This is a real incident, which forced me to pen down this post. I had taken my daughter to the park in our residential society. I sat and watched the children play while my daughter was on the jungle gym.
One of the boys, hefty little fellow (let’s call him Sunny) was playing at the swing for a long time and was not allowing others a chance. The kids had this method of making a line and swing for five minutes. After much cajoling and pleading Sunny got off the swing and went to slide.
Apparently sliding was not fun for our Sunny, so he came back to his mother and complained about the long line for the swing. To my surprise she told him to go and stand first in the line and ignore everyone. Sunny’s mind, like white canvas, absorbed his mother’s instructions and followed them.
Other kids asked Sunny to go back in the line and in the scuffle he pushed two of the kids down. Meanwhile our Sunny pinched the arm of another child (maybe another teaching, some other time), who was standing and scowling at Sunny. The little boy went howling to his mother.
Mother and attendants came to calm down the crying kids and complained to Sunny’s mother.
She shrugged and calmly said, ‘He is also a kid, these things happen. Let him swing for five minutes, then we are going home.’
Sunny swung merrily for full fifteen minutes then went home.
Here Sunny learnt two lessons from his mother; one, breaking rules is alright and second I can get away with it, and a potential bully was born.
It got me thinking, what is a parent’s role in their child being a bully or a selfish human being as he or she grows up?
Is it not a parent’s responsibility to:
- understand negative and positive aggression of their child?
- actively engage their child towards positive endeavors and tone down negative aggression
- teach their child to not be a bully and develop compassion for another human being?
Next time Sunny would repeat the same behaviour in the school canteen, in the movie ticket queue or may get involved in ragging in college and perhaps overtake a car from the wrong side or jump a red light. All the while thinking that he would get away.
And God forbid, if he is hit by another vehicle or get caught in heinous repercussions of ragging, would his mother understand that it is a result of that one lesson in the park!
Be careful what you paint on your precious white canvas, because it is irreplaceable!