a suggestion needed !!

India
January 12, 2010 1:12pm CST
hey!just curious if how many of you would bother to share a few parenting tips with your relatives.i recently visited my distantly related brother's house and to my astonishment the whole family had trained their 3 yr old daughter to prostrate on the floor and greet elders. since the poor child was getting so much of encouragement i think she continued doing it every once in a while (almost 10-15 times in 20 mins duration) much to my discomfort.i felt like sharing a suggestion with them but the grandparents were so appreciative of the act as it was something very cultured and of good religious omen , i had to keep mum.what would you do in such a situation???
2 people like this
7 responses
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
12 Jan 10
Teaching a child to do this in the west ( Canada and the US) would be considered "sick!" I would probably never go near those people again. Their poor child might never grow out of an inferiority complex such as this would establish. That she kept doing it repeatedly, showed that she has been subjected to intensive training. Parents like these could be charged with child abuse in North America.
@berrys (865)
• Singapore
13 Jan 10
i totally agree with barehugs you should say something or let the mother know at least that she should'nt encourage such behaviour from her daughter and i do agree that it is child abuse and the poor child doing it for the attention to me suggests that her parents are quite strict what country are you from?
@GADHISUNU (2164)
• India
14 Jan 10
Barehugs, this is a cultural more. That is why when neo_matrix put up this discussion the first thing I checked was his/her cultural background.Prostrating before God and elders is imbibing Hindu culture. In my knowledge they wouldn't be encouraging the child to do this to all and sundry. Perhaps the visitors to their house are likely to be co-religionists. It is not to give an inferiority complex that a child is taught to do this. Definitely not. I have been taught to this of course in moderation, and in most deserving cases. I don't think I have any inferiority complex at any point in life due to this. The hallmark of Hinduism is humility. So, they teach respect of elders and God. Respecting Elders is a very patent Hindu trait.
• India
14 Jan 10
yes, i agree with the cultural differences, since its common in hindu culture to prostrate and show respect to God and elders. but i am well aware with a child's rights because of my human rights background.the fact that it is completely improper to train a small child like this made me uncomfortable thoroughly.i was in dilemma because with the kind of cultural interpretation in my country its not that much a issue as parents usually are unaware of a child's rights whereas my education in child psychology and development tells that it was far more excess than permissible limit.when i tried explaining them they completely dismissed whatever i felt was correct. thanks
@GADHISUNU (2164)
• India
14 Jan 10
Neo_Matrix, perhaps they are over doing it. You must gently advise them against this overdose. You need to tell them gently if they are elders to you that this must be done with lot of discretion. I have been brought up in very orthodox Hindu traditions. But I do not remember, my parents asking me to prostrate before ALL elders. Only the deserving, like the most aged and knowledgeable in the family, or Gurus and Acharyas. Of course prostrating before God(the Idol or an assumed Universal Existence)is a part of the sound Hindu Religious training. In this respect I sort of like the Islamic concept of prostrating to none other than God.
@GADHISUNU (2164)
• India
14 Jan 10
Oh! I forgot to answer yur main question. I would gently advise them to be discreet. I would navigate the situation into a discussion and show them that real gains are only where Shastras advice prostration.
• India
14 Jan 10
thanks a lot .i did try to subtly suggest but it was dismissed outright. that family is orthodox too.so you can understand my situation .prostrating before all the elders even if they may not be that aged or learned is common in that part of eastern India. yes definitely islamic concept has an upper hand in this.
@cmhjjh (99)
• United States
13 Jan 10
i feel for you I would not have felt comfortable either and what do you do? If you really felt the need to say something I would make sure to do it in private with just the mother and maybe tell her you would appreciate it if they didn't make their daughter great you that way it makes you feel uncomfortable. Otherwise I would not visit their house anymore and limit it to public visits which I hope they would not require this poor girl to do this in public.
• India
14 Jan 10
yeah i think approaching the mother alone instead of mother and grandmother would have been bit better.but really i was disgusted with the continual reinforcement to that poor child who kept on doing it non stop.
• India
14 Jan 10
thanks
• United States
12 Jan 10
Are you sure that she was being trained to do so or was she imitaing something that she had seen someone else do? Kids at that age are very likely to imitate others and when she received praise for doing so she continued with the action. If someone had simply told her ok now thats enough she probably would have stopped. But because the adults thought it cute no one took charge to stop the behavior.
• India
12 Jan 10
no it was more than imitation for her mother and grandmother made the child do that in front of the god's idol and then to the elders.like when we went her mother asked her to greet us in that way and she simply started doing and wont stop even if i told thats enough because they were continously praising her for this.
• United States
12 Jan 10
She is seeking that praise that is coming from her mother. If the childs actions make you feel uncomfortable then you need to let her mother know how you feel. The child is looking to the mother and grandmother to support her actions and will continue to act this way as long as she is getting the positive reinforcement from them.
@vigirl (3)
• United States
13 Jan 10
This seems over the top, I thought at 3 years of age we should encourage children to be self confident and to explore the world, a little young for extreme humbling. But some cultures are very driven by religion so I guess it is a parents choice. I wonder how this will fly when the child enters pre-school or daycare. It is very difficult to give parenting advice when not asked for, parents tend to get very upset so I think you did the right thing
• India
14 Jan 10
thanks.there was no option left for me as my subtle suggestions were falling on deaf ears .i may sound unconventional to them but i don't think such heightened religiousity at such tender age helps in any way.
@Sreekala (20424)
• India
13 Jan 10
Hi neo_matrix, I think it must be joint family and the child must be favourite of all people. I know when small kids learn good things the elderly people must be proud on them because they knew that the credit goes to the whole family or it is a symbol of their culture. The child is just enjoying the appreciation so he/she keep on doing the same. It is important to teach the moral values and everybody will love to listen the greetings from a small kid. At the same time it is not good to encourage the child to keep on doing the same, greeting once is enough. I agree with you, sometimes grandparents are pampering and spoiling their grandkids much. (I am not speaking about whole grandparents, but only small percentage is doing like it). Actually they are happy and proud on their grandkids.
• India
14 Jan 10
you are absolutely right.the grandmother pampers her a lot as well as other members in the joint family.thanks
• India
13 Jan 10
I agree with you friend. I would also not have felt comfortable with the situations as you felt bad. I think her parents had to understand better instead of showing that she can do it or anything... it is good that they teach her good moral values but there is limit of everything and they should look for the comfort of kid as well not just showing that they have made her like this or that...
• India
14 Jan 10
thanks.i do feel good moral values are not dependent on outward gestures.i just wished they understood this fact.