Friday, May 22, 2009

A Mommy's Dilemma

On the way home from daycare, You Jin rattled on and on about what happened in school and daycare today. Nothing extraordinary EXCEPT towards the end:

You Jin: Henry punched me on my mouth during teabreak.

Me: Why did he do that?

You Jin: I don't know. I was showing Bryan my shaky milk tooth, and suddenly Henry came over and punched me on my mouth.

Me: Did you tell your teacher?

You Jin: Yes.

Me: What did the teacher do?

You Jin: He scolded Henry and rotan him.

Me: Make sure that the teacher knows what is going on.

You Jin: My another tooth is shaky now.

Me: Which one? (inspects his teeth)

You Jin: The front one also.

Me: *muttered #&^%$ under my breath*

I was angry because THAT particular front tooth which is now shaky isn't the milk tooth, but a permanent one. Immediately, I called up the principal of the daycare and highlighted this incident to her.

As far as I know, this little brat named Henry has been causing lots of trouble to other kids at the daycare. In fact, that's the first name that I learnt from the daycare because Henry seems to be THE only person who causes trouble every other day. Henry did this, Henry did that...

Now, I'm in a dilemma. What should I do next? I'm at a crossroad with several choices in front of me:
i. teach my kid to forgive and forget and tell him that the bad guys will always end up getting punish.
ii. teach my kid to be firm and fight back especially if that brat bothers or tries to be funny with him again in future.
iii. teach my kid to just ignore and stay far away from that brat and explain to him that that little brat has a serious behaviorial problem.

The consequence of each choice:
Option i.: Yup, it's good to learn to forgive and forget, and pray that the baddies will be punished. This will only happen mostly in some fairy tale land. BUT in reality, sometimes the bad guys escape punishment and they live happily ever after.
Option ii.: Errr, I'm in favour of this option because sometimes, you need to be tough and show that they shouldn't mess with you. I know...many people will disagree with my point of view. I'm not teaching my kid to be a bully, but to stand up and fight back IF he is being bullied.
Option iii.: To ignore and stay away is just like running away from the problem. I'm not very sure if this is what I want to inculcate in my kid.



Willie said...

Kesian him, maybe Henry is trying to help him to settle the teeth problem. Hahaha..

Biblically, we should forgive . But in disciplining people, we should be strict. Let the teacher do the work. But i think it is not a good idea to teach our children to hate other children or take revenge on them.

Not sure lah, need to see psychiatrist on this.

Ai-Ling said...

hi there, willie.

yup, i agree with you: it's not agood idea to teach our kids to hate others. and nope...i NEVER teach my kids to hate others, even that little troublemaker named henry.

like what i mentioned, i'm in favour of asking my kid to be firm and fight back only IF that troublemaker keeps on bugging him. serious that it needs a psychiatrist? lol...

LittleLamb said...

for me option 1 n 3. that we should always forgive. n knowing that "the kid" is a bully, i will encourage my child to stay away from him.

Merryn said...

oh no. not the permanent teeth!!! This always happens either in kindie, school or anywhere, there will be that ONE person that will always cause trouble. wat to do? as a teacher, i tell my other students that that particular child needs special attention and anything he does that is out of the ordinary needs to be reported back to me ASAP! i cant tell the other child that he is a spoilt brat or having behavioural problems as i do not really know wat goes on in his home. wat we can do is tell ur child that henry might be a little too agressive for comfort and ur child might need to make his own decision to remain close to him or not. normally, kids will still mingle with each other no matter what...

AlohaMolly said...

Ai Ling, I understand your situation..even though my dotter has not started kindi, but since young she been kinda "bullied" beaten, thrown shoes etc by the cousin(who is 8 mths older than her), I have heard in-laws saying stay away from him kinda thing...and nope in d end she did not stay away from him..they still play together...and d cousin's way of teaching is option 2 type..FIGHT thus perhaps he's been the aggressive type...hmm.. I taught my daughter to forgive n stay away actually but now she's bigger ..wat she did is she FIGHTS back..which i think is human instinct..fight back is fine i think but not to fight or beat others on purpose...

I think I would face the same dilemma someday..what i think i should do is teach my kids to have self-defence or protection.

Ai-Ling said...

littlelamb: those were the steps that i've been adopting since january. but like what merryn and alohamolly said are true...somehow, these kids will still mingle and play together after a while.

merryn: i did tell my kid that henry is the aggressive kind. my kid has been very patient (so far) and has not fought back; usually what he would do is just to report to his teacher.

alohamolly: i agree with u. to hit on purpose is wrong, but as self-defense, i guess it's permissible as long as it does not cause any injury.

UptownGal said...

i'm not a mom nor a teacher so i have no experience whatsoever in handling kids. but i would want to go with your option 2 - not fight back per se, but to stand firm. i used to get bullied a lot in kindergarten. this horrible gal used to punch me, or get other pple to punch me in the stomach. but i was too timid to do anything. didn't dare tell my parents either... n as i entered pri sch, i slowly became more suspicious of others which isn't good.

anyway, my pt is, u shldn't run away. at least it affected me negatively. took a lot of effort b4 i cld trust pple again n dare to build friendships.

Ai-Ling said...

thanks, uptowngal. agree. running away doesn't solve any problem, in fact, it worsens it.

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