Jugaad is a classic Indian favorite. Loosely translated it means a quick fix or an innovative workaround to use the resources available. You may have come across ingenious tales of jugaad in your daily lives. But this jugaad in daily lives could give rise to a ‘chalta hai’ approach when some people take it too far just like the man in the video below driving his family nuts:

In parenting, one has to often think on their feet and come with quick solutions. But in the longer term only well-planned strategies work. I remember that my younger son went through a particularly harrowing phase when he was at his tantrumy best. He just did not seem to outgrow his terrible 3s. I remember he was about 5 when we had gone to nearby superstore. At the checkout counter, he started pestering me to buy candy and I refused.

Then he threw the mother of all tantrums that shook my insides. He sprawled on the floor kicking and screaming, crying in the harshest possible manner. He was the spoiled brat we all hate in family dramas. His brother and I did not try to reason, cajole or placate him or worst of all buy him the offending stuff because he was creating a scene in public. I calmly picked the bags, left him on the floor where he was howling and walked out the exit. I wasn’t calm inside but I sure as hell portrayed that image. Inside, I somehow managed to dwell deep into my reserves of patience. I wanted to yell but I knew that getting the negative attention that he desired then would make him rigid in his ways.

I am sure it took him a couple of minutes to realize that no one was coming to give in to him. As quickly as his fountain of tears started, it stopped. He got up and came out of the store where his brother and I were standing, ignoring him. He tried to come and chat when I asked him sternly to get in the car. His demeanour reminded me of bheegi billi at that moment! Quietly, he got in the car while his brother and I chatted doing our best to show him that he had suddenly turned invisible. Many hours later, I spoke to him about the incident explaining how ridiculous his behaviour was and he should know by now that mommy will never give in to that kind of blackmail.

It took a couple of more such outbursts that played out similarly for him to finally realize that this tactic really wasn’t working. Lo and behold, his tantrums stopped. Yes, I suffered in the short term. It was difficult and a jugaad solution of giving in would have worked but I didn’t want him to grow up to be a demanding, insouciant brat.

Yes, this approach was explained to me by a child counselor. I had approached one when his behaviour had begun to disturb me.

So yes, when it comes to the larger picture, behavioural issues or just about inculcating core values, there is no cutting corners or taking shortcuts. Good sound planning and execution works best most often for parenting too just like in life.

I am glad that Exide Life Insurance as a brand is putting its might behind #NoMoreShortCuts in life. Imagine if we tried jugaad solutions for important issues like Insurance, Investment, Personal Finance and so on. It is most likely to lead us and our family into trouble. Avoid workarounds and plan wisely for your long-term financial wellbeing with Exide Life.

What do you think about jugaad? Do you have any such non-jugaad tales to share with me?



38 Thoughts on “Jugaad Parenting? Maybe not!

  1. Oh yes, short cuts in life do not work in the long run. Loved the way you handled the tantrums of the little one. Giving in or adopting the shortcuts are so easy as they bring in temporary relief and peace, but the ramifications later on are bad.
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Kuwait Travel DiaryMy Profile

  2. Hee hee… very nice.. typical desi Jugaad shown to give a good message in the ad…
    Prasad Np recently posted…desi goes for Off-Road activity with JK Tyre- RangerMy Profile

  3. Oh shortcuts never really work in life, especially in the long term and more so when it comes to parenting…Learning it now and appreciating what my parents did for me and still are doing..Insurance, certainly is a top priority in this…

  4. Well done Rachna. Short term pains for long term gains.

    This is jugaad in its true sense 🙂 (the word doesn’t have a negative connotation… media has turned it into a questionable term)

  5. I love how you dealt with it. Sometimes it appears cruel but we’re actually being kind in the long run. I especially love how you narrated it, Rachna. Hugs!
    Vidya Sury recently posted…Happy Pongal o PongalMy Profile

  6. Yes we are in this exact phase now. Doesn’t help that S has a grandfather who gives into his tantrums. So I look especially hard and mean when I take the same approach , because he thinks he will get his way eventually. But, like you said no shortcuts to parenting, I will have to brave this one out.
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  7. Shortcuts have never worked for me. Not in anything. Insurance is a serious matter and needs to be thought upon very often. Better safe than sorry should be the term, instead of jugaad.
    Soumya recently posted…Monday Musings #8My Profile

  8. You’re absolutely right. Jugaad doesn’t work in parenting. A similar episode happened when my firstborn was just two. She sat in the middle of the road and started screaming at the top of her voice. When she understood that it will not work with us, she was back to us with her innocent smile. Loved the ad! Very well-made!
    Rekha recently posted…The MuseMy Profile

    • Thanks, Rekha. Yes, the ad is quite lovely and easy to relate with. So happy to see that most of the parents who commented took the tantrum with a pinch of salt. 🙂

  9. I loved the ad…I am going to make Rushi watch it for sure. He is the Jugaad ke bache in the family. Shortcut for everything even after my innumerable lectures. Our drama queen used to throw tantrums when she was 2. S warned me to ignore her and leave her alone which I did. She would bawl and then look around if anyone was noticing. When no one responds, she would get up and be normal. But she was quite manageable.

