Thursday, November 1, 2007

Temper Tantrums

Oh, these video clips are so funny! I'm sure every parent will sympathize and understand. Personally, I'm relieved my kids are beyond that now. I felt very stressed watching the first clip, and I am happy for the patient father that his son didn't turn out to be a monster. If it was my kid, I'd have tied him to a tree! (Looking at the video again, I think he just wanted his shoes back on.) Thank goodness we live in a country where parents have some authority!

Of my three kids, only Wey (the youngest) had 'blackmail tantrums'. One day when he was about 3 or 4, he hammered his head on the floor when he didn't get what he wanted. I responded by doing something influenced by my friend K's story about how her grandma suddenly stabbed her fingers at her son's (ie K's uncle) eyes when he was young because he had a habit of blinking rapidly when he talked. Grandma's stabbing stopped the blinking pronto! I'm not condoning her, but it worked. And it is funny if you imagine it. The older generation sure had effective parenting skills.

With Wey what I did when he banged his head was, I grabbed his hair and banged his head for him. Just 3 or 4 times. I then walked away as he cried in surprise and anger. When he did it the second time a few days later, bashing his head on the wall this time, I did the same thing to him and walked away. He never repeated that behavior again. People widen their eyes and tell me I'm cruel when I share this but hey, this is when you've got to be cruel to be kind. And it's tougher as a parent to say "No" than "Yes" but I always tell myself: discipline them now or suffer later.

When Ming was 16, he and I had the worst year of our lives! At least it was for me as a mother. It culminated last year when we fought so much over boundaries, rules, his playing of computer games etc that he started hanging out late with his friends. I know these friends and they are good boys so I wasn't truly worried but at the same time, I was upset when he started coming home at one or two am whenever we had a fight. One day I was so distraught I chose not to go for Sunday service and stayed home alone to pray. I also read James Dobson's Parenting Is Not For Cowards, and one problem he dealt with was kids breaking curfew time. If you have never read his books, I'll inform you that Dr Dobson has always been a promulgator of the disciplining of children, having written a widely-read and acclaimed book called 'Dare To Discipline'.

That Sunday, by 10.30 pm when Ming still wasn't home, I called him on his mobile and told him calmly that if he broke his curfew time of 11:30 pm, I would lock the door. He said he had the house keys. I informed him that I'd put in new locks and he can stay at Sean's or in the cars. He came home on time ever since. I think the difference was I said it so calmly and firmly instead of my usual ranting and raving. Plus I really meant what I said. And I fully agree with Dr Dobson that as long as our kids are living with us, they have to abide by our rules.

With Yi, it's always been easy because here's a girl who's kind, loving, understanding, obedient, God-loving, gosh, she's just wonderful. But I still had to discipline her. I slapped her one day when she was rude to me. She ran from the kitchen up to her room and slammed the door. I was still shaking with shame and regret when, true to her nature, she came down only 20 minutes later and apologised, repented, and we cried together. Her behavior was amazing, because she was 18. How many 18 year-olds can accept that kind of discipline?
I know I seem harsh. But I never want to be in a position like one of my friends whose daughter threatened to cut her wrist because her parents tried to stop her from going with her boyfriend of a different religion. They not only gave in to her, they allowed the boy to move in with them!

How have you coped as a parent?

For those who haven't yet have kids, the next clip gives the ultimate advice. Now we know why the population growth in European countries is negative :)


WoMbOk™♂ said...

Really good and insightful post.

Kids will never know how hard it is to be a parent until they become one.

And that's why I am going to adopt a 25 year old who has his own apartment.

Shan said...

Your honesty is refreshing.
Great post!

bryan said...

Great post; and what you said about your kids having to live by your rules as long as they are living with you? I would say that somewhat extends to even if they are no longer kids but you are still supporting them. Nowadays kids just don't appreciate what they are given.

meatball online said...

i love this post... make me remember an incident when i was younger.. i'm always the obedient one at home, one day, my parents gave permission for me to go out at nite to attend party for the 1st time. me being so naive, tasted beer the 1st time and got drunk, fall asleep and no one dare to send me home.. made my parents come out and look for me.. of cos can't escape the "slap".. cried whole nite..

after that, i think they kinda understand i didn't do it purposely.. but i hate it when they take it as a joke till now.. cos "The Slap" is like a "forbidden memory"..

i just wish i can be one good parent to my kids in future..

Pamela said...

