Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Pets, kids and discipline


There was this discussion going on about disciplining dogs, and that these four legged friends of yours won’t know what you want of them unless you repeatedly show them what you want them to do or what you don’t want them to.   In other words, animals, especially dogs need clear cut guidelines and controls, otherwise they tend to get confused if they don’t know how they should behave to make humans happy and keep patting them on their heads and feeding them.  Properly treated these animals would just keep wagging their tails and letting out their tongues and go “heh-heh-heh-slurp” and drool a little more.  And disaster would be if you, out of your purest intentions or ignorance, let them run free; they’d probably run wild and wreck your home.  That means to say, dogs don’t think.  They basically operate on instincts.  And they need proper control and discipline.  Not just any pointless or senseless whipping as some people seem to suggest.


And about kids, God forbid, I’m not telling people to treat kids like dogs, ok?  But kids are mostly at that stage when they still need guidelines and controls to act and think.  Let them run free, and chances are some of the hyperactive ones would just run wild and wreck your home faster than you could pick up after them.  You can’t blame them because they’re kids.  But if you think you could blame some of their parents, you’d be disappointed or maybe surprised.  They’d look at you as if to say, “Hey, don’t you know they’re kids?  What am I supposed to do with them?  Tie them up?  Where have you been?  This is the 21st century!  You expect me to work them over with a bull-whip?”


It’s pathetic.  I’ve noticed how some parents handle their kids and I wondered why nobody started a school for good parenting.  “Ah Boy!  Stop choking that cat lah, and stop yelling like Tarzan.  And Ah Girl will you come down from that window, please?  Aiyoooh…. don’t know what to do with them lah.  And school holiday’s just only started.   They’re already beyond control.  Go and play outside, ok?”  And after repeated requests to “go play outside” they get the drift and stay outside and eventually don’t bother to come home even for dinner.


I’ve seen a kid kicked his mother in the shin and the spineless mother just whined to the neighbors as if hoping some one else would do something like disciplining the kid for her.   But no!  Anybody touches a hair of that kid and she’d go after the parents of the kid responsible and threaten them with the law.  Ironically, a recent incident happened right before our eyes that put her son’s face on the neighborhood “who’s who” (Meaning: who to avoid when you go out to play).  Her boy, now a gangling teenager, whacked another neighborhood kid half his size with a racket and broke the kid’s nose.   Other parents went to tell her the news.  She said, “Aiyooh, what to do?  He also beat me sometimes lah”.  That’s exactly what happens when there’s a lack of control.


And there’s another set of parents whose precious kid doesn’t even get a tickle for starting a yelling match against them, his siblings or the maid.  But he’d get a thrashing if his test scores come with anything less than all A’s.  Also from the backdoor to backdoor grapevine (gossip lah), there’s the news that their 2 boys get premier class treatment while the girl gets 2nd class status and the foreign maid is always begging the neighbors for leftover food. 


Hey, I’m not judging anybody here.  I'm not throwing any stones.  But I just keep wondering whether these parents’ sense of priorities have been somewhat warped.





  1. babies/kids are soooo adorable when they behave themselves ...
    but when they're out of control... man ... they're disasters!

    parenting is different nowadays... different from my time and your time, uncle...
    parents nowadays don't beat/whip/kick their kids ... the kids are way too precious...

    but can't be denied ... the kids nowadays are very smart ...

  2. because they all drink the same brand of milk powder, which makes them smart in all aspects, including be naughty...

  3. hahahah
    "f-lo-wer... f-lo-wer..."
    "Orchid lar!!!"

  4. I can't believe that special milk powder can make any difference. It's more like a sales gimmick. It's more like the onslaught of information from the electronic age right from when the baby's still in the tummy.

    But it's the lack of discipline that's what gonna cause a lot of future problems. And we're beginning to see results from what we get in the news about more crimes involving kids, esp gang fights in schools etc.

