Tag Archives: discipline

‘Monster Parents’

I went away with my curiousity piqued after reading this commentary.  To a fair extent, I would agree on reinstating corporal punishment but to ensure that the teachers did not abuse the system, there had to be transparency on how corporal punishment had to be used as a last resort.

From there, I picked up this term ‘Monster Parents’.  This was coined by the Japanese media in March 2010.  Well, at that time, I was only a new mom to a 3-month old, I doubted I would have paid much attention then.

I believed most parents were overprotective parents which created a lot of stress for competent educators.  Every child was special in their parents’ eyes.  However, in the eyes of the teachers, every child had to be treated fairly.  Every parent liked to think that there was something so special with their child that they ought to be treated with care, like a VIP.  This would create a gap between reality and expectation.

For parents who went away feeling that their children were the VIP in schools, either the child was truly exceptional or the school was really good with customer experience, ensuring positive customer experience at every touch point.  If it was the latter, I would truly wonder how the teachers could muster the time to do so.  They had to be really good at marketing to do so, and as I mentioned a few entries ago, to understand if something was being marketed, one would had to read between the lines.

Frankly, as a parent of 2 myself, I would urge all parents to stop putting your children on a pedestals, to stop giving in to unreasonable demands and to manage their expectations what being a normal person would be like.  Otherwise, you might end up with very unrealistic princely or princess-like beings on your hands.  Once you had moulded such expectations from their tender years to maturity, how would you expect to pull them back to earth?

Yes, we should encourage them to dream but it should not be at the expense of bringing up little tyrants.  In doing so, we would become monster parents.  If we were to let loose an uncontrolled young individual on the streets without proper values or the lack of EQ to coexist with other beings, I would think we had failed in parenting.

In the years before I became a mom myself, I always shuddered at the thought and sight of ill-behaved kids running amok.  Today, I still carried the same opinion and perhaps what would impress most people, including Z’s teachers, was how we trained Z to be respectful, to be polite and to be well-behaved when the situation called for it.  It was not a fluke or by virtue of Z’s character to be well-behaved.  Parenting was a continuous journey and we had to evolve our talk constantly as he grew older too. For record’s sake, he was not always on perfect behavior too but good enough for us to accept, and for others to commend.

Being a great parent was not about being able to buy all the fishes in the world for your child, but to be able to teach them how to fish and fish it well, regardless of where they might be.

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Being the firm parent

Often meant losing popularity ground with Z.

He knew we (especially me) had a no nonsense attitude.  While we loved him very much, he would still be punished for wrongdoings because I was so strait laced.  I would not go to the extent of calling myself a tiger mom because I also over indulged him a fair bit.

I was, however, a very persuasive person.  It was either an occupational hazard or I already enjoyed doing so, and hence, my choice of profession.

According to DISC profiling, I was considered to possess both “D” & “I” traits.  D for direct, demanding and domineering.  I for influencing and intuitive.  I toggled between both traits so that really made parenting fun in a socio-experimental manner.

I usually played the “I” card but when Z pushed the limits, I would be forced to play the “D” role.  I always thought about what it meant to be a really good parent.  Was it to give in to my child all the time and be the apple of his eye?  Or was it to be an unpopular parent but ensure that he would grow up to be a motivated, disciplined but thinking individual?  Or was it possible for me to bridge the two?

I would be lying if I said becoming the unpopular parent did not pinch.  However, I also did not want Z or X to grow up and become so spoilt that they believed everything in life was an entitlement.  By being able to provide comfort for a child was a show of a parent’s success and capabilities, but what I really wanted was for Z and X to be capable in their own rights and not join the strawberry generation.  At least, Mr H agreed to partake in the quest of bringing up useful beings and assisted to play the role of the firm parent so that I could enjoy the preferred parent status once in a blue moon.