(INDIA) PUNE: School-going children in Pune are being subjected to increasing abuse - physical, verbal and emotional - at the hands of their middleclass parents, who juggle time between duties at home and at work.
This was revealed by Aruna Kulkarni, city-based child counsellor, at a lecture on child abuse delivered by her at the Balranjan Kendra in Erandwane on Wednesday.
Kulkarni cited real-life examples of how a mother had burnt the hands of her child on a tava for the most trivial of reasons; of how another mother had attacked her son with a hot iron; and of yet another mother throwing chilli powder in her son's eyes for not doing well in his exams.
According to Kulkarni, in all these cases the mother was a working woman, who was under pressure to balance her professional life and care for her child's educational and emotional needs. Kulkarni also cited the case of two working parents who were forever fighting with each other.
The result was that they both began venting their anger on their only son, a class VII student. It was only when the parents were asked to pursue some hobbies that they loosened up and began to treat their son in a more civil manner, Kulkarni revealed.
The relationship between abused children and their parents is an unequal one. "Parents must allow their children the freedom to express themselves. They must keep communication channels open," Kulkarni said.
She warned the audience, which comprised mostly of mothers of primary school children, that the scars of physical abuse persisted in the children's minds for very long time. "Parents must learn to curb their anger completely," the counsellor stressed.
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