Monday, 19 November 2007


Long before we got pregnant the Mrs and I have been observing from the outside at how parents raise their kids and how these kids behave in public. Sometimes I see things that I agree and would like for us to emulate in our teachings I will immediate share it with the Mrs and we will make mental notes to incorporate it. Likewise when we see things or methods that we disagree with, we will also share and make it a point to not do it in the future.

Case in point; about a year or more ago, we were having lunch at Greenwood area and while walking to the restaurant we saw this really cute Caucasian toddler (can’t be more than 3 years old) happily unwrapping his ice cream and then looking and smiling mischievously at his dad. Being his dad, the man immediately knew what his boy was going to do and he warned him with a stern “No!”. Still this boy threw the wrapper into the drain and ran screaming and very happily away. I was really amazed at what happened next. The father ran after him; caught him and then lower him into the drain which is dry of course and insisted that he picks up the wrapper. He then brought the boy to a proper bin and have him throw it in there. Once done the father cleaned his hands before allowing him to continue with his ice cream. That is something that I will remember for life. How many times have we seen parents (local and otherwise) allowing their children to litter the place or worst still lead by example and litter or spit themselves? I told myself then that this is one teaching that I will surely emulate when I eventually have my own kids.

It could be due to all the game consoles and online interactions, I find that kids these days require a lot of work on their interaction and social skills. They may become some kind of a loner and are often “shy” towards people and worst still rude towards their parents and grandparents.

We have encountered instances where we told our friends and relatives that they should not allow their kids to do things such as talking back to their grandparents or sleeping really late at night etc but sometimes we get the response, “Ah ya! You don’t know lah. Wait till you have your own kids. Then you’ll know it is not as easy as you think!”

While I agree that we are no parents and that raising kids with the right values is not easy, I strongly disagree that we need to be parents to understand the basic do’s and don’ts. Simple things like talking back or raising voice with their grandparents, littering and being rude and disrespectful to someone else’s things are common courtesy that require only common sense. These days we simply watch with our jaws dropped and we have since decided against making our opinion known. We can only hope and pray that Baby will turn out just fine. He / she doesn’t have to be a model citizen but definitely no menace to the society too.

We were at Ikea Tampines 2 Sundays ago and I was a little scared after spending about half an hour at the canteen watching the little monsters! Ha Ha Ha! They were really loud and messy!!! These are 2 things that I cannot tolerate. I like quiet, not library quiet but not constant screaming either and I like things clean too. At this point I have to clarify that I do not have OCD or at least I do not think so. I can still tolerate things to a certain extent. I understand kids need to let go of their system occasionally but I really do not appreciate kids talking really loudly (to the extent of screaming) when the place is not that noisy. I understand that kids are playful and would like to jump around but my bed is a strict off limit zone. The Mrs is also not allowed to walk on the bed. Bed to me should be clean because that is where we sleep.

I remembered an incident when I was still in secondary school, I was eating laksa and I dropped the piece of tau kua back into the bowl and naturally my white school uniform ended up with a few stains. I gave up eating and went home to change before going back to study. A little extreme, I know. Even till today, I have to be really careful with my noodles and gravy. If a small stain is found on my shirt and I still have a long day ahead, I will not hesitate going out to buy a new shirt to change into.

So I was sitting there at Ikea imagining me having to share the same table with a very messy toddler who is splashing the spaghetti gravy everywhere and at the same time screaming happily away! I looked at the Mrs and I’m sure she could see my worried expression.

I consider myself a rather impatient person so I am a little worried with how I am going to cope with Baby. I saw this lady feeding her toddler and she offered this piece of French Fries to the boy but each time he turned his head and pushed her hand away with his. But credits to her because her persistence paid off for on the fifth attempt, the boy probably decided that his "nagging" mother will not take no for an answer and ate the fries. At this point in time, I think the "now" me will offer once or twice and if the answer is still no then fine, let me know when you want ok? But who knows about the "then" me. For all we know I am more persistent then the lady at Ikea.

