Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Pioneer- Dilli Billi -5th.August.2012 - "DISCIPLINE A CHILD WITHOUT SPANKING"


Times have changed. Beating a child is no longer the solution to teach him a lesson. Explaining to him what is correct is the key to proper upbringing .

Horror stories about children being mistreated in schools have become common. A few weeks back, all news channels ran a story on how a warden, as a punishment, forced a 10-year-old girl to lick her urine after bed-wetting. The warden had put salt on the spot and forced the girl’s face into the urine while her roommates looked on.

Over the years, we have heard of reports of children being slapped so hard, by the teacher, that they bled from the ear or became deaf. Locking a child in a bathroom and forgetting is common as well. Some children have even fainted in the bathroom. Recently, there was a case where a child after being scolded jumped off a building and died. And these reports are not from metros alone. Small towns and villages have their share of stories.

The media, with its 24X7 on your face reporting screams for justice for the family and demands harshest the punishment for the culprit. But punishing a child is nothing new. There is an adage: Spare the rod and spoil the child. Almost everyone, as a child, has been punished. Fights with brothers and sisters are common. There is nothing wrong in trying to discipline a child by slapping him once in a while. But to force a child to lick her urine as a form of punishment is crossing the line.

And then there is another form of punishment, this time in hostels. There are numerous instances where boys have committed suicide due to the humiliation they have faced during ragging. Despite the fact that ragging has been banned it continues to take victims.

One can only imagine the shock and sadness that descends on the family when such an incident takes place. Some of us have studying in boarding schools. My children also went to a boarding school. Whenever they would be ragged, I would get angry and want to take up the matter with the school authorities. But they would stop me. So, they stopped telling me the whole truth. They were scared that I would complain that the ragging had not stopped. They grew up to be independent and capable of looking after themselves.

Today, it is anger, frustration and impatience that make teachers cruel. But it is a little odd that a rap on the knuckles is termed as being cruel. As for locking the student in the bathroom, there are many parents today who resort to such punishment when their child misbehaves. The problem lies when both parents and teachers cross the thin line that demarcates cruelty and an act that is unforgivable.

Times have changed and beating a child to discipline him is no longer the best way to mend his ways. Spanking a child can lead to low self esteem and his studies may get affected. It is very important for a child to be able trust his parents. And that trust will come when the child feels assured that he will not be let down in front of others.

Explaining the child what is right and wrong and how he should behave is the key to teach him the right kind of values. The children have more exposure today. They have a scientific bent of mind.

Logic is the only way to make them see sense.

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