Preconceived notion

Sunita Giri 9:40 PM |

Recently I moved with Alka, who has a son less than five years old and she is very rough when dealing with her son. I call her Hitler Mom. I tell her many times, if I had a child helpline number, I would have dialed them many times to alert for abusing her young child with her raised tone for no apparent reason. When I moved in, she also had a guest [ sister-in-law] who has a child of her own about 14 months old. The young mom was so angry and agitated  she used to beat the innocent child for no apparent reason again. That child used to be her angry bag, where she could throw her anger. She used to get irritated and agitated specially at night if the boy did not sleep at time. That time happens to be when she fall asleep and the child was in no mood to sleep yet.


Before this, I have never ever found myself in an environment for so long who raised young child like this and it gave me a chance to have glimpse of inside story of how people raise a child in family.  I also have to be clear the one who were raised by not just both parents at home but also other family members.


I myself have been raised in Bal Mandir and for so long time I harbored a thought that the upbringing in Bal Mandir is normally rougher than that of in family. Our classmates in schools used to pinpoint it, when they used to notice some unusual behavior issue with us during our disagreements. I grew up hearing this from the people who grew up in family.


More I grew up, more I started paying close attention to this fact. As time pass by, I kept changing my thoughts. I have even read article quoting many psychologists on the subject that the children who are ignored, neglected and treated with disrespect while they were growing up, do tend to end up their life in trouble later in their life. This is due to some resentment and reservations that their young minds absorbed while they were young and going up. When I read it for the first time did agreed with that belief, and thought that this the right analysis of our life and behavior. Because, there are many thinkers who believe, our conscious mind is the slave of our subconscious mind.


Agreed; that’s how we were raised. We were not attended when they saw us crying and forgot to ask us, what really bothered us. It is understandable that their hands were full and may be there were ten other children crying, exactly at the same time when I was crying in a room which normally have 20 children at a time and it sure wouldn't have been easy to attend all of them at the same time. Sure, they were just a human being and did not have ten sets of eyes, ears and heart of Mother Teresa to move forward instantly and console everyone at the same time. 

However, their ill treatment and disrespect still do have power to send my mind in numb state, even today. People who believe that supportive family do shape our life, are right to some extent, if not entirely. Because, those supportive words and inspiration is something that will go and rest in our subconscious mind forever.


The reason I am keenly interested in this matter, that people in family are raised better than we in the children home or people would like to call it orphanage is because I need to know more or perhaps everything about this preconceived notion as well as the truth behind it.  Is this, what we believe or there is some truth to it also ?


The first thing that changed my perception about this is the study report from John Hopkins university. As I wanted to know more I found more interesting facts which forced me to change my preconceived notion that believed, poor children from slum or the children who are raised in children homes do  get tangled badly in life. However a reality check by a sociology professor from John Hopkins University have some deeper insight to offer me with the result. He had done a survey in a slum in Baltimore. Students who were sent from the university studied about 200 youth in slum thoroughly, about their conditions. After this they concluded in their report, that these youth from slum, will end up their life in prison, when they grow up.


After twenty five years later, the same professor sent another groups of students to follow up on his earlier study to the same slum in Baltimore. Out of 200 they had succeed tracking down 160 of the people who were part of the social study. What surprised them was, they had turned into civilized men and were doing fine in their lives. Its natural, if they got curious about it, and very humanly possible to ask; why and what is the reason behind it ? The second group of students came to know that the 100 of youth had gone to the same high school, where a teacher named Sheila O’Rourke used to teach them with love and respect that was mostly preserved for only the children of well off families. Her deep believe in religion made her do what she did with those slum children; and with that she proved wrong the prediction made by earlier group of John Hopkins University students.


In recent years I have been studying keenly crime shows on Indian channels and one of my study is to find who are the criminals and who raised them ? Is this true they all come from slum or the inner areas of the society as it is believed ? My believe have been shattered by now that it was just poor and people from slums are the reason behind all the crime that takes place in our society. Oh yes, in times of two facing each other in a battle, rich always presumes monetary variance being the prime reason of the crime. I am also not ignoring  it totally, at times greed is the reason behind all the crime but its greed not having less is the reason. However poor or the slum dweller are not the main reason of the all the bad things that goes on in our society. Interesting it is, that it really serves good to some people in power to say so, and spread the news saying so. It has their benefit in it, not the reality.



Alka is well educated Indian women raised in very well off family but she is not living with her husband and there are reasons with her husband which irks her so much that anger shows in her behavior when she deals with her son. I tell this to her and she nods with me. Mamta is not much educated as she never went to college, but she too is raised in family. Only difference is that it seems that she was raised more roughly than I was in Bal Mandir. She is the second wife of the man she married and some of her anger and frustration is something the young child has to bear. This is hard to believe but this is the truth. Now, this forced me to think hard. No nannies were that irritated with the man, who could smack us in our back or hit us badly. Besides our nannies were not even allowed to touch us, it fell on housemothers to tame us with stick or harsh words.


But looking back and trying to understand the situation, after observing closely, some parents especially mothers raising their child and studying keenly crime shows over many years now, it has given me my own conviction, that we were not treated that badly as some people presumed or even I presumed. Its only a state of mind that was made us to feel like that. Now, I can even rubbish A grade psychologist for that belief even if, couple of us may have ended up in trouble. We can't blame our childhood for all the bad times. But people who are raised my family member do feel more sad and end up in trouble than we from children home. 

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