Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I’m no parenting guru… haha! But I guess it is always good for us to hear and learn from another person. Here’re some questions I’ve been asked by friends, cell members and colleagues.

What is your own personal parenting style?

Nic & I believe in a parenting style that is both warm and authoritarian. Warm – spending lots of quality time with Jay, lots of words of affirmation, hugs and kisses. Almost every day, after work and after dinner, I make the effort to spend some time with Jay alone, bringing him to run wild read books at Borders or enjoy a cup of yoghurt together. Authoritarian – spanking and disciplining him when he gets out of hand.

We constantly act as moderators to his emotions, and when it seems like he is working up a temper or a tantrum, we quickly step in so that he will not lose his temper, and can learn to control it better. This is Nic’s pet phrase nowadays – moderate.

My child is xx months old now. Should/Can I start disciplining him/her now?

One word: Yeah.

The first harsh tone Nic took with Jay… was when Jay was only 2 months old. No, it wasn’t a scolding, but a serious and deep “Don’t do that” to this little baby. The first smack Jay received (albeit he hardly felt it with those diapers cushioning his buttocks) was when he was 5 months old.

How to discipline kids?

Much has been written on this topic.

Well, personally, one thing I learnt very quickly as a parent is to not get overly emotional when disciplining Jay. Trying to out-shout your child doesn’t work well. Trying to out-scream him is a bad idea too. Having too heavy a hand when disciplining is also a no-no. Over-harsh scolding or being personal in your words are also not useful and in fact, detrimental to the child’s self-esteem.

Praise in public. Discipline in private.

Many of my good friends use “Mr. Spoon” as a tool of punishment.

Nic feels a smack on Jay’s butt with his palm works as fine.

I wanted to get a “Mr. Spoon” too, initially. But cos I have a lot of other people living in the same household, I am not keen on the idea of another person brandishing that wooden spoon to get a reaction from Jay, apart from Nic and I, and so I decided not to. Haha!

And the flipside of discipline?

Asian culture is such that it is big on humility, but sometimes takes this to the extreme. It is typical to find parents (especially from the older generations) rubbishing their kids’ accomplishments in the misguided efforts to “spur” them on to greater heights and not rest on their laurels. While there is nothing wrong in doing such a thing, the truth is kids can grow up with a pretty inferior outlook on life, after being constantly told that they are never good “enough”.

So, be extravagant in your praise of your child. Be over the top with it! When he or she is a great kid, be sure to tell them. If the only response they get from you is when they are misbehaving, you can be sure that is what they will do when they try to seek your attention.

What is secure attachment?

This was a word and a concept I first learnt from Nic, and the more I read up on it and the more I see it “lived out” real-life, not just in Jay but in the other people around as well, the more I am a convert and a believer. Haha!

You can read it greater detail here.


Margaret said...

Great parenting advice!

wenwinner said...

I like your style! Ken and I are still learning. For us, discipline for Jasz had started le...