I think the teaching of the right values is easier as it will take time to cultivate the character but my immediate worry is how to handle crying, screaming and messy babies……..


no man's land said...

i may be old fashioned, but i always believe that if you spare the rod, you'll spoil the child. i have friends who do not believe in smacking their naughty kids when the time calls for it. instead they try to reason things out, in a friend-to-friend, heart-to-heart manner. they say mutual respect is the key to a successful, fulfilling relationship. perhaps...maybe when the child is older. but how do you reason with, or expect respect, from a screaming 3-year old rolling about on the floor?!

i think parenthood is an art. and we all acquire the fineness of this art form as we go along, stumbling through mistakes made along the way. and at the same time, we learn more about ourselves, as our children grow and develop into their own characters. the road ahead is exciting, if not anything else! =)

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi no man's land,

I am with you on the spare the rod and spoil the child theory. I also believe that you have to discipline them when young otherwise it will be harder to correct them when they're older.

When the kid gets older, we can use other forms as punishments. Things such as no TV or games for a week. Depending on what the kid likes most that time and use that on him.

Parenthood is indeed an art and it is one that is ever changing and require continuous learning and refining.

The road ahead is exciting indeed....

Anonymous said...

when my MIL/FIL talks to my girl, i make sure she faces them. if she doesn't i will purposely turn her (either her head or her whole self) to face them. this is simple courtesy which i think should instill in the young ones.

but i must agree on the sentence "wait till you have your own kids..."

before i became i parent... i always wonder why some parents allow their kids to behave in a certain way.. like kicking a big storm at the toys department... and NOT able to control them.

now that my girl is at the TERRIBLE 2 stage... I KNOW... it is not that all easy to peel the little one away from the toys... sometimes a simple "there are more toys over there" works to pull her away from that particular toy.. sometimes you can take 10 whole minutes just to pull her away and trying VERY hard not to make a din out of it...

so in the end.. we end up letting her go her way.. and talk to her nicely... (my girl is the "eat soft dun eat hard" kind)

and the eating part... when ur kid is of age to "survive" on solid food... all you want to do is "stuff" food in him/her... and trust me... feeding kids IS an ART too... haahaa...

you are going to have fun... :)

Trina said...

haha.. u touched on my pet topic: discipline! me n my husband are firm believers in discipline. Our boy was a v pleasant kid since young, but as he approaches 2, tantrums started n his behaviour towards different people varies too. So beware, if you allow yourself to be more lenient with ur kid at public places, you can expect him to be more wilful outside, cos he learns that he can get away with it.

some no-nos that i dont tolerate: whining (be it at home or outside), standing on chairs (if need to stand, will at least remove shoes), tantrums, throwing food.

actually, kids listen to reason at v young age, say 1+. H/w, they are poor at articulating it or responding to it. Tip is to keep your reason short. Say hold hands along road, bcos it's dangerous. Over time, he'll internalise it (although he may not know what "danger" really means). But this "indoctrination" (or what we call nagging)will pay off in a year's time.

Kids' cheeky behaviour can be v cute, and sometimes i fall for that and allow him to carry on, which is always a mistake bcos the problems will just get more severe and he becomes harder to handle.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi happyhour,

The Mrs is very particular about respecting the elderly. So I'm sure the same rule will apply to our parents as well as any elderly out there.

I would like to think that I will be strict with him / her when the time comes. I really do not want my kids to be a nuisance to the public but I also do not like my children to bargain with me.

The danger in letting them have their way is they will be very quick and smart to learn that they can get away with certain things with this particular behaviour.

When the time comes for Baby to eat solid food I think I should bring along a bib for myself so that Baby will not mess up my shirt. Ha Ha

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi trina,

Actually I have a take on this discipline thingy that you parents may feel offended (I am not trying to compare your kids to dogs. So dont be offended)

When we brought Ah No for obedience training I learn that handling him is a like handling a child.

We should never confuse the dog in a sense that we have to be consistent. If he is not allowed to do certain things then it is a strict no-no. We should not allow him to do it at times and punish him for doing the same thing at other times. Between parents, we have to agree on the dos and don’ts also. The last thing we want is for one of us to okay certain things and only to have the other object to it.

I feel this principle is the same towards children. If we do not allow them to throw a tantrum then we should simply put a stop to it whether in public or at home or relatives' place.

I know that with children there is always a devilish and angelic side to them and as parents I believe we will grow to love both sides. But I have seen children getting away with things when they were young and by the time they are in Primary school, it is very hard to correct them.

