The need to flout rules..

.. seems to be an Indian thing – or so some people I run into seem to believe.

On the day trip to White Scar caves, we ran into some ‘proud’ Indians. So proud they were, that they felt it necessary to announce it, ‘Rules are meant to be broken, yaar’, and ‘We are Indians’ – as if that meant that we could just ignore rules, or flout them, as we please. There was a rule of not taking pictures in certain places, and this group made it a point to ignore it, while loudly proclaiming that they could do it – because they’re Indians! It makes my heart break to see my nationality used as an excuse to not follow rules.

Sadly, this happens almost everywhere. We seem to have built up a reputation to not follow rules. I remember at a restaurant in Switzerland, the waitress coming and telling us very sternly that outside food is not allowed – we were not carrying food with us  – but clearly our compatriots have left such an impression that they felt the need to warn us. It felt really sad -but I could understand why she must have felt the need to say it to us. Clearly lots of people do things like this.

One time, we had a dance function, and they asked us mothers to stay out of the dressing area, while the dance teacher and other assistants would get the children ready. It was not big enough for all of us to fit in. Yes, we were not entirely happy, but understood it and  respected it. One of us,however, found a reason to go up there, and refused to leave. She said, she is ready to break all rules when it came to her child. That attitude makes me very uncomfortable. If you do not set an example to your child, how would you expect her to have a respect for rules and regulations? When as responsible adults we cannot respect rules, what can we expect from children who grow up seeing this?

If you have to break rules, I am sure nothing any of us say will make a difference – but please, please do not justify it by bringing in your nationality.

Pushing the boundaries of discipline

Daughter is mischievous, naughty, but not insolent. At least not so far.

Last week she mentioned that a child in school, stuck out her tongue at her a few times, and she thought it was very rude. I agreed, and asked her to ignore children who behave like that.

I thought that was the end of it, but apparently not. A couple of days back she stuck out her tongue at me, when she did not like something I said. I took her to task, and she apologized.

She did that again the next day, and the same routine followed, of her apologizing and promising to never do it again.

Yesterday, she did it again. Now, I was quite upset that she picked up something and was bent on doing it even when she was aware that it was quite rude. So I said to her that she had enough warning, and if she persisted in doing it, I would have to take away one of her privileges. She did it again immediately – as if she were testing me. So I calmly, carried out my threat, and asked her to think about what she had done.

She was upset, and she did apologize and has promised to never do it again.

We had a chat later, and she does seem to understand why I don’t want her doing stuff like that. But this episode shook me, she has never deliberately tried to test her boundaries so far. Normally, she understands when it is explained to her. This time, for some reason, she wanted to see how far she could go..

I can only hope that I handled it properly and that she realizes that bad behaviour will not be tolerated – ever. But it does worry me… and I guess I will continue to worry until I know that it worked.. And it also worries me how easily bad behaviour is picked up.