Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Modelling Violence to Kids

| 3 Comments

There is a practice adults do in Egypt (dunno how prevalent it is) that drives me nuts. I might be a little overanalytical tho

The practice is: if a child hits her head on a table or falls on the floor and hurts herself, an adult hits the said table /floor and says “a2a” (Egyptian sound to mean sthg like shame on u i’m hurting u)

I think this practice teaches violence, or at least teaches kids to respond w physical violence (i realize other ppl may actually find that ok)

I think it is unfair – the poor inanimate object did nothing! Would the child then hit a cat if he trips over it? Hit another child if they accidentally bump into them?

I think it shifts blame and ignores the real issue when it could be a teachable moment: what was the child doing that they could avoid doing in future to avoid getting hur
Hitting inanimate objects achieves nothing – or am I missing something?

3 Comments

  1. Maha, Sometimes when I work on machines I hit them or throw the tools I’m using. I totally agree that it does set a bad example by showing how poorly I can contain my reactive rage. Sometimes the anger just erupts without my knowing it was there. That’s more than responding to a shock to the system, it’s a state of maybe being always at the edge of control.
    I don’t think anger itself is bad. As a sense it alerts us to the presence of injustice / unfairness when something feels “wrong” or out of balance. It can also be a dangerous tool distorting our reactions for justice into irrationality.
    Sometimes when I hurt myself on an object I talk to it. Might appear pointless but it calms me. And after raising two teenaged girls, the idea of reasoning against the impossible no longer defeats me:-)

    • I love the talking to an object idea! Think I might try showing my kid to do that (when she gets totally stubborn it feels like i am talking to an object anyway but that might be my fault for not getting through to her)

  2. Kids remember what you tell them–maybe not right then:-) My daughters who are in their thirties talked to me for hours about the things Leslie and I had taught them as kids when I was almost gone in the hospital. Even some of their secrets I maybe didn’t want to hear:-)

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