Most of us usually sit down to question the very existence of mankind and the very next moment we find ourselves trying to find solution of our problems. I remember while watching a documentary on an extremely successful actress wherein she was explaining her transition from a child having a low self esteem to the storm she became. We often forget how important it is to preserve your self worth and esteem even from your ‘supposedly loving ones’. I am not the best judge on this but yes i can surely narrate an experience in the form of an article. My experiences, travelling, education and exposure have made me the confident person i am and my family traces this back to my childhood days when i was so bubbly, an ‘innocent attention seeker’ who was so openly accused of stealing her sister’s attention too. Me and my sister often have arguments over who has borne the brunt of tantrums and calculations of personality assessment the most. Well as far as my satellite of observation goes every child whether loud, geek, slow or wild has his/her own share of trial of self esteem. I was raised in an environment which certainly cannot be called a ‘pampered one’ but we as kids were given full freedom by our parents and even our grandparents to voice our opinions in front of everyone for which I will be thankful forever. We automatically entered the ‘bracket of analysis’ by the ones around us who claimed to love us and care for us. When my family shifted to another country for future career prospectives, I for the first time very early in life realised that even a six year old chap was expected to behave like a disciplined person as if we were to march in front of the Queen. By my loving relatives I was not allowed to sit amongst elders in the ‘so called discussions which seemed to be high profile’, nasty looks were thrown at me if i ever spoke loud, laughed out loud or behaved in my native way. To top it all i was officially declared that ‘ I was a child with serious behavioural problems’.
Well I welcomed the criticism with a big heart and waited for the day to dig deep into the shallowness of discipline which was forced on me. As years passed by I was dwindled between finding myself and suiting to other’s opinions of me. But as the popular saying says ‘ person might not be interested in politics, politics is always interested in person’. Right from being accused of not knowing neither doing any household chores to having been called seriously a Lesbian’for my over PDA for my mother by a woman who is so close to my mother yet thought it was her prerogative to sympathise with me. I have always found it futile to argue with elders not because of the existence of the barrier of respect but I think arguing with people who ain’t on the same level of sensitivity is without a doubt gross. The point where I realized the biggest hypocrisy was when i was shut for being a ‘loud speaker’ by the women who themselves could not stand up against the wrongs of their husbands as it is a well celebrated ‘ social and cultural norm’ to categorize girls as being submissive in the garb of soft speaking minions. As a child this is nothing what i have been through, it is just a glimpse of what highlights the larger issue at hand that is playing with the self esteem of a child. It is worst than abuse yet the best way to crush your belief. I have always tried to understand the domestic discourses of two generations, 20 years down i find no difference except that we have more avenues of information and exposure than our parents did. The hypocrisy is that the people of uncle and aunty’s generation use the tool of age old school thoughts to give them the name of tried and tested methods of upbringing. I do not refute all of them but when it comes to orthodoxy I do believe in reform. Even the Apex Court says that what you cant do directly cannot do that indirectly. I am just following that principle of survival living. No one even your close relatives has a right to form judgements about your upbringing or value system. What they think is discipline is actually the norm they have themselves defies years ago, but will never discuss that. We need to teach our kids to be as expressive as they can rather than proudly possessing the virtue of staying shut in front of your elders and let injustice happen. Disciplining is not just limited to teaching your kids to not argue with elders or wishing them or speaking softly in front of them it is about teaching them what is right and wrong at every step, teach them how to make mistakes and correct them. It is imperative not to bring the age gaps between in any relationship as it gives space for spacing. The persistent problem of understanding and hypocrisies will automatically fade away when our loving aunties and uncles learn that they need to change with time and still keep children grounded. It can happen without the net of discipline as well. The writer of the article is a product of that ideology.
The purpose of writing this article is not to victimize myself which goes against my feminist conditioning, neither do i want to teach anyone parenting here which i am clearly incapable of. This message goes out not as bashing opinions as loud farts, it simply takes on itself killing supremacy by wisdom combined with sarcasm. It is in no way designed to hurt someone or settle scores but it resonates the fact loudly that ‘understand your boundaries’. The search of digging and lay bare the shallowness of discipline will not be complete without me mentioning the towering and devastating effects of boycotting a child away from ‘elderly discussions’ which however i managed to over hear made no sense and were clearly not productive. Another thing comes of being judgemental about a child’s choices whether academic or personal. It sounds very familiar and relatable that everyone has to go through the drills of unnecessary and unjustified scrutinizations conducted in the ‘name of love’.We do not understand the long lasting reprecurssions, for the old generation it is easy to pass a comment about a child and sip the cup of tea, but it degrades the other person and influences interpersonal relationships as well. We kill a million dreams for we are not allowed to question and just expected to burry our defiance.
The new version of ‘to silence a person is to crush one’s self esteem forever is, to silence a person once is to build the capacity to stand again and again’