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Spare the rod and help your child

With office frustration spilling over, kids have to bear the brunt of violence at home.
Hindustan Times | By Pooja Mehta, Kolkata
UPDATED ON JUL 25, 2013 11:41 AM IST

With office frustration spilling over, kids have to bear the brunt of violence at home.

Sparing the rod is the best thing that parents can gift their child. But when the theory is applied to stressed-out parents, the results are often disastrous.

With both the parents working, the child is faced with angry behaviour from both father as well as the mother that often culminates in violence.

Office related frustration and anger are often carried back home and the kids bear the brunt of the heat.

Work pressure and additional burden to manage the affairs of a nuclear family, which force the husband and wife to shoulder many responsibilities, often test the patience of young men and women who cannot tackle the tantrums of their child.

“Every morning, I wake up to the cries of the child of my neighbour. For obvious reasons, the child is reluctant to leave his or her bed to get ready for school. At the same time, the mother has to dress the boy up before she prepares to leave for her office. The result: a session of beating every day,” said Jayanta Mukherjee of Regent Park.

There are many like Jayanta who complain of child abuse by parents while they are teaching or asking their wards to behave.

Most of these cases go unreported since, unlike the West, awareness in not there.

Violence on the child results in depression, fall in self-esteem, anxiety, personality disorders and a violent streak among children.

A punished child becomes preoccupied with feelings of anger and revenge, and is thus deprived of the opportunity to learn effective methods of solving the problems at hand.

In most households, homemaker mothers take charge of disciplining their children, while their fathers are working full time and are away from the house.

When the children irritate their stressed mothers, they tend to beat their kids.

“Today’s parents, even homemaker mothers, are so stressed that they tend to vent their anger on their children. Stress is a form of frustration, which eventually leads to anger. These parents should manage their stress in an effective way and go for counseling, yoga and meditation. Beating children at home will not discipline them,” said Rajyasree Bandyapadhyay, a senior clinical psychologist and psychotherapist at Calcutta Medical Research Institute.

Working parents are struggling to meet stringent deadlines in office.

They have very little time to devote to their children as they are away from home most of the time.

Once they return from office, they are extremely tired and worked up.

Eventually, they lose their cool at the slightest mistake of their children and beat them up.

“Working parents struggle between two worlds - office and their houses.

They have to strike a balance in order to devote time to their kids.

They are so stressed after a long hectic day at work that they tend to beat up their kids as a result of the frustration building inside them,” said Kanika Mitra, psychiatrist, Castle Corner Clinic.

A 35-year-old father of a nine-year-old boy working with a city-based MNC said, “The whole day I am struggling with work in office and the moment I step into my home and see my son messing up the whole house, my immediate reaction is to hit him. Later, I regret beating him up. I am trying my best to manage my stress levels and control my temper.”

Designer Agnimitra Paul has a solution.

She says, “I am not the kind of mother who beats up her son. I cannot vent my anger on him. There are times when I have had a very hectic day at work and when I return home, my son becomes very tough to tackle. I don’t really lose my patience and am very calm with him. If I start shouting and yelling, he becomes very difficult to handle. I have to pacify him and listen to him and find out where the problem lies. Later, I make him understand and sort out the issue.”

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