Monday, July 18, 2011

Of the spoon and the rod

I had a very interesting discussion with some colleagues last week. On what else – but parenting issues! I guess it must be age, and I realise now that more and more of my friends are parents (or parents-to-be!)

This time round, the topic of our discussion revolved around the subject of… discipline. And more specifically, the toss-up between the Spoon or the Rod? There was also some parents who were still “tethering” on the subject of discipline.

I think there is no one parenting style that suits every single kid, as every kid is an individual. There are 4 main styles of parenting: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and uninvolved. The generally accepted “best” parenting style is authoritarian, which basically means a mix of control and parental warmth. Nic & I subscribe to this as well. For us, time spent with the kiddos are paramount, especially since we are both working full-time. So evenings, once we knock off, are pretty precious – since we also have our other commitments on certain weekday nights. But we’ve worked out a schedule such that one of us will be home with the kids while the other is away. Weekends are also important – and we have frequent family outings to places like the bird park, Sentosa… We are also pretty generous when it comes to toys for them (case in point – you just need to see Jay’s mountain of animal puppets from the Better Toy Store!)

But balance is the key to life. With parental warmth comes the other flip side – control. Daddy is the main disciplinarian in the house. And I am very happy to keep it that way! It doesn’t mean I don’t discipline Jay. I do. But Nic does it that much better!

I think Daddy needs to “guest-blog” to talk of his disciplinary ways! Haha! And given that Jay is still heavily in the midst of that dreaded Terrible Three phase, a strong and firm hand is needed to keep him rooted, grounded, and staying in the realm of acceptable behaviour.


A common prayer among parents – to have the wisdom to know how to raise bright, happy, well-rounded kids!

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