tisdag 19 juni 2012

Barn som lämnas ensamma i Ryssland...

Psykologen Marilyn Murray fortsätter sin resa för att förstå varför ryssar gör si eller så och idag handlar det om varför man har en tendens att lämna barn ensamma, tydligen en vana från Sovjetunionens glansdagar.. Läs hela artikeln här.

My colleagues and I were enjoying dinner in a Moscow cafe when one of my friends began looking distressed. He said, "Something has been happening that is really upsetting me. Did you see the man and woman who came in about an hour ago with a little boy? They sat down at the table behind you, but after only a few minutes they got up and left the little guy alone. I think he is only about age 5 or 6 and has been trying so hard not to cry. A waitress brought him some food, but he hasn't touched any of it."
I immediately turned around and saw the small child near my chair. My two friends and I got up and knelt beside him. We invited him to sit with us, and while he adamantly shook his head no to us, he was unable to say no through the tears that began escaping from his pale-blue eyes. We told him we would watch out for him and make sure he was safe until his parents returned. He was trembling as he nodded in response. 

When his parents finally returned, we couldn't help but overhear them as they sat down at their table. They did not apologize to their son for leaving him alone for over an hour, nor were they in any way sympathetic to his tears and obvious distress. Instead they laughed and said, "Well, we weren't gone that long and we told you we would be back! The next time we leave, we will give you a watch so you will know when we are returning." And the frightened little boy's mother and father continued to laugh and talk between themselves and completed ignored the fact that their son was very afraid and could easily have been abducted while they were absent.

My friends and I discussed the situation for quite a while. They had been in my classes when we addressed the issue of how during Soviet times, many children were left alone when their mothers were required to work and there were no relatives or child-care facilities available. I wrote of this situation last week and the tragedies that resulted from this imperative.

I realized that this little boy's parents probably thought, "Well, leaving him alone for an hour or so is no big deal. After all, he had food, it was a warm place, and there were plenty of people around him. He certainly should not complain. When I was a child, I was left alone for 10 hours a day in a freezing apartment in the winter with very little food. And that went on for years!"

I have listened to numerous stories attesting to the fact that leaving children alone is still common today in former Soviet countries. Many parents who experienced being left alone as children regard this as a normal experience for their little ones even though government requirement for doing so no longer exists. They may not leave their children for days on end, but they still believe that a few hours alone is tolerable for even a small child.


Marilyn Murray is an educator specializing in the treatment of trauma, abuse and deprivation, with more than 2,000 people attending her classes in Russia and other countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States over the past 10 years. Her second book, "The Murray Method," will be released in English and Russian this summer. You can read her interview with The Moscow Times here. 

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