Parenting by example

I follow this blog quite religiously. The thoughts mentioned, topics discussed, are really something I have long believed in, but have been losing touch with, lately. Thanks to the adult world. I’m glad I found the blog.

This particular post rung a bell because it is something I’m going through now, while parenting my 3.5 yr old. I want to ask about the dichotomy that exists in our behaviours while teaching to our children, and while practising in reality, in our lives.

Whenever I teach something, any value to Anay, I try and teach him what I practice in real life. And, if it is violence I practice, I teach violence to him. Let me explain with an example.

Anay is a very soft, shy and a little coward kind of a child. Even at this small an age, his general tendency is to stay away from trouble/problems/conflicts than get into them. So, if there is a kid who’s pushy, or overly-active, he would rather stay at a hand’s distance than go and play with him. I don’t think it is generally the case. I’ve mostly seen kids enjoying such excessive-energy-centers. They would love to break toys, hit each other. etc. I hope you got the image and the point. So now, when Anay started going to play-school, which starts at a tender-age of 2 yrs, I may remind you. There was this child, extremely pushy, hitting kids. Anay would often come home telling us about Amog hitting him. I don’t want my child picking fights unnecessarily. But, I definitely don’t want him to be the child hiding behind the bush to avoid bullies. So, my teaching to him is ‘Don’t pick a fight, but don’t get back if another starts it. Try telling the teacher if it helps. But, if it persists, hit back.’

This is precisely what I’ll do if I were in a situation. I know he may have to face trouble. There maybe times when he starts hitting a guy much bigger than him in capacity (which will mostly be the case since he’s extremely skinny). But, it is important for the child to know that he has to fend for himself. There will not be a Mom, or Papa, or Amma or Daadu, or teacher to save him. He’ll have to learn to save himself.

To others, I am a mother teaching violence to her child. Am I wrong ? What would you do in a similar situation? Is there anything else that I could have done than preach violence to him?

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