March 28, 2010

Thoughts tag

I came out of the fitting room of a posh garment shop and could still hear the kid fussing/crying over top of his voice. He must have been 4-5 years old. The mom held him up and continued browsing through the racks. She didn’t even try to ask what’s wrong. Another lady standing nearby me couldn’t (or wouldn’t) take it anymore and said in a loud voice, 'Oh for God’s sake. Take him home. He doesn’t want to be in the store”.  Mom still kept browsing through the ongoing sale. Let her kid scream his lungs out. Let other people get headaches due to that. She will get her discounts.


An acquaintance of a friend, decided to join gym to control her weight. Her husband decided to come along. Problem? What will they do with their 4 year old? Oh that’s right, dump him in the acquaintance (my friend) place every weekend for 2-3 hours while they work out in the gym. I asked my friend why don’t they hire a baby sitter if they are planning to go to gym every weekend? She pointed and laughed at me. Apparently Indian parents don’t hire baby-sitter. They use their acquaintances. It doesn’t matter if the acquaintances might have other plans (the reason the whole thing came up. I invited her over during a weekend). Hey, it’s your kid and your responsibility and not someone else’s.


Another acquaintance, another friend. This acquaintance is pregnant and is in her first trimester=> She has morning sickness. She can’t tolerate a lot of things, among them is the smell of Indian curry. Yet a colleague of theirs decided to get an Indian takeout/leftovers for his lunch and ate it right on his desk which is right next to this pregnant lady (and yes he knew). They have a big cafeteria provided by the company and he could have eaten there. But NO. As Apu pointed out in this post, he didn’t want to give the ‘special treatment’ to a woman just because she happens to be pregnant. Women, their bodies and their pregnancy aren’t the norm of this world.


Another acquaintance of another friend. This time acquaintance wife is pregnant. He (the acquaintance) is hoping that it’s not a girl. Why? If it’s a boy, he doesn’t have to worry about him returning home pregnant. Of course, it doesn’t matter if he impregnates a girl because like most Indians, he is not planning to teach his son about responsibilities and consequences of unsafe sex.  Since a male body don’t carry the baby, they don’t have any responsibility for a baby.

First time I heard these arguments were when a friend’s family decided to have a dog and her parents ruled against getting a she-dog (yes I know what they are called) even though a she-puppy was available at the moment. Guess in our world, a pet and a daughter are equivalent.


An acquaintance was complaining about a common friend. The common friend had the audacity of telling off her spoiled son (4 years old) when he was hitting her with his toy car while she (the acquaintance) watched. She never explained why the common friend is supposed to take the abuse (the metallic toy car hurts!) or why didn’t she herself told him off?


A friend of mine doesn’t want kids because she can’t and won’t raise an unruly kids as most parents these day do. She, like me, can’t tolerate spoiled kids. And yet, she says, that kid will grow up in a world filled with those spoiled kids. Nah, according to her, those spoiled kids will be the norm of next generation (and number of spoiled kids I see these days, I can’t argue with her). How will her kid with his/her values survive in a world like that? She think, she will, by her ways of bringing him/her up, make sure that her kid will be a failure in the future world.


I know all these thoughts are not connected with each other in any way and each of them deserves a post of its own but as I am not too big on writing posts these days due to my thesis, I thought I would put the thoughts/events that I thought can become potential posts out there for you to think about. I know quite a few of these events can provoke a reaction in almost all of us and I will be happy to hear your thoughts about it.

So I tag all the readers to either write a post or comment here on any of these events that particularly pinched them. It’s free for all tag. Since I am starting the tag, I am taking the liberty to tag a few of my favorite bloggers. Hopefully they will respond. And they are: Apu, IHM, PB, Rachna, Shilpa, Sudipta, Usha and Viji.

You can post your response by joining this site (Google Friend Connect). If you don't wish to do so, you can use the Blogger default 'Post a Comment' at the bottom of this page. Thanks for your comment. Hope I will see you again..

16 responses:

Psych Babbler said...

Re your first it possible the mother was ignoring the child who was just throwing a tantrum? It is one of the things we recommend to parents: planned ignoring. Particularly in stores. Ignore the little shits until they realise they will not be getting their way. :)

The reprimanding of the child of another person reminded me of the book 'The Slap'. I am sometimes so tempted to tell kids off in session but I can only reprimand them rarely...when I am demonstrating parenting skills to parents. Wish I could do it everywhere! :P

Munish Gupta said...

The common friend story is so true of nowadays. One of my neighbors' kid hit my kid n broke his toy and when we ask them to control him, we r given a look as if we have done a crime.

Sparky said...

It surprises me really just how narrow people are. How unwilling people are to make the slightest accomodation for other people - and it's one being trained in children.

From not recognising the disruption and discomfort their child is casuing, to deciding that your need to eat that food there is more important than the pregnant woman's morning sickness, to just dropping your kids on someone and assuming they have the time spare to look after them. It's a gross sense of entitlement

rajlakshmi said...

//he doesn’t have to worry about him returning home pregnant// that just explains how much our society has progressed...
as for kids... I hate unruly kids !!! spoiled kids irritate me... and feel like spanking them in front of their parents... I was neither my Mausi's daughter is raised like that... and we are proud of it ...
it takes are a lot of effort , if only parents are interested in investing Time not money.

Richa said...

If she was doing that, she chose a very bad location to do so. But I don't think that was the case for as much as I know typical Indian (unfortunately the lady was Indian in this case) families: they don't go to counselors for advise about their children (they don;t get baby sitter, you really think they will get a counselor?). Also, this is a very common scene in stores here. Indian families and their spoiled kids will play havoc while parents ignore them.

