Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cane or Dialogue

Starting October, my wife will start working half time, only in the morning and will leave the office at 12pm. She will take care of Jane in the afternoon. One of the main reasons for this arrangement is that we have decided that we will look after Jane ourselves to relief my mother in law. Also, as my MIL said it, her old method of child rearing is very different from our modern times - not just different but also conflicting - that she felt that she's not able to take care of Jane effectively. 

The surprising thing is, over the past 3 weeks, Jane was very well behaved. The first week was rocky. Lots of crying and screaming, which was usual for us, but my wife was adamant and would not give in to her requests. Jane would test her limits.. but after a few days, she knew her mother is not to be fooled with and in a surprising 180 degree turn, she became very well behaved and accommodating.

At one point, I have always wondered if raising and discipling a kid via dialogue would be more effective as compared to the cane. Who has the patience to dialogue when the easy way out is through cane and shouting and threats? But then, these past 3 weeks have really opened my eyes.

My MIL old ways are about threats (if you don't listen I will have to take out the cane), striking fears via warning (don't climb the sofa, or you will fall and hurt yourself) and that doesn't seemed to be working with this new generation of kids. My wife's way of listening and talking and guiding may seemed futile against a screaming kid but I guess in the longer run, it may be the most effective yet.

Instead of crying every morning when she wakes up, waiting for her mother to come up to pacify her, these days, Jane would wake up herself and go downstairs looking for her mother. Without any fuss, she would change to school uniform and get ready for school. Instead of just throwing things all over the place, she nows picked them up and put them into boxes when we asked her to. Instead of wailing for attention, she nows asked and speak her mind.

Too good to be true?

We shall see.

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