Friday, March 30

Let's Talk

You can tell how parents speak to their children from the way the child speaks. Usually, the child will interact most with mommy. When a child speaks maturely and calmly, it shows that his/her mom speaks to maturely and calmly in the environment they are in. If the child speaks defensively, it shows that he/she has seen mommy speaking that way too and probably the same way to them as well. It's the "monkey see, monkey do, monkey learn" theory.

I cannot stress enough to my students' parents that they should constantly encourage their kids to be consistent in their studies, and not set unrealistic targets for them. It's the same for growing toddlers. It doesn't mean if your friend's kid can speak at the age of 13 months, it has to be the same for yours as well. It also doesn't mean if your friend's kid can run at the age of 13 months, it has to be the same for yours. NO NO NO. Every child is different, and even if you have twins, both twin will be different. Remember that even your hands and feet are of different sizes and length. 

I have heard kids speaking like little gangsters from the hood and some speaking very maturely. Some friends have told me that it has gotta do with the society and culture. I beg to differ. A kid is a kid. How they are being taught while growing up depends on us adults. Yes, society plays a part. However, that aspect affects other issues. We're talking about communication skills. 

I was in the train once and I overheard a convo from a boy, probably 6 or 7 years old.. he was with his mother and grandmother. He was an adorable boy but spoke uncouthly. However, I don't blame him to talking to his mother with that tone because his mother was using the exact same tone talking to him and his grandmother. I can still remember clearly what the conversation was about. It was spoken in the Mandarin so I'll be translating in English. (it's quite hilarious, for me, at least)

Boy's mother to her mother : "See, give birth to son for what? When we grow old, they will chuck us aside and listen to their wife. We will end up with our daughter. Just like u, your sons are all useless, only know how to say sorry. All drive big fancy cars and stay condo.. but can't even look after one mother. I don't know how I'm gonna live next time when my own son gets married."

Boy to his mother (while playing with PSP) : Eh, do you have savings or not? Next time when I'm a big man, I won't have the time to look after you and I'll have my own family to look after. You can stay with me but don't be a burden to me and please be independent. Everyone is independent now, you know. Look at grandma, she has savings that's why she can still go for holidays with her friends!"

Mother to boy : How dare you talk to me like that? I'm your mother, you know? I'm gonna slap you, I tell you!"

Boy to Mother (still playing his PSP) : You just said grandma's sons are useless. I'm your son too, so you will also call me useless next time right? So might as well tell you straight to your face what's going to happen next time, la! You so unhappy for what? 

Mother to Boy : You wait, watch out.. When we get home, I'm going to cane you until you realise what you said to me was wrong!" I'm going to tell you father."

Boy to Mother : "Haiyah, daddy doesn't even want to talk to you! He says to me all the time not to get a wife like you in future."

Mother : (kept quiet and looked around the train in embarrassment)

I wanted to laugh but at the same time, I feel sorry for the mother. The son was too young to realise conversations like that should be kept for home and not said in public. But on the other hand, what probably triggered him to say that was her conversation with her own mother. 

Moms and Dads, remember, if you have family problems you want to share with your kid, wait till they are MUCH older. Telling them young doesn't make them understand. They will NOT understand. Instead, they might channel some sort of hatred towards the parents or other underlying issues and that can cause alot of problems in future.

I remember how my mother sat me down and told me what's going on with her and my dad and I was.. 15. At that time, I can understand. I also remembering retaliating in my own ways. It was then I understood why I never shared a good relationship with my dad and now when he's ill, the bond is still not there. I try my best to do whatever I can as a daughter.. it's like trying to fix a shattered glass. 

The point is, how you speak to your child will affect how your child is perceived by another person. It's "first impression". It's not about what your child learns from school. If you think that the school environment is not practising what they preach, it's time to move on. How teachers speak to children is important too! The teachers represent the school. The students represent the teacher and parents.. get it? Your child represents you. Learning begins at home.

