What happens when strawberries mate?
I've refrained from writing about socio-political issues lately, especially those relating to parenting because one, it can get quite tiring engaging haters and two, my maternal instinct has started to kick in... (more about this another time, but in short, nope, not preggers yet.)
But well, the recent case of the pre-school teacher getting suspended after a parent complained about the humiliating punishment his 5 year-old had to go through got me thinking.
To be honest, when I first saw the article summary, I was all Aiya, come on lah, it's JUST a hair clip in his hair. (You guys should know by now how I feel about parents being the culprit behind the strawberry generation...)
Then I read about the other examples of "inappropriate punishments" carried out by the teacher,
While I don't condone the teacher's actions - though honestly they don't sound THAT bad - I mean, people from my generation (ahem, yah I know I'm old) will know that we went through far worse punishments in school but well, we lived.
Anyway, I'm not here to talk about whether the teacher was right or wrong - or in this case, too harsh or not.
Instead, it is the moral police aka The Internet (though the hubs says it's just the vocal minority - I certainly hope so!) that I have a slight issue with.
Notice the common denominator amongst these posts?
This whole entitled mentality that as parents we are almighty and hence above educators, institutions and rules. That our kids are the most precious beings around and because we treat them as kings and queens of the household, they hence ought to be treated by society as such.
What are we as parents teaching our children?
You often hear stories about how being a teacher these days isn't just about teaching, but having to answer to
difficult unreasonable parents who make police reports when they get upset over the school's haircut for their son or how another principal ended up "stepping down" after hitting a Secondary two student on her face with a soft-cover book.
It doesn't matter who's right or who's wrong, whether the punishment meted out is fair or "too harsh", because really, any form of punishment is and WILL be too much - not for the kids, but the parents.
So now, the strawberries are now levelling up the game by raising the durian generation - you know, the "obnoxiously repugnant, soft on the inside, but they are protected by this hard, thorny husk (i.e. overprotective, overindulgent parents) that hurt anyone who dares to go against them."
The same kids who will feel that their principal is being "heartless" when he tries to give a motivational speech to encourage his students to do better in the inter-school games.
So to these parents, my point is simply this. Your child is precious and you love him with all you have, but there WILL be far worse things that he will have to go through in life and you can't be there all the time to fire his teacher, his commanding officer in NS and his boss when he goes out to work.
But he'll live.
That is, if you focus on toughening him up to get through this thing otherwise known as life.
And also, this whole witch-hunting, let's-take-it-to-the-trashiest-citizen-journalism-website isn't going to do your child any favours either. The world doesn't revolve around who can get the ugliest on the Internet and what are we teaching our kids really - that we can threaten and blackmail even to get what we want in life?
Just because you can get your way all the time, doesn't automatically mean you are always right.