I recently viewed a video clip of a caregiver (presumably a nanny) giving a toddler a bath. The kid did not look more than 2 years old, and the nanny was bathing him using a traditional scoop and pail. The way she bathed him made me cringe in shock…She held him down with her foot on his butt, and proceeded to scoop pail after pail of water over his head and entire body. She would tilt his head backwards by yanking his hair back and splashing his whole face with water. And then she would pour water on his back and use her foot to “wash” his butt! The boy stood up and tried to hang on to her leg for support but she continued this torture.
I was appalled to say the least.
And this is just one of the reasons why most people do not trust a maid/nanny with their child all alone at home.
But I am not here to rant about how we should all be aware and vigilant of this fact. I’m not saying that we should NOT. But over a span of a week, having witnessed 3 separate accounts on how children were mistreated, or rather miseducated, not by their maids/caregivers, but by their very own parents, I feel strongly that all parents should also ask themselves if they are doing a good job caring for their kids.
Of course, I am not saying that I am the perfect parent or supermom. I am only human, and I’ll be the first to admit that I do have shortcomings. However, I try my very best in every way possible to give the best for my kids. I want them to grow up to become good people, and to be individuals who are confident, responsible and caring.
But these three incidents I encountered are definitely not ways a child should be brought up.
You be the judge.
I made a short stop at the Gurun rest area while travelling on the NSE because my son had to answer nature’s call. We usually make use of the family room because it has a kiddie potty inside, but when we arrived at the toilet, the family room was occupied. Since Ethan could not wait any longer, I told him we would use the regular toilet cubicle instead.
But just as we turned the corner to go to the other side of the toilet area, the door to the family room clicked, denoting it was unlocked. I immediately urged Ethan to walk back to the family room, as it was now available.
Alas, as we were reaching the door of the family room, out of nowhere, I heard a lady shriek loudly in Chinese, “Hurry hurry!!”, and she pushed her son into the family room. Her son went in with a towel and locked the door. The lady laughed. Apparently her son was going to take a shower in the room.
I looked the lady in the eye, and told her staright up, “That was VERY rude!”
She wasn’t even queueing up and she just rushed in front of us when clearly, we were about to enter the room.
And now her son is going to think that cutting queues that way is an acceptable behaviour.
I was on the way out with the kids, and a family of four entered the same elevator as us. The mother was carrying a baby and they also had a boy, who looked about 4 years old or so. As soon as the elevator reached the ground floor, the boy rushed out, as if he was competing with Ethan.
The boy ran towards our apartment lobby and straight to the main road next to the car park. I waited for either one of the parents to tell him to stop and be careful when crossing the road, but they just let him be. In fact, he ran all the way across 2 rows of cars to his car. Both parents didn’t even tell him that was not the safest thing to do. A simple, “Be careful, dear..” would suffice, but both parents did not utter a single word.
Ethan asked me, “Mommy, why didn’t that boy stop to look out for cars before crossing the road?”
And once again, that young boy will take the act of “looking out for cars” lightly when he crosses the road next time.
This happened in the Sungai Perak rest area. A small girl who was walking with her mother along the road in the car park was crying inconsolably. I do not know what had happened to cause her to cry, but as I got into my car, I witnessed with SHOCK when her mother SLAPPED her across the face, then picked her up (still crying) and walked away.
The slap was so hard, I could even hear it when I was two rows of cars away.
I’m not one to tell other parents how to discipline their kids, but I can be sure that that little girl will grow up thinking that the right way to discipline a child is to HIT him or her. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if that little girl’s mother was treated the same way by her mother before her.
Being a parent is the most precious gift in the world. We get the chance to instill meaningful values in a child, mould a child into a beautiful person, and ultimately shape the world for the future. However, if this gift is misused, it could be detrimental and could cause more harm than good.