Sound advice: Adults should never hit children out of rage

By Sien

I refer to this article 'If he loses hearing, I'll just pay compensation' (Asiaone, 17 Nov 2014)

The father who hit another child did it out of impulse. He could be an over-protective dad who loves his child, BUT this knee-jerk reaction of his was not appropriate. Kids will be kids and as adults, we should be more patient and level-headed when dealing with them.

I gather, from readers' responses that most of us who are angry at the slapper, are also susceptible to reacting the way the father did (just a hunch). Our shock and anger over this news, and our subsequent comments such as "I'll punch him if that's my kid", or "I'll whack him if I see him", suggests that we are no better at controlling ourselves emotionally if the same thing were to happen to us. Fortunately, not all readers responded in the negative. For those who despise the father, please cut him some slack. This episode will be an unforgettable lesson to the father, and will serve as a reminder for the rest of us to treat children with greater patience and never hit them out of anger. If you subscribe to the notion of caning as part of your parenting style (for serious misconduct), at least do it properly and especially only after a TIME-OUT (when you are no longer clouded by emotion) so that you won't "lose" yourself.

As parents, our kids are everything. Protecting them is natural. Anger (of ourselves or others) over our inability to protect them from harm/hurt will happen. However, over-reaction is not good, although it will happen sometimes unavoidably (after all we are just humans). Let this episode be a reminder to us that we shouldn't hit a child out of reaction.

There are several examples I would like to share and ask readers what would your reactions be when you are dealing with them:

1. You were walking with your 6 months pregnant wife home from work via a HDB void deck. Several kids (from a primary school) were playing soccer in the vicinity (which is prohibited as indicated by the warning sign); suddenly one of them kicked the ball so hard that it accidentally struck your wife's belly. She cried out in pain. How would you react?

2. You were walking with your 2 year old daughter in the market around your HDB block(where no cycling is allowed in the vicinity). Suddenly, at a corner, a man turned his bicycle and knocked into your baby girl. She got bruised and cried out loudly. How would you react?

Your kid came home from school with a bloodied uniform. His two front teeth got chipped badly and apparently the trauma suffered had caused them to wobble. He told you later that one of the school bullies (he had been telling you for sometime) pushed him down a staircase in school. How would you react? This happened to a friend's child, and the teeth had to be extracted because it got infected. According to the dentist, the trauma had caused the other teeth to move out of position. So, in the future the kid will have to return for orthodontic treatment to correct the alignment. How would you feel?

If you felt angry during the above instances, it is perfectly normal. We are after all humans and we do tend to err in emotion and judgement (just as how the father who slapped the 3 years old kid erred). His alleged retort : "If he loses hearing, I'll just pay compensation" didn't help him a single bit BUT I hope we can give him the benefit of the doubt that he spoke with a less than sane mind (considering that he could have been clouded by anger when he spoke).

Being unreasonably angry at him only reflects our susceptibility to becoming the very same type of person we so abhorred. Let us constantly remind ourselves not to be "short-fused".

Just a thought.

This post first appeared on the In Singapore blog. It is reproduced with permission.


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