When I was a child, everybody used to compare me with a walkie talkie doll. My sheer charm and obidience would cast a spell on everyone around. People used to compliment my parents for their good luck on being blessed with such an obedient, well mannered, chirpy girl. “I am sure she would have never given you a chance to even shout , forget about slapping her!” These were the words, my parents heard very frequently from their family, friends, relatives and even strangers.
Little did they know that behind this charm lies a dull head that hates mathematics. The more I hated mathematics, the more my dad would teach me. Finally with the advent of unitary method problems in class 1, I started memorizing mathematics. The rules, fundas and logic held little significance to me for I just knew that if the problem statement has apple, then the answer would be 40 and if pineapples, then it would be 60. I developed my own logics and methodology to memorise the problems and their solutions. But whenever I gave a wrong answer to my dad’s practice papers, I would get a good thrashing from him.
Days passed by and my dad’s persistent efforts started making me feel guilty. Everyday he came up with an innovative way to make me understand the logics. Daily routine and mundane tasks were now entwined with mathematics problems. I could see the BODMAS signs revolving around me everywhere, stuck on the fruits and vegetables, smiling on peoples’ forehead and even on trees and children on the playground. Thanks to all this trauma, my performance improved. I started scoring well but still the night before the exam, my dad would slap me tight for some silly mistake on my part.
Finally, I scored a perfect 100 in class 4th. Yet when I was about to sit for the final exams of class 5th, my dad slapped me for not practicing enough. Guess what? I still scored a century!! A tight slap from dad, a night before the exam for some stupid mistake and a perfect score in the paper next day, became a ritual for all mid-terms and exams. When dad didn’t slap me before the 10th board exams even on committing some mistakes in his practice paper, I was startled. My dad just smiled and said – “You are a grown up now and I have seen you slogging day and night. I am sure you would excel tomorrow.” The next day I made a foolish mistake and secured just 97 marks for my paper.
That made me superstitious. It made me believe that after all the hard work, the magic wand of my dad’s slap was required to secure a perfect score. I missed it in college days while staying in hostel. I begged him to slap me tight before appearing for the CAT. I wanted him to smack me a day before my placements. But he didn’t oblige.
Five years down the line, a day before my marriage, I was sitting tensed and anxious in a corner of my suite wondering about my life ahead, when my dad walked upto me and asked – ” What does my little princess want as a wedding gift from me?” I promptly replied – ” A tight slap that can rock the rest of my life ahead.” I chuckled and he had a hearty laugh.
A slap should not always be looked down upon. If you slap your child for his betterment and not as a result of your stress and frustration, it is always beneficial. There is a thin line difference between pampering and good parenting and as parents we should draw that line as early as possible.
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