two ways to bring up a child


Posted by appa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 18-02-2008

Recently someone from America had come on a visit to India. She has two granddaughters in the US, elder one she has brought up with more attention in her own way, compared to the younger one. And there on the phone was her elder granddaughter, wailing away and completely miserable not able to eat properly also, just pleading that her granny comes back home as soon as possible.

I felt really sorry for her granddaughter. But for the grandmother and all her sisters, it was a kind of satisfaction about how much the grandchild loved her.

There are countless ways to bring up a child – but in my view they primarily come down to two aspects. They are of course not mutually exclusive, and there is no absolute black or white.

One is the way adults involved want them to be brought up. There is a strong feeling that one knows the best way to bring up children. there is a strong feeling of ownership for the child to be brought up “my way”. Here the adult knows better than the child. Here the child is considered as more like a cute doll than an intelligent individual. The child is expected to owe a lot of obligation to the adult. Threatening or bribing the child to get any expected behavior is a convenient habit.

And the other is the way where the adult acknowledges that there may be a better way than what they already know, and willing to learn it from whatever sources life manifests as. The child is not a doll, but an independent intelligent individual, and is respected and treated as one. Threatening or bribing the child to get any expected behaviour may happen only as a last resort. In fact, the child is able to learn by itself and the function of the adult is mainly only to facilitate and support. Therefore the child owes nothing to the adult, as its simply a priviledge for the adult to have gotten such an opportunity.