Monday, 21 December 2009

How Should We React?

All my life, I've been a timid and shy person - I am not the type of person who will react strongly or display strong reaction whenever I disagree to something or being bullied by other people - be it at work or whatever.

The only time I can remember standing up to myself and fight for what I believe in is when I was in the midst of negotiation with my previous company on my proposal to allow for flexi work after my maternity leave so that I can continue to care for Ben for at least 4-6 mths more. Anyway, to cut that story short, well, that was the only time I can recall fighting back for my beliefs and standing up for myself which ended up with me tendering my resignation.

But as a parent now, how should we react when you see your own child being abused or hit by another child?

We had an unfortunate incident where a toddler just went and smacked Ben's forehead today.

All I can say was it wasn't a light smack at all and the toddler's mother just went 'Sorry' and told her child to say sorry to Ben and to us (err...duh... as if it's going to undo anything....)
I mean, who would've even thought a 1 year plus old toddler could be able to do that?

How should we react towards the toddler and also towards the toddler's parents?

Appreciate your advice so that I can be prepared if this unfortunate event is to occur ever again...


5thsister said...

It's sad that some parents could care less about the consequences of their children's actions. Your child was hurt and there should have been repercussions for that toddler. I don't know what I would have done as I am years away from the baby/toddler stage. My children know the type of behavior that's expected of them. I'm sorry this happened to you. The web is full of wise women who will be able to answer your query more fully.

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Hi 5thsister,

Yeah.. I feel we should reprimand the toddler (be it others or ours) when they did a mistake. But in this case, it is other people children.

The toddler's mum actually told my hubby to scold her son. Shouldn't the parents discipline their own kids instead of telling other people to do it?

Anyway, thanks for your comments. Appreciate it :)

thirdy_smom said...

oh..poor little Ben.That happened to me a lot of times. Tri's cousins are hyper ones and have hurt my baby unintentionally or not. I do not blame the kids, I mean it is not their fault. It is still their parents' or guardian's responsibility to discipline their child's behavior towards other kids.I've unleashed my meanness on some situations asking some parent to spare more time putting some effort on straightening their kid's behavior and I have never let ,my little one play with them again.But that's just me--the mean me! cheer up! Ben will be ok.

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Hi thirdy_smom!

Hmmm..."asking some parent to spare more time putting some effort on straightening their kid's behavior and never let my little one play with them again"

That's good! Thanks for the tips!

Ben is OK but you know kids.. once in a while they remembered back things and then they start crying again... :(

Mummy to Baby V @ said...

Some parents believe that it is more effective when a third-party reprimands the child instead of themselves. A toddler in my family takes my husband's fierce voice more seriously than his mum.

If this happened to my boy, I'd probably GROWL at the toddler and say firmly "NO HITTING!" Talking sense to toddlers require a deep, firm voice and short phrases. Then inform his parent know about the incident.

Children may not be aware of the consequences when they misbehave; they like to experiment with pushing limits to see how far they can go. It's adults' responsibilities to set clear boundaries for them, so that they can thrive.

In 2010, our boys will turn into toddlers and we would have 'fun' disciplining them. :)

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Hi Mummy to Baby V!

When I'm with my boy, if he's naughty and simply touch things despite me saying "No", I'd slap his hand first and repeated to him "No" pointing to the things he's not supposed to do again.

But this case, its someone else's child :(

carol said...

I would just tell my toddler "don't hit" and tell the other baby "he was sorry" I think it's silly to yell at a kid "don't hit" and then hit them. It seems counterintuitive. I just want to validate that it's hard to see your kids get hurt in anyway and it doens't get easier as they get older but things are going to happen that make your kids sad and you have to come to turns with it. I've had one of my kids hospitalized with a chronic illness many times and you just want to take it away and fix it but you can't all you can do is help your child cope with the world. Be the comfort when the world is not a nice place.

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Hi carol!

Thanks for sharing your experience and feedback!

Kimberly said...

I have told people about their children. My children were punished right away. I just did not allow them to run around doing what they wanted to do. It is pretty common these days to see parents allowing their children to do what they want and respond by saying "They are just being children"

I would talk to the parents of the child. They need to know how their child is acting.

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Hello Kimberly!

Appreciate your advice and feedback. I too agree that naughtiness needs to be punished right away (I heard its kind of same as in how we train a dog... no use punishing long after the mistakes were made as dogs don't have long lasting memory)

Be it children or not, we have to start discipline them from young!

