Sarcasm as an Aid to Parenting
Sarcasm as an Aid to Parenting
Being a Parent is a tough job indeed. You often have to make very difficult choices when it comes to disciplining your kid. To shout, or to explain tenderly. To hit, or pretend to hit without hurting them, or to not hit at all. Each child is unique, and on the top of that, each parent-child bond is so different from others, that a fit for all approach is impossible to find.
Fortunately, there is something which can come to our aid - Sarcasm. Not as a well-defined approach but a tool that can be used in numerous ways.
In this post, a mother shares an incidence where she used sarcasm instead of shouting at her child.
My son shouted on me loudly. He was irritated with something, and I knew he was being completely unfair in his irritation. I was angry, but instead of shouting at him (which I do when required), I said quietly, "Thank you Jayom, for talking to me with such respect. I’m very happy that you’re talking like this."
His tone became inquiring, slightly taunting, though still rude. “Is this something we’ll call respectful?”
I said, “This is something you have to decide for yourself Jayom. Is this how you want to talk to your mom?”
He immediately stepped down the bed, came to my desk, and apologized. It was a sincere apology. Somehow, I don’t think I would have got a sincere apology so soon if I had shouted at him. He might have been scared of getting some more scolding and said sorry, but realizing his mistake might not have happened that quickly.
My son is 4.5 years old, and sometimes I feel, that in some situations he acts like a much older child. (But other times, he is a noisy little naughty boy who thinks of having fun all the time. Literally, all the time — if left to his own devices, he would even skip sleeping) But of course, your child is unique. How much of this “dose” of sarcasm would be required, whether or not he would react appropriately, is something only you can decide.
Then, of course, you have to use it in a prudent manner, else it can backfire. My son keeps trying his hand at Sarcasm for his own benefit every now and then.
My son opened the refrigerator at night and saw “Kheer”. He said, “Nobody seemed to have touched this today, will it be just me who has to finish it?” It took a long time to diffuse his logic and tell him he can wish me “Kheer morning” and have as much as he wants the next day.
There are numerous such incidences, most of them are hilarious, and I do try to keep a log whenever possible*.
So consider yourself warned when you use Sarcasm in front of your kids as a tool, you are getting them acquainted with this tool. Don’t be surprised if they start using it. For younger kids, it would be adorable at best and surprising for outsiders at worst. But when your kids grow up, their sarcastic comebacks could come forth as rude. So, give them the knife when you feel they are ready for it but don’t forget to tell them how sharp it is.
*Will continue to share more interesting and humorous incidences from that log.