    • hehe Looks like all kids learn quickly when their tantrum is not bearing fruit. The challenge comes when you have an elder or a spouse who advises you to give in.

  10. Be in parenting or anywhere else in life, shortcuts don’t bring a good result. My brother was like your son.
    Saru Singhal recently posted…#BigHeadMy Profile

  11. I’ve done that lying on the floor at the age of 10 in a public place since I wanted a toy. Naturally, I never got one at that moment but much later. Jugaad for small things is fine but there is always the question of ethics and principles that we shouldn’t compromise.
    Vishal Bheeroo recently posted…Movie Review: Wazir is a thrilling gameMy Profile

  12. I’m glad you conform to that tactic, Rach! I see so many parents who give in to their kid’s tantrums and while it buys them some peace for the short terms, I see their kids becoming more entitled as they grow older, and it wouldn’t be the kid’s fault! I too used to completely ignore my kids when they were screaming – it was a huge headache and still is, because my 8 year old still tries to push buttons!
    Roshni recently posted…Parenting then, now, and in the futureMy Profile

    • I think that happens because we wish to avoid a scene in public. But becoming a parent has certainly made me care less about what others are thinking of me. 🙂 Oh tell me about it. What is it with these younger kids? They have one single agenda — to drive you nuts.

  13. I remember when Gy threw her first tantrum at age 3. Full-on screaming. My husband calmly picked her up, deposited her in the grilled balcony and sat and watched her through the French windows. She realised her screams were echoing in the apartment quadrangle and stopped.

    I am all for no-nonsense parenting, Rachna. So kudos to you. As much as I agree with parenting techniques that allow for growth, I will not stand for outright defiance. Proud to see you won’t either.
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Helping the forgetful child: Lessons for the parentMy Profile

    • That was so sensible of your husband. Sometimes the other spouse feels uncomfortable or there are other people whose eyes bore holes into you. I completely concur with you. I am all for being their friends but I will not stand for defiance. That is why, I admire your parenting as well.

  14. I’m yet to get my report card from my daughter. I guess I will know once she starts accusing me of all the evils I had inflicted on her :p

    But on a serious note, the only way to handle your child’s tantrums is by being firm. But I’m not sure if I did a good job of it.

    • hehe I am sure, mine are about to begin on that. I guess the Counselor helped me out by sharing this trick. I had had enough of the younger son’s tantrums by then. Luckily, this method worked quite well.

  15. Completely agree Rachna. I’ve been there too – I left a howling two-year-old in a mall food court and watched a crowd gather till she got up looking for me. They were crazy times. Oh and I’ve done the counsellor rounds too. However now that they’re older I find it even more exhausting to be firm as they challenge every rule and want an explanation for every No. But you’re right Jugaad never does work with parenting.

    • I am so happy to meet so many like-minded parents. Otherwise, you can imagine the glares some people cast your way as if you are the meanest, cruelest mother alive. I guess I keep visiting the Counsellor once every year. You are right. When they grow older, they get exhausting. I am sometimes so tired of the pep talks and explanations. I don’t know about your kids but mine quarrel so much and do it very rudely with each other. I am breaking my head over it.

  16. I salute you for doing that… coz I have seen so many parents give in for a temporary relief which makes the kid even more stubborn. Managing kids is never easy but definitely jugaad will never work.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Photo Blog: The VacationMy Profile

  17. Lovely post! Really loved the way you handled your little boy’s mood and tantrums. I know it is really easy to give in but very difficult to stay strong and say no to our kids. But it definitely inculcates more discipline and good habits in the long run. I guess I will be facing such situations quite soon and this one served as a nice reminder as to how I should face them. 🙂
    Raj recently posted…THE DRIED BRUSHMy Profile

  18. Short cuts don’t work. If you would have given in to those tantrums than he would have done the same with his friends. And when they would have ignored the tantrums, he would have been devastated.

    On another note, one needs to put in the required number of hours to master any subject/topic or situation.
    Sabyasachi Patra recently posted…Canon C300 Mark II ReviewMy Profile

  19. You are very right. Jugaad might seem like an easy solution for the short term, but really messes things up in the long term.

    I have a toddler who is turning out to be quite the brat, and my patience is spread pretty thin on most days. I am certainly going to walk away more frequently. I have done it a couple of times, but he hasn’t got the message.
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  20. Very true, short cuts might give us a temporary breathing space but its the well planned strategies that work in the long run. And if it is got something to do with people, short cuts never work!
    Ashwini CN recently posted…Does everything happen for a reason?My Profile

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