Julie Schuler said...

Poor baby! I saw your cute pic on 5th Sister's comments, so I followed you.
I've had the opposite thing happen. Once when a child misbehaved and splashed my youngest son in the wading pool, the grandma yanked her out and gave her a big smack on the bum, which really surprised me. I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I definitely have reprimanded other children when the parents were inattentive, though. Annoying. Disciplining is the least fun of parenting, and I don't want to do it for someone else!

Confessions From A Working Mom said...

This is such a *tough* question, because there are no right answers. I think it starts at home, with parents instilling the right values in their kids. If that doesn't happen, then nothing a parent can say or do in the heat of the moment will matter.

That said, I think that little ones make mistakes, and the mother was probably embarassed and didn't want to make too big a deal out of something she'd rather you just forget. I'd just be leery of her-- and her kid-- in the future.


I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Hi Julie!

Thanks for dropping by and appreciate your comments. I think older generations are more strict in discipline matters! Even my MIL said that!

Hello Confessions From A Working Mom!

Yes... we are definitely going to stay away from that toddler and his mum in the future!

Anonymous said...

sorry that little Ben got bullied. I think in this situation there's really no right or wrong answer. However I do agree with most of comment here as in discipline a child is very much the parent's responsibility. My elder Manfred is quite rough when he gets over excited!! Sometimes he does unintentionally hurt his cousin, I will usually stop him at the play and talk to him, tell him no more hitting or rough play. If he do it again, he usually end up in the corner yelling..
However, if he got hit by someone else kids, I will tell the kid "no hitting" as well. Even sometimes I see other kid bully somebody else kid, i can't help to kepo and tell the hitting kid to stop. not that i discipline them, just that some times kid need an adult to remind when they're too rough.
But should I decide that particular kid is too "hazardous" to be with, I will remove my boy from him/her.

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Hi Lynette!

Thanks for sharing. I appreciate all these comments and feedback as I also need to discipline my child as well (just in case he also starts to be naughty *touch wood, touch wood*!)

I definitely do not want to be the target for ppl to say 'Aii...that naughty boy, the parents never teach for sure!'

weiyun said...

Hi Jenny,

This morning, in church, something similar happened to Micha. Another older boy smacked him on the face, leaving it red and blushed. The boy's mother quickly smacked her boy on the hand and apologized to Micha. Micha just cried for a short while and back to play again.

Well, this is my 2 cents worth:

I think it's pretty common for kids to play rough, to hit or so, especially when their territory is being invaded. i.e. taking of toys, pushing, things like that.

I have also experienced where my kids hit other children. What I do is to separate my kid from the group, pull him/her aside and look them in the eye and give them a very firm reprimand. I will explain the consequences or implications. Depending whether it's Izabel or Micha. If it's Izabel, of course, more lengthy. If it's Micha, it's just short phrases, straight to the point. (But of course Izabel doesn't hit anymore now at her age). Then this is followed by having my kid apologize and perhaps followed by a hug, depending on the situation.

I usually don't just scold my kid there and then, or raise my voice. Reason for that is because from experience, with Izabel - she doesn't respond well to being reprimanded in public. I feel that that disciplining style is counter-productive for her. She tends to feel embarrassed and perhaps act out even more. So, I will keep my cool, and talk to her in private. And also I have made a decision long time ago, to also respect my child and consider his/her feelings. Just imagine how would you feel if being scolded by another adult and made a fool, in front of all your friends. That's just how I feel lah. But of course I have been critisized before for being very lenient with my kids, because I don't punish them there and then. Or I appear to be not doing anything about that.

Of course different parents have different parenting styles. So, I decided that I will just be responsible for my own kids' behaviour. Should they be the one to hit others, I will talk/reprimand/punish them. Should it be the other way round, I will teach them how to respond or how not to respond, when being attack and use that opportunity to make them realise how that is, should they do that to other kids.

Again, there's the factor of age. Different age group, also require different style from the parent.

So, I just wanted to share that : ) All the best.


I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Hi weiyun!

Thanks for your elaborate feedback! Appreciate it!

When Ben is naughty (like simply touch things or grabbed our glasses) David and I will look at Ben (eye contact) say sternly 'No'. We will repeat it for like 1-2 times more and if Ben still ignores us, we will smack him, example his hand if he grabs our glasses, his foot/thigh if he gets cranky and kicks around.

Thanks again for sharing! :D


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