Monday, November 17, 2014

A sound advice is adults should never hit children out of reactions

I'm referring to this article "if he loses hearing, I'll just pay compensation" (Asiaone, 17 Nov 2014), and from Stomp "Man arrested after allegely slapping 3-year-old kid at Toa Payoh" (17 Nov 2014).

The father who hit another child did it out of reaction (impulse). He could be an over-protective dad who loves his child, BUT his knee-jerk reaction and action were not proper. Kids will be kids and as adults, we should be more patient and level-headed when dealing with them.

I gather, from readers' responses that most of us who are angry at the slapper, are also susceptible to reacting the way the father did (just a hunch). Our shock and anger over this news, and our subsequent comments such as "I'll punch him if that's my kid", or "I'll whack him if I see him", suggests that we are no better at controlling ourselves emotionally if the same thing were to happen to us. Fortunately, not all readers responded in the negative. For those hating the father, let us show a little slack for him. This episode will be an unforgettable lesson to the father, and will serve as a reminder for the rest of us to treat children with more patients and never hit them out of anger/reaction. If you subscribe to some caning in your parenting style (for serious misconduct), at least do it properly and especially after a TIME-OUT (when you are no longer clouded by emotion) so that you won't "lose" yourself.

As parents, our kids are everything. Protecting them is natural. Anger (of ourselves or others) over our inability to protect them from harm/hurt will happen. However, over-reaction is not good, although it will happen sometimes (as we are just humans). Let this episode be a reminder to us that we shouldn't hit a child out of reaction.

There are several examples I would like to share and ask readers what would your reactions be when you are dealing with them:
  1. You walked with your 6 months pregnant wife home from work via an HDB void deck. Several kids (from primary school) played soccer there (which is not allowed as indicated by the warning sign) and one of them kicked the ball so hard that it accidentally hit your wife's belly. She cried out in pain. What is your reaction?
  2. You walked with your 2 years old daughter in the market around your HDB (where no cycling is allowed in the vicinity). Suddenly, at a corner, a man turned his bicycle and knocked onto your baby girl. She got bruised and cried out loudly. What is your reaction?
  3. Your kid came home from school with bloody uniform. His two front teeth got chipped badly and whatever trauma had caused them to wobble. He told you later that one of the school bully (he had been telling you for sometime) pushed him down the staircase in school. How do you feel? This happened to a friend's child, and the teeth had to be extracted because it got infected. According to the dentist, the trauma had caused the other teeth to move out of position. So, in the future the kid will have to come visit for orthodontic treatment to correct the alignment. How do you feel?
If you felt angry at some instances, that is a normal response. We are after all humans and we do tend to err in emotion and judgement (just as how the father who slapped the 3 years old kid erred). His alleged retort "If he loses hearing, I'll just pay compensation" didn't help him a bit BUT I hope we can give him the benefit of the doubt that he spoke with sane mind (considering that he could have been clouded by anger when he spoke).

Being unreasonably angry at him only reflects our susceptibility to ending up the type of person we hated. Let us remind ourselves not to be "short-fused".

Just a thought.


  1. Hi, can I ask for your permission to reproduce this article on our SG education portal at We will make explicit mention that it first appeared on your website, and name Sein as the author. Hope to hear from you soon! :)