The parents’ own complexes, insecurity and deep-rooted anxiety which
cast a shadow on their child-rearing practice may be detrimental for the child.
These parents are helpless and indecisive most of the time. Occasionally
they are liable to impart a sort of parenting which tends to compensate for
their own complexes and they end up providing the things which they were
denied in their youth without considering the consequences. If not directly
or intentionally, this may have some link with the parents’ deep-rooted
unfulfilled desires which they want to gratify by regimenting or spoiling the
child. Parents should be careful about not going to either extreme.
Another set of parents move in a direction opposite to this trend. They
feel that the child should be treated in exactly the same way as they were
treated in their childhood, recalling their parents as harsh, conservative and
non-rewarding. They become inconsiderate or follow blindly their selfmade
or customary rules and compel their child to obey the same. This
rigidity is hardly accepted by their child. Very soon he turns a deaf ear and
starts revolting against their commands, orders and even requests. Parents’
constant refusals to demands may make a child more stubborn and take him
far away from his parents.
I have observed during interview sessions that many parents forced their
child to follow the rules which they have been observing for generations.
Although it is not bad to maintain the family rituals, to follow each and every
rule without modification and mutual agreement in conformity with the needs
of the changing times sounds like autocracy. Many children are the victims
of their parents’ autocratic nature. Sometimes, parents’ adamant attitude is
the by-product of their learnt behaviour which they take as normal, as it is
the training they received in their own childhood. Whatever they learnt then,
they consider an absolutely normal way of behaving.
Discover Good Options
As recently as two decades back, society was quite different. There
have been lots of changes since then; how can you stop your child from
going along with the new trend? Rather, you need to bring some progressive
changes in yourself and your behaviour without needlessly comparing the
modern times to the olden days. You can overturn the notion that one’s
personality and disposition cannot be changed. You are quite capable of
originating a new principle on your own by bringing a positive change in
your attitude and outlook.
Thus, for parents, compensating for their own deprivations or insistence
upon adhering to the old family practice of child-rearing is, in either case,
based on their biases. There is no plausible reason why parents should
not respond to the novelty and the changes which are happening rapidly
around them. The child who accepts rigid parental dictates may develop an
inflexible and restricted personality and face guilt-arousing and self-abasing
conflicts resulting in mounting and severe problems in them. So, you should
be a liberal parent—while proceeding carefully!
Parents! It is advisable for you to sort out your position by reviewing
your parental problems at periodic intervals and their traumatic impact on
you which block the way to your becoming more liberal and independent.
It will open new vistas for you to welcome new and good ideas, thereby
enabling you to develop a correct insight, and realize the severity of the
actions of your own troubled past and their ongoing impact on your child.
Parents will find some illustrations in the following chapter on how
their own behaviour crosses over to their child willy nilly. It is good idea for
them if they assess themselves by relegating themselves to the background
as a ‘child’ inside them and interact with ‘him’ accordingly.
There are so many families who demonstrate how even a person who
came from a disturbed family raises his child in the right direction. So one’s
own childhood experiences may give one some vital clues on what to do and
what not to do— let those guide one’s activity.
Ragini, a mother of two teenage children, said “I used to see many fights
between my parents from my very early childhood. Dad used to torture my
mom. My mom was often in depression. She hardly supervised us, as I have
a brother, too. We both used to take care of ourselves. We used to manage
from school to home by ourselves. We were deprived of many essential
childhood desires. Now, my husband and I share a wonderful relationship
and we’re bonding with our kids. We are satisfied with our achievements.
We celebrate every occasion with zest. We often drop in on our relatives and
friends. We don’t spend much time with friends, rather we make sure that
we give our children maximum time. Both my children are excellent. I don’t
find that my traumatic childhood experience interfered with my own life.
Rather, it enriched my overall experience which gave me some insight and
taught me the secret of family happiness which we often lacked.”9
In the final analysis, a parent blaming a child for some behavioural
disorders need to look back to his early days of parenting and find hints for
a correct approach in his personal history.
If parents were only a little less casual in advertising the dark edges of
their personality to their children, we would surely have had a society of
smarter, less erratic, fundamentally stronger (morally and psychologically)
youth. Not only would they have been more in control of themselves but
also possibly have steered clear of any behavioral aberration and prevented
themselves from becoming the deviant from the accepted norms of the