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Sunday, February 01, 2015

Spare the rod and spoil the child? Malaysian Parental Disciplining Dilemma.

We have all heard the phrase above which entails the emergence of spoilt brats in these times where kids nowadays seem to be disrespectful of others including being rude towards their own parents as a result of too much pampering and kowtowing to their so called rights! 

How often have you come across situations where you are in a diner or restaurant with your loved one hoping to enjoy a meal together in relative peace and quiet when a parent walks in with an unruly bunch of kids who run riot and make quite a din turning the place upside down so to speak and the father or mother just lets the brats destroy any sense of peace there was before they came in?

Those of you who might have faced the situation as above would have either gritted your teeth in disgust and finished your meal in a hurried manner and left the restaurant feeling quite angry at the particular parent for failing to discipline their rowdy brats or if you are like me walk over to the table and in a stern no nonsense manner, tell those kids to behave themselves in a public place!

I have done so many a times and usually the helpless parent would thank me for instilling a sense of fear at this 'Grandpa' who would not tolerate any such nonsense by those unruly ones!

Ever since Malaya achieved Independence from the British Colonials in 1957, our rulers have tried to live up to the Western values and cultural norms by aping the way the Westerners live forgetting the importance of holding on to our time honored and proven traditions.

The Malay, Chinese and Indian traditional way of living here in Peninsular Malaysia are rich with preserving and maintaining respect and behaving in the appropriate manner towards one another. 

In Sabah and Sarawak, East Malaysia, the natives have their own distinct traditions and cultures which equally places the utmost importance of paying respect to the elders, parents, siblings, relatives, friends and visitors both domestic and from abroad.

Parents from all ethnicities and faiths face a declining sense of respect and repulsive behavior from children who are not being taught how to behave and just allowed to run riot with the excuse of giving them 'freedom'!

To me that's not freedom but parental neglect and a clear sign of irresponsibility by those who themselves were abandoned by their own parents in terms of raising the child properly aware of all the do's and don'ts both in the family home environment and out in the realm of the general public.

I am all for proper discipline and observance of our traditional customs and values that stands firm and resolute through the tests of Time. Our distinct cultural values and customs have proven to produce decent, well behaved, responsible citizens who know how to behave towards another accordingly and not go around wreaking havoc as we are forced to witness nowadays!

It was the tradition and custom back then for a father to handover his son to the teacher or master to be taught proper discipline and educated in the respective subjects in the following manner. 


Teachers were respected by society. Every responsible parent would want his or her son or daughter to be well educated and know the right etiquette of carrying themselves accordingly in life.


Nowadays, teachers are often subjected to vile abuse, legal action taken against them and quite a few even get physically assaulted by students and their irresponsible parents over the slightest misunderstanding or when the teachers are forced to carry out disciplinary measures such as the caning of a student for breaching school rules!


Imagine the trauma that a teacher suffers when the very student whom he wants to succeed in his education and life thrashes him instead? 

Why did this happen? It all goes back to the way society tends to come down hard against teachers who are needlessly burdened with trying to turn some duds into diamonds!

Not all cases are like that. In reality there are also some weirdos amongst the teaching profession who are like the proverbial rotten apple in a basket! To be fair though, we have to look at each case separately. We can't generalize on this matter. We need to know what caused the student or the teacher to go wrong?


Adding to the problem is the advent of 'softies' amongst the male students! Which teacher would not go bonkers having to face such characters daily at school? It's not easy to be a teacher nowadays!


We may laugh at the depiction above but to most teachers and educators, rising cases of indiscipline amongst students is not funny at all. Many teachers suffer unnecessary mental stress and health conditions due to such prevailing daily problems at school.


'Spare the rod and spoil the child' is a famous saying that stands true to this very day! 


I would like to end this sharing with the above cartoon where a student who was once disciplined by his teacher ends up being a successful accountant and the retired teacher visits him to process a loan application. Classic!


Both students and teachers ought to know that if each party does the right thing at school, the end result would be a happy joyous occasion for all!


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