03 January, 2012

Should You Discipline Someone Else's Child In Public?

This article caught my eye when I was browsing through the Family section of the recent Sunday Times. It basically talked about kids misbehaving badly and causing a nuisance to the public.

There were two cases cited. A policy development executive witnessed two toddlers hurling stones at a sleeping cat outside a restaurant. When the parents took no actions against the abusive behaviour of the toddlers, he signalled to the children to stop what they were doing and ushered them back to their seats, much to the displeasure of their parents. According to him, the children's father even remarked that "it's only an animal" that his son was targeting.

Second case was about a 39 year old housewife saying that she was dining at a restaurant with her 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter at a cafe several years ago. Her son, who had finished his meal, stood on his booth seat despite her repeated admonitions to him not to do so. A couple seated at the other end of the booth seat were annoyed at the disturbance. "The man did not hesitate to tell us off. I was upset, of course. Besides the mild discomfort my son caused, there was no other trespass," the 39 year old housewife said. She hopes people in Singapore would be more tolerant.

"After all, it is said that it takes a village to raise a child and it is hard enough to be a parent. As a gracious society, we should just give and take when handling a child," she adds.

So back to the question. Should you discipline someone else's child in public?

If you'd ask me. For the first case that's mentioned. A definite YES. The kids and their parents ought to be slapped. How could they allow their children to inflict pain on a poor defenceless animal? If they can do it to an animal, come one day they may even be daring enough and capable of doing more harm than just to hurt a cat!

And to the 39 year old housewife ~ hey lady, you might find the actions of your son to be a very minor disturbance. But please before you ask people to more tolerant, put yourself in the shoes of others. If you were that couple, how would you feel if someone's constantly pounding on the booth when you are trying to just have a good meal? This is a cafe, not a kopitiam! Please try to have a firm discipline on your son. If he doesn't stop at your constant warnings, are you just going to allow him to go on and on?

I had a recent meetup with a couple of old friends and one them asked if I still use the "pull the ear" tactic when my son misbehaves in the public. "Oh yes," I answered. "As long as it works, I'll just keep doing it whenever he misbehaves!" Yes it's very unglam as once another friend lamented. But hey! As long as it works and it keeps my son from being a nuisance to the public, keeping him out of trouble, who cares if it's glam or unglam!

So, should you discipline someone else's child in public then? Yes. If the situation calls for it, I will not hesitate to do so.

And will I allow my son be discipline by others? Hell no. I will pull his ear and scold him myself before any Tom, Dick and Harry does so!

让别人来教自己的孩子, 颜面何存?!