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Violent Punishment Is Not Always The Solution

Someone picked on my son again! Gosh....Son 1 is a really blur sotong, you know, that's why he is an easy and obedient target. Maybe he also likes to play 'fighting' a little bit like many other boys his age but still...... Here's what happened. According to Son 1, during PE, two boys bullied him. One boy held him from behind, tying his arms down. The other boy punched him in the tummy really hard. Hard enough to cause pain for several hours after that! When I found out, boy, was I fuming mad. If it's a fight, then I'd want to find out what and why and maybe my own kid also did something wrong. But if two boys gang up against one boy, then it's classified as bullying. No way am I letting this one go at all! The next day, I marched to the school and went to his classroom with the purpose of letting this boy know that what he did was not to be repeated again. I didn't want to scare him or beat the crap out of this 7-year-old kid but merely to really speak to him. This is not the first time this same boy targets my son, you see. Remember pencil stabbing incident? Same boy. Anyway, as I approached the class, I told the teacher about the incident and asked the class, "Who's Amos?". I tell you, little kids are ever-ready to be helpful in instances like this one. All fingers flew in one direction and one boy stood up. Scrawny kid with intelligent eyes but fear etched across his young features. I didn't really want to scold him or anything and the following 'conversation' ensued:- "Did you punch Son 1 in the tummy during PE yesterday?Nod. "Why did you do that? Was it playing?"Nod. "That wasn't very fun was it?" Shake. "How would you like it if I someone did that to you? Do you think it would hurt?" Nod. "Would you feel good? Do you think you will like your friend after that?" Shake. "I want you and Son 1 to be friends but I don't want to see this happen again, understand? I have no other choice but to let your parents know about this incident, Amos. But I still want you to be friends with Joshua. Be nice to each other and all that. Is that OK?" Nod. The thing is this. While nodding and shaking was his only responses, I could see that he felt that he did wrong. I could feel that he connected with me and was listening to me instead of the defiant look of juvenile delinquents give teachers and parents. So, in essence, I think this kid is doing this for a reason. He is just a sad and confused boy, maybe, who thought that this was fun and this is the way to get attention or show others who's boss....the kind of thing lah. To the teacher, I told her that I wanted to highlight this to his parents, not as punishment or anything but to alert them and hopefully they will do something to save this boy from damage later on. But the teacher said, "Aiyo, we've called his parents many times already lor. He's hopeless because he still does not change and contiunes to behave like this all the time. He bullies everyone in class all the time". With this, you can hear lots of kids coming up with examples of how they were previously mistreated by Amos. There's this boy sitting right up front called Victor who is also a little bit on the active side. Amos pointed to Victor and said "You did it also, what!" Victor's eyes bulged and he said, "Where got????!!!" Instead of questioning further into this claim, the teacher instantly told Amos to shut up and stop blaming others. Now, Son 1 told me there were two people who were in this. The teacher was clearly not interested in finding out who the 2nd person was. I was a little miffed about that....not that I want to find the second culprit so much but the truth is that Amos wasn't the only perpetrator in this situation. I said, "OK lah, it's done already. Amos, please don't repeat whatever it was that you did, ok?" He nods in my direction. I headed out and was ready to go home. I've done my job. But I took the wrong stair, came up and saw the teacher holding a cane and whipping Amos' hands like her life depended on it! I mean, REALLY really really hard! Like when you're trying to chop wood and you have this determined expression on your face....ah, like that lah. She wanted to whip his hands into half lor, by the looks of it! I was thinking to myself, "No No No!!!! That's not what I want and that's not the way to try to teach this boy how to be good!" but it was too late so I quickened up my steps in the right direction. All in all, somehow I felt that he should not have been punished like that. The inaction from the parents worry me as well. How's the family background for this kid? I mean, maybe in such cases, I think using the soft approach would work better because when I look into his eyes, he looked as if he was willing to take any attention I was willing to give him! Yes, that's it. Attention. Maybe his parents are always busy at work and no time to be with him and tell him they love him. These things happen all the time, right? But whipping and whopping, in my personal opinion, might yield opposite results in a child this young, you know. In the meantime, I am just thankful that nothing worse happened and that I am going to move my son into another school next year. Not because of this but because of language problem. How come they never tell you becoming a parent is so damn bloody difficult wan ah?????
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