The popular mindset is that they are extensions of parents ; that they are little beings to be admired and played with at the will of doting adults. They are to be clothed and fed at intervals. If children have been adopted, the same theory is applied. Children are essentially to the adult mind cute, cuddly toys. To a certain point, parents argue that this is true. There’s really nothing they can DO therefore children need to be tolerated, cuddled and cared for ; much like a domestic pet.
One fine day this tiny being is noticed by other adults for the quick vocal come-back, wit and for providing the fun element and a wow factor in their small society of friends, relatives and neighbours. The tiny being is growing up in the euphoria of a neon light and goes to sleep each night with the thought that he stands in the centre of amazed adults who will do his bidding. He grows up with no limitations and barriers in the vital years of growth. He can speak his mind, he can utter untruths, he can use expletives and he can state his freedom of speech by loud screams while terrorising his caregivers with blood curdling shrieks. He is nevertheless loved. No one opposes his tantrums and physical outbursts on his grandparents, parents, the domestic helper or his siblings.
As educators, we are trained NEVER to blame a child but look at the behaviour. Does it need correction? Parents and other adults believe that his behaviour will ‘go away’ once he joins a nursery school. When a behaviour is missed it needs to be corrected immediately, not with physical or mental punishment but with reasoning and patience ; the roots of parenting.
At preschool, he learns and re-learns with great difficulty. He learns to adjust and becomes the target of children who returns his violent behaviour with violence.
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