child reciprocates in the same way towards their companions as their strict parent. If parent keeps on yelling, he yells too… shaming him, he shames others, being bullied.. he bullies too.
Children raised of authoritarian parenting find it difficult to relate themselves with their friends and mates as they become aggressive in nature and are likely to pick up quarrels and confrontations.
Authoritarian parents also think various ways of punishing their children mentally, emotionally, financially and in most shocking way physically too.
All this tend to poor performance of the child academically, also leading to depression anxiety and low self esteem which may have long term negative effects.
Authoritarian parenting also causes submissiveness, timidity and fearfulness in the children. They feel they have to be blindly obedient to the orders given without using intellect & logic and they do this out of fear for being punished resulting into losing confidence and courage in dealing with unforeseen situations.
One instance of what a strict father use to do with his son
This son was 8 years old.
This father was a very strict man. He would never allow his son to be alone with his mother. He used to beat his son constantly. Can you imagine how he used to punish his son? Its shocking ! He used to burn all his things. His toys, his clothes other valuables. One day he took his son to a Basket Ball match and and also bought him a ball and also a jersey T Shirt. Next day his son left something on the floor in his room for which he was beaten and as an extended punishment he burnt the ball and his jersey T shirt in a fit of rage. The son felt and it never made sense to him as to how he can burn such expensive things which he had bought for him only a few hours ago. And when he narrated this to his friends they use to often laugh and joke about it.
One instance of constant cross examination and grilling
One such child narrates about her mother’s complex and authoritarian personality of constant grilling and cross examining every single day for every single issue.
Living with such a suspicious and insane mother was a worst kind of torture which she had to undergo as slightest omissions in replies was unacceptable and unpardonable. Where were you till now ? Why did you go there? Why are you late ? Whom did you go to meet? Why you wanted to meet ? What did you do there? She use to try to corner her daughter and confuse her into replies and try to make her lie and flare into rage scowling screaming yelling with total domination. The daughter on her way back home had to had to think of the answers which she would have to give in the grilling and cross examination on reaching home which would make her all the more tense and fearful.
Few things which can be avoided in parenting
- Do not compare the siblings. This comparison is very common. This may cause a rift amongst the siblings and can create negative feelings for parent.
- There may be some times of frustration in discharging your responsibilities and the child may not be aware of the same. Outburst of anger may cause a feeling of neglect especially in very young children. One needs to practice patience in such times.
- Do not ever shame your child for anything bad he may have done. One may adopt better and positive ways of explaining the kids the difference between good and bad.
- Do not accuse and criticize for any wrong decision which he must have taken as they may not be meeting your expectation which may be a field of study or a job. Constructive and matured discussion can solve these types of issues.
- Do not tell him and compare him to yourself as to how better and capable you were when you were his age. This is the result of high expectation you have as you desire to raise a perfect child. Instead one should recollect one ‘s own short comings as a child and try to address the same does not happen to your child. This has to be done in a discreet way.
- Do not accuse the child that he is trying to hurt you. The child must have done anything un-intentionally and by accusing him you may create a feeling of guilt inside him.
Author : RajKumar Sachdev