  5. i'm beginning to see whats the picture here... the kids here are well treated and not beaten... but they doesn't attack their own mom or sort of stuff like that.. i mean they get treated as an adult with all the proper teaching and eventually they adapt to this kind of family education. i find the kids are allowed to cry in public and express their cries in shopping mall or restaurants...and their parents will be talking in such a good manner with their kids... however if this were the case to happen in m'sia i'm sure what we will see is that the mom scolding the kids and keeping their mouth shut ... and the dagger stare that says ' wait till u get back home, then u'll get your treatment' and also the saying that ' tiam tiam ar... a bo le mata lai liak lu ar/ kuai kuai ar, abo oh ne ne lai liak lu ki' ( shut up ar, if not police come catch u ya/ shut up ya, if not indians will come catch u ar)... but saying this to our kids... what are we teaching them.... to be afraid of the police and discrimination to wards other races?? sometimes i find the old ways of teaching children really disturbing.... thats not the way to bring up a child.... what kind of way are we paving for these children... why can't we be civilized and do it properly...
    i have a friend who went to middle school in sweden and she told me that in sweden, parents are not allow to beat their child in anyway. they were taught to report any beatings at home to the school authorities... and they have this special organizations just for that purpose... but the most important outcome is that the kids in sweden behave properly and are obedient..... its the outcome that the kids understand the responsibility that were handed to them....
    people here are pretty good in manner.... when they got on a public bus... they more or less will greet the driver and when they depart from the bus, they will say a big thank you to the driver... now do we see that in m'sia... ppl in m'sia are so rude to wards each other but they are not rude to tourist... especially caucasions.... hahahaha now see what i mean....
    i'm not trying to make us sound really bad... but after a couple of months of staying here... i sort of adapt to this kind of nice and kind environment... people will just smile at you we happen to cross each others way...and i really like it.... but at first i need to get use to this.... i was brought up in a way that if stranger were to be nice and kind to you .. it means they wanted something..... heheh... see....
    i'm not trying to say that since i'm studying psychology or trying to be smart here... but i think the general way we all are being raise in m'sia will create more problem then solve anything at all....

    hmm... trying to be critical here....

  6. this is coming from a mother with two kids and one of them is hyper. Kids are not born smarter these days. It's actually how they were raised. Look back on times passed, did all kids have maids?? most kids do these days and parents do take for granted that since a maid is around they can neglect their parental duties. Why do kids go wild and crazy? These are probably attention seekers. Food does play a role in growth development but to what extend. How kids turn out lies fully on how they were raised and the smart ones are usually those that are a allowed to explore. Kids love to learn and they are so curious abt everything. Give them a new toy but once they've learn to master it, off they go........to keep a hyper kid down, we just have to keep feeding him new stuffs.....ya to the extend of showing what a pc, tv or recorder looks like on the inside...........done correctly, curiosity will never kill...cheers.

  7. That's universal. One of my former employers who used to design tools for Mattel, said about toys: "They last for about a few minutes at the most. That's what keeps the toy manufacturing business going..." A friend used to tell me he had to keep steering his kids away from the toys section whenever they go to a supermarket, otherwise he'd be pokai by the middle of the month!

    Also it's very clear there's no way we can abdicate our responsibilities to our kids. Those attention seekers probably testing out their boundaries. They will extend them further if you ignore them. Great idea that, with TVs, recorders, etc. Just give them the unwanted stuff and the tools instead of scrapping them.

  8. they don't catch fishes anymore ah nowadays?
    how about flying dragons and grasshopers?

    sighs... I only got my 1st box of Lego when I was in standard 4, that one also from my mom's rich friend...

  9. *sigh...* When I was a kid we got "lego" also. I pulled one end of the toy, my brother pulled the other end and one of us would keep shouting, "let go! let go!" Muahaha. Other times we're never short of things to play with, like catching fish, attacking snakes, playing tarzan swinging from the trees. If you have time read my story beginning from: Life on the Farm - part 1
    We really had a wild life....

  10. i'm not sure how far truth is this since i have never use this way myself... but loads of research and studies has been done and found a very effective way to raise a successfull and independent child... i was teach that the best way to teach a child is not to use negative words with them (NO, CANNOT, etc...) instead to gently nudge them towards the right path... and also kids that are more creative and independent are the ones that were allowed to roam freely and carefree when they were babies... this way it builts their confidence and let them know that its ok..
    unfortunately child psychologist is not my ultimate choice of dream carreer... i'm more into neurological psychology... but i do have a passion to see kids grow up healthy physically and of course mentally....

  11. I believe there's a time to use the carrot and there's a time when you need to use the stick. You can't tell if it's day without knowing the night. If you don't know what's darkness you'll not understand what's light. If a child is told in no uncertain terms he's done wrong when he breaks the rules, and he's punished if he continues to do so, he gets the message sooner or later. But if he gets the mollycoddles all the time and nobody demonstrates what it means if he does wrong, then he gets the message that he can get away with anything. Unless he's intelligent enough to reason like an adult (there are kids who can do that) he's going to be as confused as the pit bull which killed an old lady and wondered why everyone's so fussy about it. He was just acting naturally. The old lady looked threatening to him. And nobody said you can't attack old ladies!

    The old malay proverb about shaping bamboo while it's still young applies universally. Since we know kids are smarter now, we have to start them even younger. Parenting is no "walk in the park". And I would add that there's no standard response to standard treatment. What's good for the goose doesn't necessarily mean it's good for the gander. You have to use your intelligence. And the bonus is, if you're intelligent, your kids will be even better if you bring them up right. So, if you look forward to a peaceful walk in the park without having to pull your kids off the throats of other kids or flower beds they're trying to wreck, then do your job first. Doesn't matter if you do it your way.

    I believe kids are resilient enough to outgrow the mental scars or other excuses that child experts use to discourage "corporal punishment" (using the cane), unless you whip them half to death. That's not punishment. That's venting your own anger.