Don’t pressure cook your kid

By Julia Fernandes

August 26, 2011


“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget thathe is someone today.” -- Stacia Tauscher


Parenting is one of the mostselfless and toughest jobs in the whole world. It is a job where the perks arefew and the responsibilities high. It is job that you can never truly retirefrom as long as you are alive. Even when parents die they continue to care, loveand guide their children. So, in a way this job extends even after your deathdepending upon how much you loved your job!


Every child is a special gift fromGod. As parents it is upto us how we treasure, value, and take care of thisgift. Any one can become a father or mother but it takes years of selfless love,tender care and tremendous patience to grow as wonderful parents. You may becomea father/mother overnight but it takes many years to become the parent that Godintends you to be!


Many times while walking on thestation platform I see insensitive parents dragging their tiny tots. I cansense the parent’s frustration in keeping up with the tiny steps of theirchildren. They forget that their kids are small and so their steps willobviously be small too. It is a heart-tugging sight to see cute three to fouryear olds holding their parents hands and hurriedly taking double steps almostto the point of leaping to keep up with the large strides of their parents.


Often in the name of discipline Isee parents producing terror in the hearts of their kids. Once I was sittingoutside the church while the service was going on inside. A woman brought herchild out and started to admonish her. I reckon that the little girl wasplaying or talking inside the church. The child must have been three to fouryears old. I was sitting very close to the mother-daughter.


The mother did not scream or shoutsince it was a public place. But she quietly and with great force pinched herdaughter’s cheeks and with the most terrifying look and tone warned herdaughter sternly that she will never ever talk in the church again. The normalreprimand with love was missing. The girl just stood there numb with fear. Shecould not even cry too fearing more backlash from her mother. I myself freakedout looking at the terrorizing face and tone of the mother, so you can imaginewhat must have been the plight of that poor kid.


I have also seen over zealous parentsexerting pressure on their children where studies are concerned. It is so sad. Someparents think that their child is no less than a superboy / supergirl. They donot give them room for errors; they expect their child to be perfect and learneverything. Parents don’t realize but such kind of unreasonable behaviour affectsthe child as children do not have a mechanism to deal with such kind ofpressure.


Few years back my nephew whiledoing his homework was sweating profusely. When I approached him I realizedthat the stress of completing a large assignment of homework not given by theteacher but by his dad -- was causing him the anxiety. Then I wrotehalf and told my nephew to write little and leave the rest. Only then hisanxiety eased. Parents need to judiciously understand how much portion they should cover and how much they can leave. You need not have to make your child learn the whole textbook!


Children need to be handled in a firm yet gentle way.If you have to discipline, do so with love and not fear. Do not put pressuremore than what your child can handle. Each child is unique; recognize thetalents God has blessed in your child. Encourage your child’s efforts; your fewwords of encouragement mean the world to them. Give them the freedom to followtheir dreams. They are your little darlings; please don’t pressure cook them!