Some parents I’ve noticed have this annoying habit. A habit they do not realize does more harm than good; a habit that discourages instead of bringing improvement; a habit that affects the psyche instead of the outlook; a habit that is akin to kicking someone who has fallen, laughing in their face, and then telling them how much you love them.
This is the habit of parents showing the whole world what spectacular and utter failures their children are by putting their shortfalls on full display before all to see and then inviting some more people to come and have a good laugh that’ll brighten up their day. This will then probably lead to an innocent either jumping from the terrace or hanging from the fan if they’re not strong enough to take the insult or smart enough to understand its purpose.
Let’s face it, there are such parents. And what’s worse, they are more in number than those parents who like to show the world that their children are the best in the whole wide world. Admittedly, that isn’t any good either, extremes rarely are, but at least it is talked about and ridiculed. However, the other end of the spectrum? It isn’t talked about in the way the adulation is spoken of. It is hardly ever criticized in society that is.
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There is rarely one who is strong enough to stand up to the parents and ask them to stop the rigmarole because at that moment, the child is the one who has let the parents down, who has tarnished the family name, who has failed in class, who has lost the competition, who has bunked a class, ho didn’t get into a good college, who didn’t get that gold medal, who didn’t care about what parents wanted. The child is to blame fair and square.
But one would think that parents, before using this innovative method of insulting their children before family and friends, would stop for a moment and think about what this would achieve.
Does ridicule raise confidence?
Does insult dull the injury of failure?
Does shame induce self-confidence?
Does derision ensure better performance?
Does humiliation beget better results?
Does indignity tend to inspire?
These are the questions that these parents need to ask themselves before going out into that party and shaming their children before others because you never know how someone will react to such shaming.
Your children might not understand that you do it out of love or desperation or some other sort of correctional method. In that moment, they just know pain all over again.
For some, it is too late. For others, it is not.
Please find a better way.
I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for quite some time now and a friend fortunately brought it up on Facebook recently. She saw this happening on an Indian soap opera and spoke out against it which led me to ultimately writing this piece. If you do think the problem is real, share this post with either the student who is suffering from this, or with the parent who thinks ridicule only makes things better.