Too demanding or simply stupid?

It has been a rough day today. Little events lead to some big explosions..

He’s asleep now and when I reflected on today’s event I felt like an arse. Why was I being so demanding? Let me tell you what happened..

It started with him stringing these beads. So cute isn’t he? There we were, happily stringing. He string one and I string another. We then count how many beads we each have. But unlike any other days, today, he can barely count above 11. He fumbled with 15, skipped to 18 then 20.

I asked him what happened as numbers up to 100 has never been a problem to him but he just could not answer me. We tried again and still he got stuck. I started to boil and got firm with him. With a scared look in his eyes, he counted up to 20 PERFECTLY!

I felt bad then as it was suppose to be playtime but I pushed him to get his numbers right instead. I brushed it aside and did craft with him. We did a Silly Dog craft and then Darling came to bring us home.

Before leaving I told Ethan to say Goodbye but he refused. I went home angry as I am getting extremely annoyed at his reluctance to speak nor greet people! I gave him a piece of my mind and needless to say, he cried buckets. After getting an earful from both me and Darling, he finally promised to make effort to speak and greet people.

Out of nowhere, Ethan came and said, “SORRY” to me. My heart melted.

In the evening, we both happily walked to the playground, hand-in-hand with our shovel, buckets and more. We were happily playing sand when my neighbour’s 3 kids came to greet us and there he was, all silent again! Another neighbour came with her daughter and son and AGAIN, Ethan kept quiet! I whispered to him what he had promised us but he remained silent. All my neighbours went off to play with other kids.

I stood up and walked away. I was fuming mad! Ethan ran after me, calling ME, crying! I dashed home with him running after me all the time crying. Darling was at the gate. He saw us. He saw Ethan crying. I walked straight into the house leaving both of them at the car porch. Darling had to leave for work but I did not care. I did not want to speak to Ethan as I was really mad and I have a class in barely 15 minutes time!

Darling placed Ethan on the sofa and told him that he’s leaving to work. Ethan cried alone on the sofa saying he won’t be joining my class. Darling left for work.

I felt bad, seriously shitty. I held Ethan’s hand. I asked him if he wants me to bathe him before my class, he is too afraid to answer anything so he quickly said, “Up to you”. I took him upstairs for a quick bath. By the time I’m done bathing and dressing him up it’s already class time. He decided to join me after all. He was GOOD the entire two session of lessons today.

By the time class is over it is already 9.30pm. We had a quick dinner before going up to bed.

He is now asleep. Looking at him, I felt really stupid. He is only FOUR for goodness sake! Why am I pushing him so hard?

Why can’t I just let him be who he really is? Who IS he really?

He’s Ethan. He’s happiest when he’s crafting and playing. He’s most talkative when he’s with Mommy, Daddy and people he trusts. He’s super silent when he’s with familiar people but NOT seen on everyday basis. He’s FOUR and he has the cutest smile ever! Most of all, he’s a KID and I should just let him be just that – a KID; something he is really great at being, simply… a kid!

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About the Author: Merryn Tan

37 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    Sorry not adding more fire but speaking the truth here from past experience. Kids being kids may act that way. Dunno when read your post I recollect my past childhood and at that time was more than four years. My peacock fish *those days we called them* died the actual name is guppy fish. I was sad, mad and upset in foul mood, just at that moment what rotten timing one of my dad's close friend walked into the house and as usual he would say hello and said hi to me but I just ignored him. My mom gave me a piece of her mind that I was very rude. Firstly never 'call' uncle and second didn't answer the uncle. She said why should I be angry with the whole village who did no wrong to me. For us we were not trained to say sorry but inside our heart I knew I was very wrong to allow emotion to take control. Ethan is merely four years would certainly have mood swing as well and he is doing so well. Think you have a very high 'expectation' from him try to relax a bit. He is cute no doubt about it. Adorable I would say.

    • //

      Thanx Bananaz for your opinion. Really appreciate it. I now know that I've set a very high expectation on Ethan. My mistake is when I see how he can absorb easily whatever is being taught to him, I kinda taken him for granted that he can do better.

      Looking back now, I've lost the limit to how good is better and when better really is BEST.

      I'll take a step back from now on and let him be HIM…

  • //

    Relax mah Sis.. Need to push him,but the way U told this story today,make me feel dat U r pushing him too much.. si Aki means,for today.. ^_^.v.. He's dat clever,cute adoreable and so on.. So,what's more U need?? ^_^.v.. Sometime,let him be what he want to,and sometimes also need to teach him on your own way.. Be balance.. ^_^.v..

