Now the days of “हम दो हमारे दो” are over. These days most of the couples have single kids. Single kids who are greatly pampered, who get the best of everything and are yet unsatisfied. Many times they are very argumentative. Parent have to literally pursuade their kids to do small things. Kids don’t listen and the overall environment of the house gets heated.
For some time we were trying to teach our son that whenever he uses a bathroom he was supposed to flush and keep the bathroom clean. Sometimes he used to flush and sometimes he used to forget. There was no particular reason behind either forgetting or remembering. We were tired of constantly reminding and checking. He was not leaving his casual attitude behind. Persuasion, scolding, punishment all modes tried but in vain. One day my husband had a brain wave and he started narrating a story of a happy boy to our son.
“Once upon a time there lived a boy. He used to be happy at all times. He used to be happy during day, he used to be happy during night. He used to be very happy while brushing and doing potty also. His happiness knew no bounds.
In the fit of his happiness he used to do many crazy things. For example when he used to take bath he would sing and then leave wet towel on the bed. While going out he would change into new clothes and in the fit of happiness leave used clothes on the floor. When he used to come back from school he would leave his shoes and socks scattered in the room. He would throw his school bag on the sofa. But he used to be happiest when he used to go for potty. He would sing songs and then forget to flush. He used to be so happy, so happy that he used to turn deaf when people were calling his name. He simply would not respond to his Mum or Dad calling.”
My son was staring at my husband with mouth wide open. When my husband finished telling his story he just rushed into the bathroom and flushed the toilet. He came back and asked my husband, “Daddy, you are telling my story, aren’t you?” My husband didn’t reply. He was just smiling.
This story proved to be a game changer. The term “Happy Boy” became sort of code word for us. The moment we would say today you seem to be very happy he would run around the house and check what he had done rather I would say what he had omitted to do. Earlier when we used to have guests and he used to forget to flush we used to feel embarrassed while telling our son. But now we would just say “Happy boy” and immediately my son would pick up the hint and do the needful. All shouting business had reduced considerably. No pursuasion was necessary. Absolutely no embarrassment in front of guests. Overall environment became calm and pleasant. After all these years now my kid is trained and desciplined. But for occasional rare lapses the story of a happy boy comes handy.
Friends, I agree that this was not a planned and calculated trick. But I am sharing this experience to demonstrate that we need to be creative while dealing with our kids. Mere shouting and punishing does not help. This cannot be the readymade solution as every kid is different and different things would inspire different people. Just think what would inspire your own kid and try something new. When you get frustrated just remember that there was a happy boy who would forget to flush!