Aarti looked at him with horror. She has never seen Varun, her husband of five years behave like this. Their three year Aarav was standing still, unable to fathom what was going on. Varun was pacing up and down in the room murmuring continuously, “it hurts...I know how it feels when you are spanked. I know how much it hurts. I know how much it pains. I know Aarav will hate me. I scolded him again today… I am bad.. I am a bad father.”
Aarav was growing up and so was his naughtiness. Aarti and Varun were always behind him. Even though Aarti will be the bad cop, Varun was always very nice to his son, a dotting dad in every possible sense. But today for some reason, Varun lost his cool and snubbed Aarav hard. And, then, all hell broke lose. Aarti was not in a position to apprehend Varun’s behavior. She stood petrified and clueless about why he behaved strangely. What was it that bothered Varun so much. She stood-still wondering!
Varun was a thorough gentleman, a devoted husband and a dotting father. But his rage when Aarti reprimanded Aarav was palpable. He would never like it, and so he would never ever do it himself too. Varun has been vocal about the fact that he hates when kids are spanked and reprimanded. But, Aarti never bothered to delve deep and so never questioned Varun. Probably something that she should have done!
After that day, Aarti noticed that every time Aarti or Varun scolded or spanked Aarav, Varun would behave abnormally. So much so that he began hurling abuses at Aarti, for apparently no reason. Aarti on the other hand found it difficult to handle and decided to consult a counselor. Nothing was working in favor of her. Multiple times she tried talking it out with Varun, but in vain. But, to her utter surprise, she could convince Varun about his abnormality and the fact that he needed to seek help. Varun was sensible, though reluctant. Even though he was in denial, but at last decided for counseling. And then the truth was unraveled...
Varun was a victim of childhood trauma. He remembers his mother spanking him at minute instances. Varun couldn’t say much as he was a naughty kid. He was reprimanded in front of people and else where ….perhaps everywhere. Varun accepted that with much protest. However, he felt insulted, rebuked and defeated. He felt no love. He doesn't have any good memory of his childhood other than his friends who were his life. He could never protest and never could find an escape. And, the trauma just stayed with him all through his childhood till he slowly started finding his way of things. For Varun, the scar never healed. Instead, it stayed with him like a painful sting that he could never ever come out off. And, now when he did similar to Aarav, his painful past haunted him. He felt guilty of doing what he hated the most. He feared that his child will also start hating him as he felt for his mom.
After few sessions of counseling, Varun realized and was made to believe that all is not lost. What is important for any child is the love that you shower. Even though you spank your child occasionally, it should never over power the love and affection that you have for him. A child is like a soft sponge, like they say. He absorbs everything that you give. So, you need to decide rather carefully about what is getting filled in his kitty more. That is what makes or breaks a child’s childhood in a larger spectrum.
Well, we all spank our kids once in a while. And, it hurts us too. I will not be judgmental towards the mom here. But rather would draw a lesson that what excessive spanking and disciplining can do to a child. Love, I guess that’s the word that is never enough for kids. So, let’s be careful about that and bring out our best in front of a child and certainly not the worst.
This should be te introduction to the author - Maitabi Banerjee is a freelance writer, editor and blogger with a deep insight into parenting, love and relationship. As highly opinionated person, she has written on an array of topics and garnered appreciation from choicest of audience. An avid reader and a lover of music, she loves her time spent with books and gazals. When not writing, either she is cooking a storm in the kitchen or playing games with her two minions. Maitabi's writing mantra is simple - "it should be a dictionary-free reading".