    • //

      Aki, ada kala nya Sis u nih bodoh jugak. Ni lah case bodoh terlampau. Ada anak baik baik tak tau appreciate…

      I'll chill Aki. Nanti akak pergi kedai beli rambut macam Aki and camwhore.. hilangkan STRESS! Mana tau, Ethan looks good in Afro! :P

  • //

    I guess he's still really young and all, so it shouldn't really be a big issue if he's silent with others. I noticed he was really silent too the 1 time I met him, but I'm sure he's awesomely happy and cheery with you both, his parents. And this is all that matters, family matters!

    • //


      I guess the bomb came when someone told us straight in the face, "I'm not going to talk to Ethan dy as he WON'T talk to me also".

      I got scared that he'll be a recluse so I pushed him to talk…

      Thinking back, he TALKS! He talks to me and his dad, to friends… He just doesn't talk to bloggers :P

  • //

    Oooooo…..William's face *last pic! LOL!!!

    • //

      okay that is such a relieve! I expect to get an earful from Sir Arthur but thank goodness all he saw was William's face! LoL!

  • //

    Ya lor,adults got mood, why can't children have moods too,right? just chill,let them express themselves,( i was there too) but now i am cool,like i said,adulsts have flaws,childrne too.

    keep them space of their own,in a jiffy,they will feel all right,all things kau tim………

    let children be children,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    hey i like Ethan's pants, i mean the material,,,

    • //

      OMG! Am I dressing Ethan to look like Eugene dy? Do we share the same fashion sense Eugene? :O

      You know, at times like this I wish I have the patience and coolness of you, Eugene! You always handle your kids well no matter what they come out with.

      William told me last night, "This is only Ethan at 4 years old and already you are reacting this way. What if he is in his teenage years?"

      That got me thinking and I went to bed crying… I'm bad and I need to improve myself a LOT. Otherwise Ethan will just distance himself from me when he grows up… :(

  • //

    I have 3 kids..and all 3 of them have different characteristics in them… one is quiet, one is talkative, one is conservative… i wish they are chatty… but they arent.. so i let them be.. que sera sera..

    we might want them to be what we want..but we just cannot..

    • //


      "we might want them to be what we want"

      you made me realised that I'm dictating Ethan to be what I WANT him to be and not let him grow to be his ownself…

      :`( sorry ethan…

  • //

    Too demanding and stupid.

    Just kidding! Everybody have bad days – you as a mom and the kids as well. I have been guilty of being demanding of my kids as well but I'll stop and remind myself, just like you have over here. It's great that you realised that you've been too harsh. I applaud you for that. I've come to accept the fact that I shouldn't be pushing my kids to do anything at this age – they learn best at play. So, I let them have all the fun they can have now. There will be many many many more years of studying and getting the numbers right, but there will only be these few years to be the kids they are meant to be. It's just been one of those bad days – don't worry-ah, all is good. *pat pat* on your back.

    • //

      I need to be constantly reminded that there is no place for kiasu-ness in parenting.. i must go tattoo KIASU NOT ALLOWED on my forehead!

  • //

    Yup, Ethan is just 4…It is superb amazing at this age he can count from 1-100. My son, going to be 4 next 3days! Arghh….still a long way to go! I bear in mind be patient. He is just 4…don't push too hard! I like the way your son smile…

    • //

      Kids… their smile is the most precious thing on Earth. It shows that they are happy…

      What I did above took his smile away and replaced them with tears… :`(

  • //

    Hugs! You must be already feeling so bad. We all have these days. The truth is, good parenting is a tough balancing act. We will do right some days, and perhaps wrong on others. Add the humanly emotions and moods of mother and child into the mix and things get even more complex. Like you have done, we need to constantly check on ourselves, and if we don't trust ourselves enough to do it – get our partners to!

    Ethan sounds like a really sweet boy :)

    • //

      Yeah.. this time the hubs looked from a distance and at the end of the day gave me a synopsis of what drama I've created over nothing..

      Rule #1 in parenting – NEVER let what others say interfere with your judgement of your child.

      When I heard a girl telling Ethan she'll never want to speak to him again as he will not answer her anyway.. it kinda triggered the bomb in me which really should not happen in the first place.

  • //

    seems normal to me, even though i dont have a kids myself..

    but i think i understand that it's nice to have a kid that communicates with others as well.. :)

    • //

      You've spoken to him countless times and how many times he answered you?


  • //

    It happened to me before…many times. It's all about us having an expectation on our child and when they failed to meet out expectation, we got frustrated.

    One of the incidences I have with Jonathan. We were reading Peter & Jane. "the" such a simple word and yet he cannot get it no matter how many times I repeated it with him. I even raised my voice. He cried. At one point of time, he just got fed up and refused to read. when both of us cooled down, he did say sorry to me. I also felt bad.

