Learning the Practical Way

Ethan is turning 7 next month. While it was generally ‘easy’ raising him, he drives me crazy at times too. I am lucky in a sense that Ethan is a bit smart. Book smart that is. Teach him anything and that boy can comprehend it quite effortlessly. But because he is ‘too smart’, he sometimes thinks that he can outsmart us, his parents. 

Very often, he’ll argue about the simplest of things. Maybe it is just his way to get his thoughts across but sometimes it can be pretty annoying. Ethan is as hard headed as me hence both of us are often at loggerheads. There was one day when our argument got so intense that he cried out loud, “I wish I grow up QUICKLY so I can MOVE OUT from here!”

Darling and I got a little stunned listening to his outburst. What would you do? Well, after how Darling handled the question about the birds and the bees with Ethan that made me faint and almost ended up in the hospital, I decided to handle this case. I made Ethan’s wish come true to a certain extend. I packed his stuff, his pillows and all and dumped them into our Guest Room. I told him to live there on his own and to do EVERYTHING by himself from preparing his own meals to sleeping the nights alone. I gave him his coin box and told him to try surviving on that.

He cried. He cried in that room. As easy as it seems to see his parents make ends meet everyday, it is not that easy when he has to do it himself. He can’t even survive the first night sleeping alone in that dark lonely room. No, I did not give him a night light to illuminate the room.

As much as he hated it, he realized that he is still very much dependent on us and eventually apologized. Kids these days are often too pampered that they take things for granted. They are blinded to the things we do and provide for them daily. By taking everything away and leaving him to the core, Ethan learned to appreciate us. At least for that moment…

About the Author: Merryn Tan

13 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    Aduhai…so kesian the poor buy. Kids are like that lah, they don;t know what they’re saying…cannot take to heart one. Come, come, send over to me…I help you jaga. So nice, bringing up kids – mine is all grown up now, nothing to enjoy anymore. :(

    • //

      I dont it take to heart. Am just trying to let him know it’s easier said than done. I put him in a safe, comfortable room, not a tent out of the house.

      You be patient Arthur. In the future you’ll get to pamper your grandchild :)

  • //

    I also kesian him. Like stp says above Ethan is just a young boy. Yes this lesson will stop him from saying things like moving out but still it hurts. Perhaps you can share with us what are the things that caused you two to be at logger heads until he said he wants to move out? Solving each disagreement on case to case basis. I can imagine him being so scared alone in the guest room. I hope it did not scarred him emotionally. Did your husband agree for you to do that? Sorry if I have hurt your feelings by my comment but I really kesian him. I myself can still feel some of the hurt my parents caused me to feel when young and I would not want any young child to feel the same.

    • //

      We can sayang them. We can pamper them but we cant spoil them. I dont tolerate rudeness. He has this thinking that he has learned all he needs to be able to live independently. I’m just trying to make him understand that he hasn’t. He still has to live with us and there are rules to adhere in this house. He is actually old enough to be sleeping in his own room but because he doesnt want to feel leftout from us I let him share our room a bit longer. I dont wish to hurt him but sometimes they need to be reminded that courtesy is the way to go. There is no use in having a smart child if he doesnt have the basic manners and courtesy to his elders.

      EQ is equally important in a child.

      • //

        Yes, I also agree that a child cannot be spoiled and needs to be punished for being rude if he refused to apologize after being told off for being rude. But maybe a different type of punishment like he cannot have his favourite funtime for a week unless he apologizes. The important thing is he must know what he is being punished for and that the punishment will cause a permanent and positive change in his behaviour.

        I just see him as a very confident outspoken child who is very smart and knowledgeable too because he did not say that he will run away now to live on his own. What you wrote he said was: “I wish I grow up QUICKLY so I can MOVE OUT from here!”” so that means he knows that he depends on his parents now and that he needs to grow up before being able to move out to live on his own.

        I am just scared his spirit will be broken and he will turn out to be another run-of-the-mill typical Msian child who does not dare to speak his own mind. I also understand that every parenting way is different. Of course he is your child and you can parent him anyway that you deem fit (duh, this is just stating the obvious). But I just feel that some other types of punishment may be less hurting to his emotions but still make him understand that he should not be rude to others. I agreed on the why but just not on the how (method of doing so).

        And of course being a big brother now he should move into his own room but that is not as a matter of punishment but as a growing up move. Please don’t misunderstand my suggestion for using another method of punishment as condoning raising a rude child.

        Lastly, Sorry for commenting on this touchy topic if I hurt your feelings.

        • //

          Hi Mun,

          No worries. You did not hurt my feelings. I am open for discussion and I appreciate your comments. We are all striving for the best for our children and parenting is something none of us know if we are doing it right or wrong. I am still learning and at times is at lost to what to do. I appreciate your concern towards Ethan and will try for a more gentle approach next time.

          This is what I like about blogging; being able to learn from others. Sometimes I cant see the bigger picture. Thank you for pointing it out to me :)

        • //

          You are welcome! Thank you for your understanding words, I was indeed worried that I said too much. Ethan is indeed lucky to have a mother like you who is open to discussion about various methods of parenting. May he grow up to be a wise and compassionate young man. :)

  • //

    Yeah..even my kid also like that. Just when my wife scared by telling him she’s leaving with me to SG, then he realised his mistakes for his outburst. I guess I pamper him too much. Lol .. even nicole also not afraid of me but my wifey.

  • //

    ah, yes!! i cannot stand it if kids are being this rude and try to challenge the parents or adults without even realizing what they are doing and the consequences afterwards.. okay, i like what you did, just one time kaw kaw and padan muka dia.. i guess many times, its better to let them feel the consequences than to be a kind nanny to tell all the stories and morals and theories.. they need to comprehend what by themselves through experience.. :)

    • //

      Exactly right? You tell them all these moral stories they wont be able to relate to it; listen one ear come out the other ear. But give them the experience they demanded and they’ll finally understand. Like the malay saying, ‘biar dia langgar tiang baru tau’. We keep protecting them from falling, they wont know what it feels like to get a bump but guide them to rise again from that fall and they’ll come out stronger :)

  • //

    Yeah, I guess it’s all about the age. I was quite rebellious too, although not this young, but I’m sure I said some things which hurt my mom at that age, which I didn’t mean.

    I’m sure he doesn’t mean it too! I think kids are maturing (or at least getting into the rebellious stage) earlier and earlier nowadays.

  • //

    I understand that kids sometimes might not be able to understand the comfort and needs that we provide them. They don’t even know they are so many less fortunate kids out there and simply take things for granted.

    Well, if I were in your situation, I am sure I ll do the same thing too. No point arguing with the kids and at the end we both throwing the harsh words to each other. Put them into the situation and let them understand the process..

    • //

      ***there are so many less fortunate

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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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