Friday, April 2, 2010

Is it ok or is it not?!

When we go to a party and are served dinner buffet style, it's ok to walk around, hold our plate in our hand, talk, stand and eat........
So what's wrong if a child wants to do that sometimes in another place or at home?
But no, we correct him and say : "No, you can't do that, you should sit at the table and eat!"
We can go to a cafe, pub or bar and catch up on the daily news or cricket match on TV and have a drink or a bite.....that's ok
But we would reprimand a child for watching his favourite TV programme and eating.....
When we are hungry or feel like a drink, we just go and get what we want, but in our heads we make choices about what we want to have......
But when a child tells you "I don't want to eat that, can I please have .....instead?", we retort with a "No! This is all you can have!"
When a friend asks to borrow your car, you think a hundred times about giving it to him to use, because you don't really know if you can trust him with it......that's ok
But when a child says he doesn't want to share his favourite bike or toy with a neighbour's kid, we say: "You must share!"
When you don't say"Hi" to someone you see everyday, because you are in a foul mood, or because you were preoccupied with something.....that's ok
But when a child doesn't say "hello" to a guest who has come home, it's not ok.
So ....what's really ok and what is not?
Why is it that we give ourselves so many choices but not our kids?


  1. Hey Priya...first of all...CONGRATS on the blog :) Ive jus started readin stuff and absolutelyyyy loved this one...so sooo sooo true!...its somethin that has sure crossed my mind a coupla times too... u've put it rather categorically...
    Choices... we learn to make them frm day 1... and like u said... why is there a difference in the right or wrong of choices as we grow? WOW!

  2. Unfortunately, what is ok or not depends on who you are. At that stage, I think children need to know explicitly what is normative behavior. Ideally we would do that by demonstrating it to them 100% of the time. If you can do that, thats great but probably its not realistic for most people. I don't know if its makes sense to overload them with all the exceptions that make up daily life. From my own life, I try to make it a point to apologize to my daughter if I behave in a way that I don't want her emulating, not always succeeding.

    Kids are pretty strong and seem to accept why its ok for me to have a snack (usually sweet) right before dinner but its not ok for her. Just as she's ok with the fact that I can drink beer and she cannot and I have to go to "work" for 12 hrs each day and she does not. My 2c.

    A comment from my Anonymous friend


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