    You can ask Kimmy. He disagreed with how I handled Jonathan in this case.

    One thing I realised with Jonathan is that the harder you pushed him, the rejection from him is stronger. But if you don't push him then how lar…

    He is not a sociable kid as well. I kinda accepted it. He will not be teacher's favourite child in class. :P

    But when we see them so cheerful, we forget all the unhappy incidents. Just keep in mind…don't go beyond the limit.

    • //


      Jonathan is a very sociable kid to me. He calls me, "Aunty Merryn" eagerly each time we meet. He calls Ethan countless times and at ALL times Ethan refused to answer him >_<

      Never once did Ethan call "Uncle Kimmy" but then nevermind-lah, I don't wanna bising dy. Let him be…

      Reading back my post makes me feel sooooooooooooooooo evil, macam Tiger Mom!

      • //

        Haha…I knew so that you gonna put up that as an comparison. That's because Jonathan likes you and Ethan. Check out your FB wall.

  • //

    I think you already answered yourself in your post and you know what you need to do. I wouldn't worry too much if I were you. I had kids who went to hide under the table when my own sister came a calling and even now and 7 and 9 it is hard for me to get them to open their golden mouth to call uncle and aunty. "Can I just say hello?" they would ask as if 'uncle' and 'aunty' is so hard to utter! Kids will be kids and everyone is different and has their own personality.

    • //


      I'd give anything just to hear a simple, "HELLO" from Ethan..

  • //

    I understand your feeling Merryn, sometime the crazy mood turn on in brain and it make all thing suck. Furthermore, make our kid sad and frustrated too. My EQ aren't high too, but if coaching my girl in good mood, no scolding at all, she can finish her homework better and faster. The more I scolded her the more she HATE doing the homework. I just need to always remind and remind myself of that.

    Ethan is a very smart boy. See all his progress, he done very well, even better than his age. So dun push too hard sis :)

  • //

    just let your kid grow up happily by having all this best childhood memont he suppose to have. Cheers

  • //

    ethan is a sweet boy and he is well behaved.

    let him have his fun. perhaps it is his character to be quiet (perhaps cautious) towards the people around him. but he is observing very well…and ask some folks around, he's probably shy. a couple of times he was watching us adults but turned away when he realised we were looking back at him.

    i am amazed by his maturity. he knew he made mummy upset. he knew to apologise. but he also needed his little "my time" to reflect.

  • //

    Wah! You have turned into a Tiger Mother!! Have you read this amazing bestselling book by Amy Chua called "Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother"? You should read it! : )

  • //

    I think Ethan is just shy around people he seldom see. Gwen is like that too. She is very quiet. To be honest, I have moments like yours too (I'm worse coz I spanked her before). We are learning to be a good parent everyday. Now you know what you did wrong and improve on it. Don't feel sad ok.

  • //

    Hern2 also shy when he met strangers and he is 6. I take it as his character but will try to build up his social skills as i believe he inherited this from me. And, sometimes they could be too focus in their game and forget to greet or too tired to follow everything an adult asked them to.

  • //

    It is just one of those days when your mood and his mood clashed. Ethan's a perfectly fine boy on most days so just forget bad days like this and move on to happier days ahead. No need to feel bad too. I guess all parents do have their fair share of "pushy moments".

  • //

    well, for one you don't have to worry about ethan talking to strangers.

  • //

    Poor Ethan :)

    When I was young I always have mood swing. I cry a lot too heh!

    My father and mother – if they got angry with us the "rotan" is the next in the schedule. My father he loves me so much so he loses he patience with me every time he try to teach me math. – follow with "rotan"

    The phrases "like father like son" do have it place in my experience

    As I grow up – I realize I have some of those bad behavior from my dad/mom which I realize was from my grand parents. impatience!

    What I'm trying to say is that – our behavior will eventually influence on the young one.

    I promise myself when I have my own children I can not have those quality from my parent so my young one will grow up to become more motivating rather than obscure and with negative influence.

    I am sure Ethan will do just fine because you only want the best for him. :-)

    p/s I'm just sharing my story – it has nothin related to your baby :)

  • //

    Merryn, I can understand why you get fuming too. I was as bad as or worse than you at time. I also reprimanded my kids to be polite and greet people. When they failed to do so, I was dissapointed and gone mad. Just like you, I regretted when they have gone to bed. Can't I be a bit patient? This is the thing i heard from my heart after cooling down. You take heart, and also don't blame yourself. We are not perfect, we are only trying to be a good moms.

  • //

    Probably he's just not yet ready… Give him some times..

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MeHome is where MY heart is.
I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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