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We pass on this message over generations that it’s okay to display anger but not love. It’s okay to hit not hug. It’s okay to yell but not apologize.
Priya could again hear loud noises from the other room just as she woke up. She was 13 years old now and till the time she could remember she was used to waking up with yelling, screaming, banging of stuff almost everyday.
Her parents fought over trivial issues day in and day out and hurled abuses at each other and the atmosphere in the house was always toxic.
The other day when she saw her friend Maya’s parents hug each other she thought that she had never seen her parents hug or even hold hands in front of her. That day she asked her mother, “Mom, why don’t you and dad ever hug each other?”
Her mother scorned, “That’s a very private thing to do and we would not do that in front of you. It’s not our culture.” Priya was taken aback. Yelling, abusing, fighting was okay in front of their child but not display of affection? What kind of ‘culture’ was that?
How many times do we see Indian parents hugging, holding hands or giving a peck to each other in front of their children? The belief is that this is ‘against our culture’ and that it will affect the children adversely.
But the same parents have no qualms in abusing, cursing, fighting, hitting in front of their children. Do they believe that won’t create any adverse affects? On the contrary, children who see their parents being affectionate towards each other are more secure and happy.
Funnily, most parents don’t apologize to each other for their behaviour. The children who see their parents fighting day in and day out are insecure, have no trust in relationships or marriage, and resent their parents. It affects their psyche badly.
What kind of culture do we perpetrate? We pass on this message over generations that it’s okay to display anger but not love. It’s okay to hit not hug. It’s okay to yell but not apologize. It’s okay to pretend than handle the situation wisely.
Let’s tweak the ‘culture’ where displaying affection, apologizing for mistakes or bad behavior, owing up for the mistakes, discussing calmly should be normalized, instead of normalizing yelling, screaming, hitting and toxic behaviour.
Image source: shutterstock
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I am an international travel expert by profession and an avid blogger by passion. Parenting
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