Reflection on parenting

The message came hard to me – and on a so-so week! 

A westerner’s (in Malaysia) question kept ringing in my now ‘Now tell me where are we going to play in this playground if your daughter is following us everywhere and not allowing us to play? She is selfish!’

I replied ‘she is just a kid and can’t be controlled!’

And I was given a nasty reply ‘you control her!’

So now my mind is ringing with this conversation. So, am I supposed to punish her with cane to control her? Sorry, it is definitely no! They are kids and still learning to share and play together.

I think there were three encounters that irritated him:

1. There was the pushpin board. I was on the red side with Nikki while Noelle was on the yellow side. We were playing happily when his son (about 1+) came to Noelle’s side. Her natural instinct was to push him aside. I told Noelle off by saying no pushing (and we continued playing). Point: I didn’t say ‘share’ as it was obviously our turn. So, they went off.

2. They were on the kiddie slide. The boy slide down and Noelle was excited. So, I asked her to ‘take turn’ – Noelle waited for the boy to get down first. But the man shook his head with frustration, took his boy to another spot. Point: I don’t know why he can’t let them play together?

3. The boy went to the pushpin board. Noelle ran over, wanting to play along. I told her not her turn but in vain. And this was when the man confronted me.

No, I didn’t say sorry because I don’t see the point of frustration. I learn to walk away. As mentioned, the kids are just learning the whole world of interaction. Probably his time has not arrived yet – where his son has yet to get through the possessive phase.

And when they get near or we pass by them, I just tell Noelle ‘don’t get too near as some people don’t like playing along.’ Noelle continued playing with the other kids while the man and his son continued to play with themselves until they left.

I know I am not in a position to judge him – maybe he is having a bad day with him alone handling the little boy and another son slightly older than Noelle. I could see his constantly grudging face. Nevertheless, I would say that you might be better off playing at home if you are not interested to let your sons mingle around.

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