Friday, May 3, 2013

Should the Kids be Scolded (Part I)

When kids misbehave or throw a tantrum, should the kids be scolded?

While this may seem like a silly questions, especially in a more Asian parenting style where traditionally scolding and caning are generally accepted, what I want to explore and discuss goes beyond the surface... let me explain using an example...

Kid refuses to stop playing games - To scold or not to scold?
I'm referring to electronic games, whether it's on iPads or mobile phones or computers.  Kid refuses to stop after several reminders/threats.  Isn't this a straight forward "SCOLD"?  Well, it really depends... ask yourself a few questions:

1) Who introduced the games to the kid?  Was it you, the parent?
2) Are you guilty of letting the kid play continuously on several occasions without saying anything?
3) Did you explain to the kid when they can play, and how long he/she should play as well as enforce the rules you set for the kid?

The reason why I ask these questions is simple: to me, the kid is not totally at fault.  From the kid's point of view, "Mummy/Daddy let me play games, then all of a sudden, they are scolding me because I'm playing games.  Why??"  These electronic games have become a tool that many parents use in order to get some "me" time, or some quiet time.  Nowadays, I notice that when we eat at restaurants, kids would be armed with an iPad/mobile phone and they would be playing with it throughout the meal.  I find this rather disturbing...

I totally understand why parents use games as a distraction tool, I'm guilty of that at times too.  But, we have to be aware that this tool cannot be used all the time until it becomes a habit.  Kids do not automatically prefer games over interaction with their parents, they are trained by their parents to do that.  When you spend that extra effort to spend time with them (REALLY spending time with them, not PRETENDING to), they really love the attention.  When they get the attention of their parents, they are more well behaved and there are fewer tantrums.  Isn't this better than screaming your head off at a wailing kid who's throwing a mega tantrum at a busy mall with the whole world watching??

Note: This post was originally from another of my blogs and was moved here as this a more suitable platform.

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