I think the hardest and most embarrassing thing to happen to any parents is to have their kid make a hell of a scene in public. Anyone has any tips on how to handle this besides giving in to them cause this is the road that I really do not want to take.

I learned that the harder route is usually the correct one.

Anonymous said...

We share the same sentiments when it comes to screaming, ape-like kids who constantly scream, shout and run amok, and I never fail to frown everytime I encounter children like this.

I have mentioned this to my hubba a couple of times, and pointed them out to him as well. I like well behaved, quiet (and like you, not library quiet) types. Take for example, I was at the clinic queueing and a child probably 4 or 5, screamed, and ran while his parents (middle age, i think about 40's, sat and frowned at him) apparently they only ask him to "keep quiet" very softly. I was thinking, God, dun you have like paper and a fricking pen to distract him? I dun even need to be a parent to know that I can hopefully distract my child and make him sit quietly, least for 10 mins.

Anyway, I took care of my nephew when he was a baby, and he's super picky with food. For this I do emphatise with my parents, especially my mom as she would run all around the house to try to feed him a couple more mouthfull solely because she cares. While I do agree on the "if he/she wants to ask." I think as a parent, it will be so much more than patience, I know I will follow him/her all around the world! Ha!

Anyway, as for me, I have been wondering how it would be like carrying around a "basketball,water melon" for 9 mths. Lately it dawn on me that my fricking skin is going to stretch like a balloon.. *shock look* hahaa..

But, I do want my little fingers and toes..hahaa..


Nicole said...

I also don't believe in sparing the rod and spoilt the child. If you do read up on claire's blog, you'll know that I do caned her when she's naughty. Then, I'll have friends/my mum telling me that don't cane her lah. Then I'll think to myself, I'm the one who carried her for 9 months and I'm the one teaching her and probably love her the most, if I can set aside my heartache in seeing her being caned, I'll appreicate if you could just keep quiet kinda attitude. Of course, I do know that it's because they dote on her and find her pitiful when caned. THEN, my sister highlight to me that maybe I should really use another approach. Why did she said that? Cause that day, Claire was naughty and my mum, caned her. Then that very evening, she was naughty again so I caned her too. Then she told her doll that everybody caned her..She sound totally pitiful. THat kinda strike a sore ache in my sister's heart that her niece said that.

Well, on the other hand, I have to agree and admit like what some mummies had said, that kids listen to reasonings. In fact, most toddlers take those 'eat soft and not hard approach'. Claire is one very classic example. She'll listen to reason and if you get her to agree, its' a bed of roses. If not..haha..

On the feeding part, well,when she's younger, she'll have to sit in the baby chair in the dining table and wait till I finished feeding her. Then one fine day, she lost interest altogether in eating so I changed my approach. I allowed her to watch tv and eat, of course sitting down. According to supernanny, it's not a good habit. Trust me, I know that very well. But having to decide between having the kid to eat and having her NOT to eat, I chose to have her eat and watch tv. BUT I cannot stand it when kids are running all over the place and parents/maid have to chase after them just to feed them. By the time they finished eating, I guess the feeder will be so exhausted.

Like you, I'm a bit 'fetish' on keeping my white shirt white and keeping my things clean but ever since I have Claire, white shirt aren't that white anymore and things are no longer in place but then, I'm happy. So will you. It's just a matter of accepting it and taking in stride. :)

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Mrs Chew,

I read somewhere that when you do not have kids you give those parents whose kids are making a nuisance of themselves a "can't you do something about them" look but once you have your own then you will give them the "dont worry, I understand because I have been there" look.

I normally only frown upon those parents that let their children have a field day and be a nuisance to all surrounding people. There are those who will behave like "hey, they are children so this is how the behave" and do nothing about it and then there are those who thinks "alright, alright, I will try only for your benefit to tell them to stop" and they will literally just say "stop" and go back to whatever they are doing.

As for carrying baby to full term, I can only tell you from our experience the hard part was the 1st trimester due to her all day sickness. 2nd trimester was the best and the worst had to be the last trimester. She can't sleep well and always complained that her tummy feels so stretched. She can't imagine Baby and her tummy will grow any bigger.