Well I don't really reprimand the kid misbehaving with me. I simply tell them that they are hurting me and I won't play with them if they continue to do so. And I do stop playing or talking to them if they continue that or if they start it again after a while. I had a lot of younger cousins growing up and this trick has always worked. It's a very simple trick and I don't get how and why parents fail to implement it?

Richa said...

I am reminded of my friend's grandmother who commented last time I was in India: "Seems like only this generation (our generation) have had kids, the way they pamper them and spoil them. We also had kids but we never danced around them or gave them everything they wanted."

She further continued while arguing with his grandson (my friend's cousin) that "A four year old should have a parent and not a friend. If they don't understand that their actions have consequences, they will never learn. You can't treat your four year old as a friend. Befriend them when they grow a little older and have learned a bit of discipline"

I adore my friend's grandmother!!

Richa said...

You said it Sparky! That's the phrase I was looking for: "Gross sense of entitlement".

You are surprised? I have been repressing my rage for past few weeks over which all these incidents happened.

Another friend after reading my post related another incident: six year old of one of her acquaintance broke the new laptop of the acquaintance that they bought 1.5 months ago. The worst part: no one told off the child. He doesn't know that he did something wrong! He was never told that. What kind of person he will be when he grows up? I want to shake up this guy and his wife and tell him to do something about it before it gets way out of hand.

Richa said...

I agree! Our society needs to leap forward and soon..

Indian Homemaker said...

I feel strongly about almost all these points. I also feel terribly sad for so called 'spoiled' kids, because 'spoiled' sounds pampered, but the fact is such kids are often neglected. I agree bringing up children can be exhausting but parents cannot pass on their responsibility to strangers - and the saddest is the same parents who are watching their son jump on a friends' white sofa would take offense if the friends explain to the child why he must take off his shoes.

When my daughter was around 2, another mother used to tell me she was 'too mild, I never see her demanding (i.e. throwing a tantrum), "Now my A is too pampered, if she wants something, she wants something..." This child was avoided by all because (and was it the child's fault?) she always wanted what another kid had. Se cried, lay on the floor, became hysterical, in fact she so such an unhappy child because the mother never taught her to take turns and to share.

I feel sometimes some children can't handle crowded places, and my son was like that. I always picked him up ( till age 3 or so) brought him home when I saw him looking uncomfortable in Birthday parties. Some other parents thought "let him cry a little, don't let him miss out on the cake cutting" - but the idea here was to ensure he has fun, once it stops being fun why force him to stay? He also hated picnics - I think he used to get too tired and shopping. We made sure one of us stayed back or if we did take him, one us dropped everything and found him a quiet place to fall asleep.

Sometimes some parents actually feel aggression is a good thing. They tell there children "Maar khaker mat aana". If we all teach our kids this they will come home with scratches every day. And how does it prepare the child for living in civil society? Why not teach them to take turns, share, cause and effect, getting along, finding alternatives if what they like isn't available ("Missed a fav TV show? Let's play with a ball!") - children need to learn all these if they are to grow up into happy, well adjusted adults.

Phew, long comment... I had started with the thought of writing a few lines on each! :(

Munish Gupta said...

I beg to differ here. I think you should be a friend of ur kid as and when possible. I try to be a friend to my 2 year old kid and it works absolutely fine (at least till now). I do change into the role of a parent as and when needed but even these young kids need to express their feeling and only way they can do that is if they have someone listening to them. Being an old fashioned parent would never give them this opportunity.
The kid I was talking about never gets a parent/friend to talk to. He sits alone in the yard all day (regardless of the heat) with his parents inside and just watches everyone around. Kids are not born spoilt. They learn from their surrounding people. They are like rivers, the path you give them is the path they take (till they decide to take their own paths)

Munish Gupta said...

I so agree with this comment.

Richa said...

I agree Munish. I don't believe "kids should only be seen and not heard". They should be given proper attention and time but young kids need discipline, someone need to teach them that there are consequences of their actions. They can'y have anything and everything.They need to be taught how to share and NOT hit or bully people.

Richa said...

I know what you mean IHM but trust me these kids (at least the ones I know) are anything but neglected. Their parents (or rather their mom) are on call 24x7. The trouble with them is they aren't told off. EVER. They can break anything they want, they hit other people, bully kids in their class and parents think that its so cute!!

Oh yeah! "the bullies". Another acquaintance whose 4 year old was the bully of the class. They received complaints and always laughed it off. The day came when some kid hit their son. Do you know what they did? Got him to a karate class!Their argument: 'He shouldn't be bullied. He should know how to defend himself.' Translation: he should bully other and no one should bully him. I didn't know what to say to them.

shilpagarg said...

Ah! My thoughts exactly!! Spoilt kids, responsibility shirking parents, MCPs, insensitive people...all make you wonder and ponder. And believe me, I had such thoughts doing the rounds in my head too and was thinking of a way to put them across and this TAG has come at an opportune time, so will vent them out via this tag. Thanks for tagging!

Richa said...

I am looking forward to read the post Shilpa!

Indian Homemaker said...

"he doesn’t have to worry about him returning home pregnant"

Those who say this for their sons are the ones who will be signing P Muthalik's petition to save our culture - not from sexual assaults or child abuse, but from teenage pregnancies. And only unmarried teens. Once married a pregnant teenager's life and health doesn't matter, because by then our culture is saved from the Western influence.

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