Parents molly-coddling their kids. You see tons of articles talking about it. Experts are asking parents to stop doing it. And yet there are still so many out there who think that the best way to provide the perfect environment for their kids is to protect them in all things. I am not saying don’t protect them or love them or whatever, but, are we raising our kids up to be functional people in society? Let me tell you a story that sparked this post.
Just today, our family went out to a popular little mall in Petaling Jaya to have brunch at a place where there is a kids’ play area. (Can you see where this is going? Haha). My general rule of thumb is, as long as the kids are not being bullies or being too rowdy in a shared space like this, I am fine with it. Anyway, my older boy was in this cage-like play area with 2 girls about 3 years younger than him. Girl A and Girl B are from different families. So, since there were lots of toys like balls, baskets, and guns, what you expect? Things get thrown around especially BALLS. Suddenly this mother seated at the next table started shouting at my boy. Asking where your father??? Where?” So, I turned and saw Girl A seated on the play area sniffling. So… apparently, Girl B and my boy were throwing the balls at each other and one of it hit Girl A. So, mad mom decided that she should intervene and scream at the boy since “boys are rough” and started pointing and blaming me because my son did that. Don’t get me wrong. If my son is naughty, he gets it. I believe in discipline and I don’t believe in All Talk No Action. Yeah, typical Asian, some might say. Anyway, I just apologized to not create a scene (Mad mom was indignant and started baby-talking to the 7 year old old, and stuff, and insisting that her girl was bullied. /rollseyes), although my boy said that he didn’t hit her on purpose and it was the ball that Girl B threw that accidentally hit Girl A. Whatever. Anyway, the story is this. The girl was not hurt. It was probably an accident in the midst of play. In fact, she wasn’t screaming in pain or crying loudly; just sniffing with tears sitting on the floor. So, did the mum have to make a scene?
For one, by screaming and shouting, and blaming someone else for a little accident that happened to the child will just enforce the idea that mom/dad will always come running all the time to solve their problems. So, if say in the future, if your kid gets into a sports-related accident in school like maybe getting a ball in the face, will you stomp to the school and scream at the teachers and demand to see the perpetrator’s parents? If your child grows up and goes into the working force, and gets harassed by his/her boss or colleague, will you go to the company and demand reparation? Your child will NEED to learn how to fight his/her own battles. Instead of being the one doing all the work, instead, prepare your child to stand their own ground and fight their own battles. Heading into the playground waving a stick is just waving your adult authority on a bunch of kids in their little kids’ fight. Don’t you feel a tad bit embarrassed?
In fact, this has been happening so much of late that I’ve had first hand accounts of parent calling companies up on behalf of their child for interviews. Parents going into interviews together with the child. Parents following up or asking all the questions in the interview or after. Is this being protective? Naw.. heck, this has gone past the point of being over-protective. You are basically setting up the child to be socially crippled, and as soon as you are not there to solve his/her problems, then what happens? You’ve seen the news. Suicide, violence, depression and more. You might think I am just exaggerating, but just sit and think logically. Think long and hard, and just let a little go at a time.