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parenting

September 26, 2007
Parenting is a BIG challenge if you’re striving to be a perfect parent.  A few days ago when the evening turned very cold and my wife was taking a class, I was tasked to convince my two and a half yr old daughter to wear her sweater and she refused.  She first gave the excuse that it had to be worn under her dress like her body suit.  I insisted it has to be worn outside but she avoided me by running around in my tiny office and screamed. 
After 10 mins of loud crying and chasing, she gave another excuse that she was sleepy and she needed to be carried and hugged.  I explained that I would "sayang" her and pat her to sleep if she wear her sweater first.  She still refused and screamed even louder, rejecting  my offer to help her.  While she still insisted that I "sayang" her, I ran out the door and run along the corrider of the locked department (playing catching)and negotiated that I will do so if she wore her sweater.  She refused.  So there were a lot of crying and chasing. 
During this time, she cried like she was badly abused and fell numerous times trying to catch me.  If she caught me I’ll try to force wearing her sweater on her, but she would struggle and shake it off and scream if I do.  Sometime she’ll be on the floor and I’d look away not giving her the attention she begged for.  Sometimes, she’d be running after me.  And sometimes, I’ll be struggling with her to put her sweater on.  So this went on for about 35 mins and during this time, my other colleagues were there to view the ordeal. 
In the end I lost.  She still did not wear her sweater and when returning home, I had to rush her to the car and turned on the heater so she would not freeze.  In the car, she cried and screamed until she slept.  This kind of total disobedience when I was a child was considered uncalled for.  If I were in her shoes, my granny would just take out the cane and caned me till I wear my sweater.  But being a "modern" father, I tried to convince her and coax her but all she did was manipulated me and wanted to have things her way.  it looks like we have to switch to some other forms of disciplining (but there will absolutely be no hitting or caning) till she knows she’s not in control but her parents are.  More time out for her?  More "stand in the naughty corner"?  Maybe she’d just outgrow this and  it’ll be a non problem.  Otherwise, it might be painful moments for all of us.  That evening, she screamed and cried in her sleep numerous times at night.  I am confident this problem will eventually go away before she’s eighteen.
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