Are Desi kids badly behaved?

Once a friend said, “Desi kids and dogs are both badly behaved!” when we mentioned that we need to train our dog more. In a couple of months she did end up a reasonably trained dog although she prefers to come to us only after we call her 4-5 times, when she is playing.

But desi kids are just another ball game it seems. When is a desi not a kid? We never grow up for our parents as they prefer making all our decisions on our behalf and love to micro manage us. In my personal experience I have seen a friend’s kid, a five-year old, extremely well-behaved. The five-year old chose to ask her mother, my friend, if she could have a cookie on their way back home since they had been gifted some at the day care, that particular day. And when my friend said no to that and told her when she could eat it, the child didn’t bother asking again! I have never seen that among desi kids.

When my desi friends say no to their kids, I think even the kids know that their parents don’t mean it perhaps. And the no is never calmly said, it always has anger or some irritation associated with it. Does this have anything to do with desi culture? Perhaps it does, because a lot of us can’t say no to small things, if we do, we feel bad and fret and fume over it, because somehow no equals bad.

Here’s how the kids depict pain or ‘no’. An interesting point of view:

When I review how a lot of us were brought up, in a lot of instances I can recollect when my parents lost their temper if I tried to bargain with their ‘no’. And I see a lot of my desi friends do it too. Even today most elders can’t say no without anger attached to it. Do we have to be angry to say no, is something we have to review.

We laugh at this video but the fact is we don’t even know when shouting or beating is essential, we do it indiscriminately and today it’s another extreme, not at all!

When it comes to feeding – OMG! We know it, no amount of food is ever enough for the parent, although the kid is full. The kid might have eaten half a banana or a cookie, but because the parent feels it is too little, they end up force-feeding the child who then cries and brings the house down. Eventually the kid gives up and probably ends up over eating, a terrible habit which is cultivated at such a young age.

Till today my food is a big point of discussion among my family members. Strangely, that wasn’t the case with my grandparents. They never asked my mom or any of her siblings, every time they saw them, “Are you eating on time?”, “What did you cook today?”, “Are you drinking milk?” They had other things to talk about. But the important thing to note is that till my grandparents moved from the village, they had a very set routine and were very disciplined. Even in the city, they followed it as much as they could. But with our parents generation, there is hardly any discipline. They did things at odd times and continue to do so. Unfortunately that’s what we have learnt, so we don’t even know why were are saying no and to what we should say no!

Most desi kids therefore sleep at a random time, because if parents sleep at a random time, they can’t possibly guide their child to sleep at a particular time every day. I remember that my grandparents never had any problems sleeping, but from my parents generation these problems have begun and I probably have the most trouble sleeping. I wonder if lack of discipline with time has anything to do with it.

We also have the habit of being late, but of course that changes when we leave our home countries. But not so with our grandparents generation, hardly ever seen my grand mom or grand dad or their friends arrive late or reach late for anything! And most people of their generation had similar timings – they all woke up around the same time, did their work around the same time, ate at the same time and slept at the same time. Everyone was in sync, but as we have advanced materialistically we have forgotten to sync with each other it looks like. Some of us also make a habit of staying awake at nights and sleep in the morning, either induced by profession or by choice.

Not saying other race kids are perfect, they aren’t. But the point to note is that things are haywire, it is time we take things back into our hands and bring up a responsible generation of adults. That’s really our duty as adults. We have a bigger responsibility of learning from our grandparents generation and picking a few things up from our parents’ generation and then to choose wisely and communicate efficiently. The task is huge, because for this we need to change ourselves first.

This article was written by a deeply mysterious desi who prefers to stay in the shadows.