On parenting

Earlier at Watson’s, I was almost knocked down by a 3-year-old girl who was running around the shop. “Girl! Girl ah.. Come here,” her mother shouted after her. Then as I was queueing up, I heard a loud crash. I turned to my right and saw that that girl had toppled over a shelf of facial masks.

Without saying a word to the girl, the mother instinctively stooped down to pick up the masks quickly. The little girl and her older brother stood quietly by her side to watch her do the job. And without saying anything, the mother dumped all the masks at the cashier counter and proceeded to pay for her things.

At that moment, I thought of what I would do if it was my child who overturned the stuff. Most certainly, I would not squat down immediately to clear the mess. I would talk to the child to make sure it knows it had done something wrong. Then I would make it pick up the fallen goods. If it’s struggling then I’d step in to help.

Many parents over-protect and under-punish the kids. Yes it may be faster for the parent to clear up the mess on the floor, but that’s not the point. The point is to let the kid know that if it makes a mistake, it has to be responsible for its actions. The parent has warned her not to run around. By not listening, she toppled over the masks. That is the consequence of disobedience.

And so as punishment, she should be made to clean up the mess. By helping her to pick up the masks while she watches is allowing her to get away with bad behaviour and encouraging her to continue being careless.

The kid may make the parents clean up a tiny mess when it’s young, and then continue to create havoc as it grows up, expecting their folks to put everything right for them.

In theory I am able to say this, and I certainly hope that when I do become a parent, I will do what I preach. Because every single day, I deal with the results of poor parenting.

Explore posts in the same categories: Family

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