Sunday, May 17, 2009

Torture or Parenting?

Since the Obama administration took a public stand against the ‘brutal’ torture techniques secretly authorized by the former Bush administration officials to interrogate terrorists, my husband has been threatening to write to President Barack Obama about what he (and the kids agree wholeheartedly) deems as my torture of our kids.

If reminding your children that not brushing their teeth after eating their favorite dessert would result in gingivitis and more importantly, mom spending a fortune to fill a dozen cavities is considered torture, so be it. I admit that I could have waited until they actually finished eating the dessert to remind about this.

If pointing out that taking a brush to the hair is not a punishable offense in this country and that without constant combing, birds and squirrels would consider the tangled hair a wonderful place to build a nest is considered torture, so be it. I still don’t understand what was so wrong about saying it in front of company.

If driving your children week after week to Kumon Math Center to help them become the future Einsteins of the world is considered torture, so be it. I don’t consider offering to fetch extra Kumon sheets for the week anytime they have the audacity to stand up to me a threat. Do you?

If insisting that they clean up their rooms enough for me to see the floor before I take them out to a movie is considered torture, so be it. The fact that taking them out to a movie was promised as a reward for a past good behavior has got nothing to do with it.

If wanting to do a criminal background check on all members of a family before sending my kids to a new friend’s house for a play date or a sleepover is considered torture, so be it. Believe me, it is no walk in the park for me to grill their friends for information on the number of members in their household , their ages, their social security #s(how else am I going to run a background check?), their general whereabouts during the day, pets in the house etc., etc., etc.

If taking the responsibility to enlighten my kids on the value of money by giving them regular talks about how I had to walk 3 miles every day to take a bus to college and save up my allowance for six months to buy a new pair of sandals is considered torture, so be it. Contrary to their beliefs, I don’t intentionally choose the times they are relaxing to give these talks.

Go ahead and bring in the troops to take me away now, for I am guilty as sin.

-Meena Sankaran


நாகு (Nagu) said...

Did I read your first sentence right? What happened to 'your world'!!!! You made Srilatha R proud.

jeyashrisuresh said...

absolutely parenting meena.whenever i tell kids to keep house clean and reminds them in a louder voice to brush their teeth fast and take bath ,so that not to skip their breakfast,my husbaand will ask me in a polite voice"how u did all these things when u were a kid" i will just stare at him and leave the place.Then slowly after few hrs i rewind my memories back to my childhood and remember those days how i react when my dad very polietly ask me to brush my teeth before going to bed and how badly i reacted.
I think i took a lot of ur space.

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

Nagu, I knew someone was going to come at me for opening my post with a 'news' reference so soon after writing about my 'World'.:-)

I didn't go seeking out any news, cross my heart. I happened to be in the midst of folks talking about it recently with me listening in with a 'know-it-all' expression. :-)

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

Don't you worry about taking up space, Jeyamma.(Un edamaa en edamaa, namma kavala padaruthukku). Keep your comments coming.:-)

What you said is very true. Now and again, it hits me on the head when I find myself in my Mom or Dad's shoes disciplining the kids exactly how we were disciplined back in those years. Saying the same things I didn't want to hear from my parents as a child.

Go figure!

Srilatha said...

Couldn't help gloating a bit reading your first sentence, and then laughed outright reading Nagu's comment :)
Your timing could have been better, Meena, but the logic is impeccable - as you always need to catch them at their most vulnerable moment to make a point. A mother's love is a many splendored thing and often comes disguised as reminders, warnings and "I told you so's" :)

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

"A mother's love is a many splendored thing and often comes disguised as reminders, warnings and "I told you so's" :)"

Bingo Srilatha. You nailed in a few words what took me a page to explain.:-)Welcome back.

Sreelatha said...

Thanks for some of the parenting techniques! I'll be very glad to share this with my kids. So they know what Parenting is about! And that they are not the only one in this world!

Meenakshi Sankaran said...


I would be a poor example for you to follow as God knows my parenting techniques have as much worth as a bag of rotten tomatoes. :-)

I am glad to see you here though.