Thankfully she has not had a single stretch mark.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hey Nicole,

When we beat Dino I believe it hurts us more than him too. Sometimes when he is really naughty and after I smacked him (actually my hands hurt more than his bum), he will give me this puppy dog look that will just melt my heart and then I will feel really sorry for the next few hours.

I believe these toddlers do understand to a certain when reasoning with them hence besides canning them, I will also try the taking away their privileges method.

I did not watch Supernanny but she did write a few books so maybe will consider learning from them.

I know life will never be the same again once Baby is out. For starters I may have to look at cheaper clothes in case I get milk and vomit stains all over them. Ha Ha Ha

Anonymous said...

wow u gotta share the art of zero stretch mark man, haha.

yeap, another incident, hubba n me were like the only 2 in a jaccuzzi and along came a dad with his 3 kids (either all his, or nephew and nieces, ya whatever.) and i cant imagine what happened next. they started splashing and kicking water all over our faces, and their dad didn't even flinched! i told hubba, these people really just dun care, i mean if it's me right i would apologise and immediately tell them to stop sucha behaviour.


A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Anonymous,

Actually there is no secret. I think the Mrs is just lucky and maybe because her tummy is not too big hence no stretch marks.

To give you an idea, when she was 7 months pregnant, most people guessed that she was only about 4 months.

Either that or the anti-stretch mark cream from Mothercare is a miracle because she had used it like 2 times so far?!?! It has been chucked away for months already.

Don't you just hate (i hate to use the word "hate" but...) these parents that will allow their children to be a nuisance in the public?

I have always believed that there is always a proper time and place to do certain things. Take your example, the proper place will be any kids pool where the children are all behaving like that.

Nicole said...

I think the reason why your Mrs feel very stretched in the stomach is because it's her first pregnancy and the stomach is expanding to accomodate your baby. That's why.

The reason why people get stretch marks, according to my previous gynae in mount e is that, either their age or their skin elasticity. So either your Mrs is young or her skin elasticity is good. Another similarity as me, cause I also have no stretch marks during my first pregnancy and for now, I've yet to see any stretch marks too. Hopefully I won't get it.

I also went to buy a stretch mark cream(again)this time round for my second pregnancy and I only applied less than 5 times. I also dont' know why I bothered actually. Haha. I guess women will wanna rely on something to make their mind feel better. Haha!

So your Mrs's stomach any bigger? Mine is slightly bigger, I'm 8 months now and people says I look like 4 months. That's an improvement liao. Heee

Trina said...

if my kid makes a scene in public, i.e. cry/sit on floor/scream, i'd pull him to a corner and get him to quieten down, promise not to do that again, before moving on. if problem repeats again, i'd give ultimate warning, i.e. not going anywhere else/go home straight, which adults will of course have to carry out the threat when challenged. Usually if u follow through for circumstances at home u wont have to carry out the ultimatum outside. I'd rather mess up the day's plans than let him have his way.

although parents shld have same stand on parenting issues, i feel that sometimes one has to be the tough one and the other the softer/reasoning one. Both will similarly disallow the kid to do certain things, but say after a harsh scolding, the kid can go to the softer parent who wld calm him before explaining to him the rationale. This would be 软硬兼施..

Nicole said...

Hi, I've just went for my check up today and the gynae told me that my baby's weight is around 2.1kg. Wonder how's yours Mrs's weight??/

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Trina,

I was planning on going to use your method too. Hopefully it will work for me in the future.

Funny huh?! Baby is not even born yet and here I am thinking of ways to punish him / her already. Ha Ha

I'm sure we will have the good and bad cop routine but I wonder between the Mrs and I who will play which character.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi nicole,

I would like to think that the Mrs is still young. After all she is only in her early 30's. Ha Ha Ha

Maybe the skin elasticity also plays a part. Hopefully like you, she will also not have any stretch mark with our second child in the future.

Her tummy certainly has grown and we seldom hear people saying that it is small anymore.

Anyway I will blog about this next and you can see pictures there too.

When the Mrs went for her check up last Monday Baby's weight was about 1.8kg so I guess Baby should be around the same as yours by now.

We will be going for another check up at TMC next Monday so we will know better then. Will keep you all posted.