I don’t remember when did we start using cane to discipline. Since Monday, I told myself and promised our only son that I won’t use it on him anymore.
Cane for discipline. Sometimes it just doesn’t work for all children. I regretted for using it. I should not start it at all, there are other ways to handle misbehaved children and I should not take any shortcut in parenting. He is afraid of cane and by canning him did not make things/him better. Finally, I put a stop. At such young age, he is powerless and I don’t want him to obey just because he is fearful of being caned. He can feel the pain but does he fully understand the reasons why he was caned?
Self reflection is what I do these days when I’m free. And I take full responsibility when comes to his behavioural problems especially hitting. It got to be me who started it and gave him the idea that the one who hit hardest got the power of controlling.
But he doesn’t hit out of angry or aggressive. Another problem is he started pushing his friends in school again. Teacher said he likes to tease as he finds it funny. But children at this age know how to tease? Like to be teased? I don’t know, he doesn’t hit/push out of anger so those methods I read online do not help me to solve this. Teacher said he is a very bright student, so smart that he knows how to tease for fun at this age. So, she is indirectly telling me she doesn’t know how to handle his behaviour as well. I shared on FB re: Sensory problem are common for bright kids. – from the teacher. And no, I’m not going to jump into conclusion that he has it, no excuse (as for now) for his wrong doing. As a mom, full time care giver, I got to do something or at least try before I seek help from medical experts.
For my part, firstly, there will be no more drama show when the children are around, if possible. I don’t need him to speak hokkien or learn dialect at this age. I spoke to my family and they agreed. I hope he stops getting influence by those fighting scenes.
I am no expert in parenting. I’m learning everyday and I am using “gentle response” to his behaviour. No more short cut, if we can communicate with each other, then I must make sure it is effective, I change my tone and gestures, use very simple words and talk to him softly.
It may be too early to say this method works, but I can see the different after 4 days. He can tell that I no longer angry when he did something wrong. eg. slamming the door, he was expecting me to raise my voice. I didn’t of course, I walked to him, lower my body to have eye contact, reminded him gently that slamming the door caused noises and he might hurt his toes. He said sorry and I smiled back.
Then I realise my body language is very important when I am talking or lecturing him. I repeatedly tell him “I promise no more caning, no more shouting, I will talk to you nicely and gently, you just need to listen to me and make sure I don’t repeat more than 3 times.” I also tell him he is given 3 chances a day. When he is very naughty, I use my finger to write 1 on his palm. This seems to work, he knows that is his first warning.
I consistently using the same approach when I homeschool him. We sit down and do colouring, painting and worksheets but I make it more fun than before and I also let him do whatever he prefers. Lots of role play during the learning session and when he says he wants to stop, we get off our chairs and move to the playmat for more role play, he was a pizza baker yesterday. When he is bored with the toys, we head off to the playground. No more angry mommy. ( yes, sometimes I am very impatient )
Not sure about other children. He is quite emo when I express to him about my emotion and feeling when he does something good or bad (in school). He feels it, he would cry and hug me when I tell him I am sad. I used to be very angry when he misbehaved, he would tell me he doesn’t want me to be angry. My heart sank when he tells me he wants me to be happy, in his sad tone. Then I also aware when my mood is bad, it affects him too. Last week, I told him to try writing 1-5 but he was so playful that he scribbled everywhere. I raised my voice and took the cane (hell, don’t ask me why), he couldn’t even write anything. Of course I know I can’t force anything out of him, I didn’t really expect him to write 1-5, I was angry because he was too playful and I was trying to tell him there are time to play and learn, don’t play while learning. But now I know, he is learning through play too. Today, I gave him his favourite book ( counting book with wipe clean pages ) and Maisy books. I thought he may flip through the Maisy books but he didn’t, he completed the counting page without my presence and he can write 1-10! I am impressed because we hardly practise writing numbers.
So from now onwards, there will be no more cane, no more shouting, I still discipline but gently as I hope that I mirror the behaviour I want him to have, by speaking softly and reiterating that we don’t hit people and we have to be nice to others. I have to remain calm and learn not to be too harsh on him, I want to raise a happy child.