Your child is not your little puppy
February 26, 2011, 1:26 am
Filed under: By Rachel Zeng, Early Childhood Education“Come here!”

“Sit down!”

“Don’t go there!”

Does all these sound familiar to you? Well I hear them all the time when I am out and about.

Well guess what, these are not commands given by dog owners to their playful pets. These are impatient commands given to young children by their own parents and amazingly, in public too.

Ironically, a mother who was asking her young son to come to her was carrying her fluffy pet dog in a pet carrier. No, I am not agreeing with the fact that pets should be shouted at but it baffles me that while people nowadays dote on their fluffy pets, carrying them about, dressing them up and buying them cakes for their birthdays, they do not seem to have any patience for their own children.

Children do not understand the world the way grown ups do, especially the younger ones. As they are always curious, it is just normal that they will look and walk in the direction of something that interest them.

They do not understand danger or know that they risk losing their way if they wander away from you. They need lots of repeated explanations and might need to be put into the situation of being ‘lost’ in order to understand the concept.One way of doing so is to follow your child at a reasonable distance and wait for him/her to realise that you are not walking beside him/her. When he/she panics, you can suddenly appear and use the little experience as a good opportunity to explain the concept, encouraging him/her to inform or discuss with you in future should they want to go somewhere else so that you can follow or advise him/her if there is no time to do so. Please understand that a child might not remember it the next time round so you might have to do it all over again.

Personally, I think that parents need to start understanding and respecting their children more. Yelling repetitively at a child might eventually condition him/her to stop wandering away, because nobody loves to be yelled at, especially so when a child tends to seek positive approval from his/her parents. However the child might not understand the concrete concept of why he/she should not wander away.

The question here lies on whether you want your child to simply follow instructions without understanding the reason(s) why they should, or do you want your child to follow your advise because he/she understands where you are coming from?

Comeon, we have been young once. Did you enjoy being yelled at in public, feeling the embarrassment and being puzzled with the angry behaviour displayed by your parents who might not have bothered explaining  to you why you made them angry?

Anyone who wants to have children should jolly well make time and effort towards every single aspect of their children’s understanding of the world around them. Most people have children by choice and if you are one of those who finds yourself saying that you have no time for this and that then I am sorry, you should never have children in the first place.

Being a parent is never an easy job. Think twice before you do. Only selfish people have children without reflecting upon whether they are able to put in all the effort to nurture them in their developing years.


4 Comments so far
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My son starts by saying “NO” to anything, it is funny but that the reflection of me talking to him, as I always start by saying:

“NO, don’t do that”
“NO, you cannot”
“NO, next time, not now”
“NO, eat your dinner first”
“NO, you cannot have another one”

Agreed, parent have to let their hair down a bit. The mind of the child is phenomenon and early childhood education to me is very important. Play is a vital part.

Comment by Meow

Hi, I came across your blog while researching on early childhood education. I’m happy that I’ve come across a dedicated and passionate early childhood educator like you, which I find really rare a trait in most teachers nowadays. It is not easy to have preschool teachers who really care and understand the mentalities and development of a young child, which is so important because what they are exposed to in their early years truly matter in shaping their lives and the way they perceive the world to be.

I’ve never had the desire to be in the early childhood industry before, but only after I had my own children, I felt as if I had uncovered a deeper sense of responsibility and passion – to educate and guide young children as they grow. And that is why I’m now considering a career switch from the corporate world to the early childhood realms. I would be happy if you could share your experiences in this field and would appreciate if you could provide some advice on how I should go about this, thanks. (email add deleted by Rachel to protect the reader’s privacy)

Comment by troublemakerfifi

Hi there, I will email you soon with the details yea and we do need more teachers in the sector… but I must say that at times, the morale does get pretty low due to workload, emotional drain, parents who do not understand what we do, the lack of power to advocate and the low salary (but it varies from school to school).

Comment by rachelabsinthe

sure, looking fwd to your email, thanks.

Comment by troublemakerfifi

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