Don't get all political or "too-strict" with the young ones. They will not understand all the profound logic of many issues. Manners, behaviour at home and outside and etc starts from parents. We have a huge role to play and it's never ending. Don't threaten. Never tell your child "you better to this or else I'm going to slap you" or "try doing this and I will beat you up with we get home". NEVER THREATEN. Speak nicely. When I speak to Sophia, I don't threaten. If she misbehaves, I will observe the situation first or I'll try to find something that can get her attention so she will stop misbehaving. It usually works, unless she's grouchy and just simply feeling tired.. then we will head home, period. There's no need to yell, smack, scold, etc etc.. it's unnecessary. Kids have feelings too, like us. If you reprimand them in public, usually, they will scream and wail even louder, why? They are being embarrassed by you. As a parent, we cannot embarrass our child in public. This behaviour makes others look at you as an attention seeker. Anything form of punishment should be done behind closed doors. But I'm not asking you to beat up the child at home. I'll touch on punishment on my next entry. Think about it... if your boss reprimands you infront of your colleagues, how would you feel? Worst, your child will not be able to express how he feels.

I often hear parents saying, "you don't know the situation.. my child is different.. he will not listen" and blah blah blah. My theory is, Plan A doesn't work now, it doesn't mean it will not work the next time. If it really doesn't work for another situation, try Plan B. We have to keep trying. We cannot resort to spanking or slapping or caning or anything that will inflict pain or else it will scar them emotionally, for the time being at least. Yes, I don't deny, I ever spank my daughter, that's because she used her foot to kick her toys and she knew it wasn't acceptable. However, I spanked on that foot she used. She had a shock. I explained to her that it's a behaviour that it's not acceptable and she is not supposed to kick her toys. She knew and understood and she never did it again. It boiled down to how I spoke to her. If I had raised my voice and continued spanking her, hell no she's going to listen to me! We want others to respect us, we must first respect others, right? It's your child, not a child you picked from the streets. Treat your baby with respect.

However, I do see a handful of parents who gets very scared of offending their kids. It's weird cos the parents tend to give in to every single thing the child insists. I mean EVERYTHING... and the child throws their weight around at home, in school and in public places. That is also parenting gone wrong. You see, I'm not a professional here to teach you but to supplement ideas and advices based on my personal experiences from growing up and when I became a mother. I'm still learning along the way and I'm still experiencing new stuff every now and then. But I always put myself in a position of a child, I weigh pros and cons, I make sure I provide all the needs and reward with wants. My husband leaves parenting to me while he is the Mr. Nice Daddy. I'm firm with my daughter, no doubt...and I know my daughter hates it when I'm firm and stern.

One more thing I wanna voice out before I end this entry...

Don't throw electronic gadgets to your child when they ask for it. I never really agree with kids hogging onto their parents' iPhone or iPad all the time. Communication is important within the family. If you want your child to be family oriented, talk to your husband, parents, friends when your child is around.. and when I say "talk", it's not gossiping or badmouthing. It's casual convo about.. you know, family matters like imagine how it would be when your child grows up.. etc.. it should involve laughing and joking, to make the environment warm and cosy. It shouldn't be about money problems or quarrelling because the kid is listening and they pick up behaviour and tone of talking from there.. they will use your words against you as kids at the age of 2-6 are like sponges.. they see you as role model and they will learn everything from mommy and daddy. How you guys talk to each other, your behaviour within the family.. your kid is watching you. Be loving in the family.. share hugs and kisses and always tell them you love them. Kiss your hubby or wife when you leave for work or hold hands.. This kinda loving behaviour will have a huge impact on your kid, best of all, positive impact. Eat as a family, chit chat, watch cartoons with your kid and laugh with them. Read to them, sing with them, dance with them.. be silly like a kid all over again.. But when it's time for serious business, they will have to listen. Have a balance.

At the end of the day, we as parents want to see our kids grow up physically healthy and happy. Being emotionally healthy and happy are also important. Don't neglect their feelings, just like how you would not want others to neglect yours. Communication is key.. never stop communicating. With that note, I hope all of you moms and dads will have a great weekend!

Mwah xo

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