Saturday, May 8, 2010

Someone Must Take The Blame


I have seen how some parents punished their children when something nasty happened. I have seen how they walked around carrying a cane, and how the children cowering in fear in a corner. I have seen how they interrogate, threaten, scold and punish the children in front of my eyes. These are unforgettable experiences and I do feel the pains from time to time until today. And when I remember how the prisoners are caned, I will close my eyes tight and feel the shrieking cries and the searing pain on the body. I never like the cane!

But I believe right is right and wrong is wrong; right is never wrong, and wrong is never right. And I believe parents must reward their children for doing right and punish them for doing wrong. But often, it is easily said than done.

It will be easier if we can identify the trouble makers, deal with them personally, and settle the problem once and for all. But often, things are not simple at all. There are times when children just wouldn’t listen to us and own up. While the parents are trying hard to nab the culprits, the children are keeping a tight lip. And that is where problem arises and trouble begins.

Then parents scream in anger, "Someone must take the blame".

Some parents become impatient and walk straight to the older children, punishing them for not helping to take good care of the family. Sometimes they punish the usual trouble makers. And sometimes they just punish everyone around, and so begin the crying and screaming sessions, and then more caning.

"Someone must take the responsibility", the parents scream again, this time in rage.

And that is how we learn to be parents, down the centuries. It is practiced widely and by almost everyone. Nobody seems to ask whether the practice is wrong. The principle is the same: wrong is wrong and wrong must be punished. And someone must take the blame.

The decision is final. Everyone is happy except the victims. The parents are happy because they think they have the situation under control. The trouble makers are happy because they have gone unpunished. But the victims are sad, really sad, because they are punished for a crime they have not committed. They are confused, really lost because they don’t know what to do next. They have been taught that right is right and wrong is wrong. And now they are taught that right is also wrong and wrong is also right.

Some children just give up in the fight. They become losers and loners. There is no reason to continue fighting. The parents are always right, the other children are always right, but they are always wrong.

Sometimes we parents have to wait before taking any action. They are all our children. We don’t want to make the wrong decisions.

Clinging to anger is not healthy. So is favoritism in the home.

But worst of all is the decision we take that someone must take the blame.

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