Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Parenting styles

A friend of mine caned her boy who is same age as Marcus for his naughty behaviour, like not snatching toys from other kids, spitting, screaming, which to me is very normal behaviour for kids this age. There must be millions out there who are caned/punished in similar or worse ways, but the fact that I know this mum, seen the boy before, disturbed me a lot. Makes me sad that both parents cane him very often, and in the mum's words, so hard that he would scream for forgiveness but would repeat the same naughty behaviour the next day. Can't bear the thought of my little boys being caned.

I witnessed a daddy making fun of his 3 y.o. boy who was crying inconsolably. While his mum was trying to comfort him by telling him "ok, don't cry. don't cry.", the dad just mimicked his crying and told him "you crybaby. cry over something so small". I remember when my maid first came, she told Marcus not to cry and teased him about his crying too. Very common reaction from most adults but I had to correct her immediately.

I overheard the maid telling Nicholas today "no, don't do that" repeatedly while I was getting ready to take the boys out. I had to go check what was N doing as I just didn't like the idea of my baby being told "no, don't do this or that" at this young age. All he was doing was chewing his pacifier and pulling it a lot and another time, he was rubbing his saliva coated fingers all over his face while he rubbed his eye. Another day, I saw her teasing him with a toy which he was trying to grab. He tried so hard and the moment he was close to getting it, she pulled it away and laughed at him. Yesterday while she was wiping his face with a face cloth, she was teasing him again with the cloth which made him blink a lot. I was so mad and had to tell her off for teasing him.

I had to remind her what to say/not to say/to do/not to do to/with the boys, but I just know that old habits die hard, so I am probably expecting too much that she will remember. It occurred to me that no matter how hard I try, I would have to accept to a certain degree that Nicholas will get to hear a lot of the things that I take pains not to say to Marcus when he was younger since we have a live in maid now, whereas before, I looked after Marcus myself.. 

Despite my trying to handle as much of the boys myself as possible, throughout the day, there will still be pockets of time when they will have to be handled by her. Regardless of how often I try to correct her, she is not me, so will never be able to say/react in the exact manner I want, so she will never meet my expectations perfectly. Which annoys me and someone suggested before that maybe i should lower my expectations which I think is absolute rubbish. I don't see why I should lower my standards and expectations to suit everyone else around, after all, this is about parenting my perfect and precious boys.

That is why I can't leave my boys in childcare, with a nanny, maid or relative (who is the next best choice) since I am so particular about their upbringing and the caregiving style. A relative who looks after another tot I know was heard telling the tot "you stupid girl, why you cry" in an attempt to console her that whatever she wanted was trivial and not worth crying over. Though this caregiver is full of love for the girl, her parenting style is so old fashioned and different from my beliefs. I can't imagine my boys being told "you stupid boys or you are so naughty" repeatedly. Most parents whose kids are looked after by others probably close one eye or both eyes, since they have "no choice". So I am grateful that we have a choice for me to be SAHM and be their main caregiver. Or rather my boys are lucky.

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