March 30, 2001,
Can you cope with your kids?
Can you cope with your kids?
1. Your young baby finds it difficult to settle to sleep. Do you:
a. try to establish a reassuring routine?
b. give up and let the baby cry for hours?
c. keep the baby up until it falls asleep from exhaustion?
2. Your toddler refuses to eat. Do you:
a. Spend hours forcing it to eat as much as possible?
b. try to accept it as a phase without getting too worried?
c. seek professional help?
3. Your toddler throws a tantrum at the supermarket. Do you:
a. drag it out of the shop in shame?
b. Shout at the child in front of everyone?
c. carry on quietly shopping until the fuss subsides?
4. At school your son is being bullied. Do you:
a. have a quiet word with the class teacher?
b. storm into the school demanding to see the head teacher?
c. talk to the child at home to build his confidence?
5. Your child is deliberately rude to one of his/her grandparents. Do you:
a. quietly but firmly make him/her apologise?
b. ignore the incident because you are embarrassed?
c. make a scene which makes everyone feel worse?
6.Your young teenage son starts wearing clothes you hate. Do you:
a. try to see it from his point of view although you think he looks dreadful?
b. throw the offending items away?
c. bribe him to wear suitable clothes on important occasions?
7. Your teenage daughter has an undesirable boyfriend. Do you:
a. ban him from the house?
b. say nothing in the hope that it will soon be over?
c. treat him as one of the family and then regret it?
8. Your teenage son starts staying out until the early hours. Do you:
a. have constant rows?
b. lock the front door?
c. try to negotiate more reasonable behaviour?
9. Your teenage son refuses to work for his important examinations. Do you:
a. try to give him as much support as possible?
b. bribe him with large sums of money?
c. allow it to become a major source of conflict?
10. Your teenage daughter wants to go on a holiday with a mixed group. Do you:
a. refuse to let her go?
b. have long discussions about the pros and cons?
c. let her go, but arrange for the group to be supervised?
Now calculate your score
1. a 10 b0 c5
2. a0 b10 c5
3. a5 b0 c10
4. a10 b0 c5
5. a10 b5 c0
6. a10 b5 c0
7. a0 b10 c5
8. a5 b0 c10
9. a10 b5 c0
10. a0 b10 c5
66-100: You and your partner seem to have a well-balanced attitude towards your children, and the demands that they make on you. You can see when it is necessary to compromise and when you need to stand firm. You may have spent a lot of time reading about child psychology, but it is more likely you just have the knack of handling difficult situations.
35-65: Like many parents, you probably find that you often feel confused about how to tackle problems that your children throw at you. The most important principle is that you should agree with your partner and present a united front. Also you should try to be as consistent as possible, whilst keeping an open mind.
Your attitude towards your children and their welfare seems to swing
from an absolutely rigid and unbending one to one that is wildly
permissive. Your children are probably very confused, and therefore feel
they have to challenge you on every issue. Perhaps you should try
talking to other parents or even professionals to arrive at a more
consistent and realistic approach. —
In the garb of frankness, they offend
"Oh, you are looking really atrocious, what have you done to yourself?" "How come she is not as fair as her sister?" "A terrible nose this little one has, not at all like his father’s." "From where on earth did you get such a lousy dress?" " Why hasn't your daughter got married?" So on and so forth... How often have we resisted the impulse to snub a person for being so rude? Many times you cannot help wondering what it is that prompts people to breach all limits of polite, decent behaviour and ask with unrestrained curiosity, personal and awkward questions. How often we remember the remark that was so off-putting and offensive that it was difficult not to react or at least harbour a grudge. Once a friend almost punched the nose of one nosey parker neighbour who insisted on asking questions about her father’s business losses. At another time, an aunt was taken aback when an acquaintance (a wannabe friend) who she met after15 years, informed her that not only had she lost all her looks but was looking unwell. She tried to grin and bear it, but the person was shunned. One wonders if it is the kinship culture that we Indians subscribe to that is responsible for us becoming so familiar with rank strangers. Even in an urban setting, we adhere to the establishing of a relationship, minus the genuine warmth and affection that our village or small town gave us.
In the name of being frank and straightforward, some people end up inflicting hurt and humiliation on many they interact with.
Perhaps it is the times that we are living in that have made us so insensitive and apathetic to others’ feelings. We might have shed the mantle of keeping up appearances and the need to conform to an outmoded code of conduct. So blase are we with the new-found code of ethics that good manners and sensitivity to others’ go out of the window.
"I don’t care", "I don’t give a damn", "I am not bothered" or better still meri marzi seem to be the defining words of the present set-up. Does this also mean that wilfully or out of sheer thoughtlessness, it is perfectly fine to maul or mutilate or ask questions (often personal) that the other person would rather not answer ? The increasing insularity and the alienation of an urban set-up has led to more loneliness, no doubt. What is intriguing is that our attitudes have not become truly impersonal, detached or functional. When it comes to evincing a genuine interest in someone’s life or helping out in a constructive manner, we take refuge in the fact that modern life leaves us with little time to be interested in anyone else’s life. But when it comes to eliciting juicy details out of the goings-on in the lives of our neighbours, friends or relatives, we are all ears, eyes and tongues wagging. We debunk our own argument about being busy and take out all the time in the world to indulge in aimless talk and target others.
It is our sensibility that spurs us on to ask even the most personal questions in a fashion that is so cavalier.
We have no compunctions about asking if the other person who we may not know from Adam, is married, engaged, has children, does not get along with the wife\ husband\ mother-in-law\ brother\ boss\ colleague, how much he earns or does not. The person might be four times removed, never mind. Questions pertaining to one’s life, love work and leisure are fielded and asked with aplomb and with utter disregard to the person’s inclination to answer or not.
Some tips to keep in mind when conversing with others:
How to cope with an impolite person
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