I am now 48 yrs old and I had many a butt bustings when I was a child....I finally became an adult when I realized the whippings were not to 'hurt' me rather than corrections in my behavior. My parents have both passed away now and I think I have turned out very well :-)
I have a son ( Jerad ) who has had only several butt bustings in all of those 20 yrs. The one that sticks out in my mind was when he was about 4yrs old and he went out into a very busy street.I had told Jerad over & over about going out into the street because of the cars going by so fast that he could get hit. One day, he went out the door in front of me ( we were going to my car in the driveway)he goes right past my car and before I can even yell, he was in the street.The very next sound I hear was tires screaming trying to stop. Thank God my son was not hit, but I busted his butt all the way back into our home!! I am not saying or endorsing butt whippings, but sometimes they are needed :-)

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

wombok: thanx! y would a 25 yr old with an aprtmt want to be adopted?

shan: thanx!i'm a little uncomfortable about this piece bc it's so...personal. hey, can't post comments on ur blog the last few days. pls check ur settings.

bryan: i was thinking the same thing as i was driving 2day :) thanx for ur comment.

meatball: wow, u made me tear a little. ur parents, like pamela, acted out of worry, concern n love. thanx for sharing 'The Slap'.

pamela:spot on!thanx for sharing. it's great to hear how each of us came thru for the better.n it's weird how we still 'bust their butt' when they come so near to getting killed...i don't advocate physical punishmt but i'm mindful of the Chinese saying regarding children: to spank them is to love them!of course, provided this saying is not abused.

Ronny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ronny said...

my previous comment "joke".
it was immature and in bad taste. and i apologize.

the point i was getting at was -

(and i don't disagree with anything anyone has said here, but just to play the devils advocate and represent the other side of the argument) :

if you're going to have kids, then you have to be prepared to go through a hard time.

the method for 100% pain-free parenthood?
simple - don't have kids.

as far as i understand it, no country has a mandatory law to reproduce. its entirely optional. so if you choose to reproduce, then you just have to take the bad with the good.

if you get a dog and it pees on the carpet, is it the dogs fault for peeing or your fault for getting the dog?

if you put your hand inside a bears mouth and it bites it off, is it the bears fault, or your fault for putting your hand in its mouth?

human are autonomous beings. they can be guided and taught but ultimately they do what they want.

basically think twice before reproducing. if you're not prepared to be a good parent (by properly disciplining and patience etc.) then do humanity a favor and not do it.

NOT that anyone here isn't/hasn't been a good parent.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

ronny: :) it really is u. i thought it was someone using a peudo. sorry i reacted;i do believe in free speech. i'm going to be very trite: everything you said is true (like ppl should think twice, heck, ten times, before becoming a parent) but it's easier said than done.we may think we r fit to have kids, then when faced with challenges all our weaknesses r exposed.u sound like u can be a very understanding parent, but just be careful about whacking them ok (i do have a sense of humor, esp when i know tt comment is fm ronny fish8me.)

R onny said...


heh thanks for that. i was actually quite worried that i had crossed the line there.

i am not patronizing you but you are right -

IT IS a job easier said than done. and i definitely hear where you're coming from, even though i don't have any kids (not that i know of anyway).

when i lived in singapore without fail every time i went out i would see a frustrated parent with their young child.
and the young child wouldn't help the situation by being very VERY annoying and misbehaving. its stuff like that that makes me shirk off the idea of having kids.

its difficult dealing with people, because its hard to change their attitudes.

and its especially hard when you can "hate" what they do/have done/ are doing, but love them so much at the same time.

its definitely a recipe for frustration.

thank you for giving me credit for having the potential to be an understanding parent. if i do have a kid, i'm going to name him or her Optiumus Prime.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

hahaha "Not tt i know of" - ronny, have u been doing 'The Boris'?? n trust me, u'll be more original n not mean enough to name ur kid after some robot.will u be in melb 2nd half of dec?

Precious Pea said...

OMG! Am not a mum yet, but i think if i ever have a kid throwing tantrum like that, I really afraid, i might end up be the one throwing tantrum. LOL!!

Anonymous said...

in reference to the paragraph regarding the girl having a boyfriend of a different religion, I would say that allowing the boy to actually move in with them could keep them closer to the daughter, as opposed to her moving out and even further away from her parents both physically and emotionally. After all, they would still have each other in their lives this way. Won't you think so?

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

pp: my advise is to pray hard for an obedient child or for daughters, not sons! but really, children are blessings..i have t keep thinking tt or i'll go mad.
anon: *takes deep breath* if my girl goes with a guy of another faith (but i'm very sure mine won't altho she did struggle about some who weren't christians), i'd be patient but i won't give in to her threat. NO WAY, n i've shown them since young i mean what i say.however if she goes with someone of a certain faith, i'd step in bc not all faiths let u come n go.i hope u know what i mean.
did u hear about tt chinese fan of andy lau (i think) whose parents stood by her (only child) while she spent all her time n money pursuing him? the father even appealed to andy to fulfill his daughter's wish to meet with him. andy did, but she wanted more n the father criticized him for being uncaring. things got so crazy tt the father sold his hse n gave the money to the daughter bc she was threatening her parents in her quest to get andy. early this year the father couldn't stand it anymore n comitted suicide. i can only imagine tt these r parents who have lost control of the daughter from the moment she was born. they gave in to everything she demanded n the father paid with his life.moral? teach them when young...

Anonymous said...

I used to be a mixture of ming and yi.. maybe more of ming.. haha.. im a middle child afterall.. but thanks for sharing.. it takes courage.. :)

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

joanna: hey, checked ur blog. england doing u good, very liang moi! regards to ur parents for me:)

Rei said...

Hi Terri, just managed to go through this post. It's called tough love. Maybe I have been too soft. :D

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