I begin with - Al fateha

Friday, September 26, 2008

Disciplining Toddlers

At this stage of my life, bringing up a 2 year old toddler in the "terrible 2 Manja phase" and another baby on the way, I am still grappling with the correct methods to discipline my child.

It has always been my concern that only the child's parents and his caregivers have the right to discipline the child especially when it comes to using physical punishment eg Hitting hands.
In Little Habib's case, it should be me and hubster as well as my parents and siblings as we are the ones caring for him since birth. Maybe later on in his life as he gets older, this rule can be change, eg when he has friends or religious teachers who are Alim and mature enough to tell him from right to wrong.
But at THIS stage, I would strictly like to keep it to us and his caregivers as obviously he does not know from right to wrong yet.

Yesterday, after iftar at a relatives house, I shan't mention who, Little Habib was cornered with no where to run and hit on the hands by a male relative as Little Habib had hit the man's daughter while she was praying Magrib prayers. The man's daughter is an 8 year old girl.

I was there in the room busy pinning my headscarf when it happened. Initially when Little Habib hit the girl, I told him dont do that, nicely as kakak is praying. Then he hit again and again ( maybe trying to make kakak stop praying and play with him ),

and the Man came in and saw what happen, so he kept saying "dont beat my daughter" nicely too.

But boys being boys and at that age, maybe loves the attention , so Little Habib gave a hard beat on the girls head once again. "Bok Kakak!" he said and looked at us.

Quickly I left what I was doing to pull Little Habib one side, as I don't want him to do that again, lagipun its embarrassing cos the girl's father was looking. But Little Habib thought that I was maybe going to hit him tried to run out of the room to look for his dad.

That was the part where the man, block the entrance of the door and grab little Habib and beat his hands ( lightly but with a stern face ) and kept repeating " Why you beat my daughter? Why you beat my daughter?" making little Habib so frightened and made him try to squirm out of the man's hands. I was angry at the man, but I kept quiet because I don't want to be disrespectful as the man was my elder.

Finally, Little Habib managed to run out of the room, to my hubbys arms and the man followed my son and kept scolding him, not harsh but in a pestering way. I didnt go near them but I can hear Little Habib saying "Nak Ummi Nak Ummi"... but I still left him with his dad.

To cut the long story short, after we left that relatives house, I don't know why but I felt so guilty for not pulling Little Habib away from that man, and also I watched him struggling out of the man's grip without doing anything and I am angry that my hubby also allow the man to scold our son and I know that my son is naughty but what gives the right for that man to disiplin my son when he is not the caregiver no matter how close he is when it comes to relations?

And when he said " Why you beat my daughter?" , shouldn't it be more of " Dont beat Kakak, cannot sayang" , wouldn't that be better instead ?

I could not really sleep last night so I told hubby that it will be a long while before Little Habib goes to that house again, and hubby says Im being oversensitive and we should let people scold our son if what he has done is wrong. That is his take on the matter, obviously conflicting with mine.

I may be wrong, but my motherly instinct tells me to protect my son no matter what. Am I spoiling him? I don't know... but I feel no matter how naughty my son is, I still have to there for him when he is being cornered by people who is not his caregiver.

Looks like motherhood is a trial and error learning method. I would love to hear what mummys out there feel about this issue though.

: ) Happy Friday and Salaams Syawal, so not in the mood but time has to move no matter what.

Innallàha wa malâikatahû yusallûna 'alan-nabiyy, ayyuhalladhîna âmanû sallû alayhi wa sallimû taslîmâ. (Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.) 33:56


Anonymous said...

Salam Ummi!

So long since I posted a comment. Anw, since Eid is coming don't forget to come my house yeah! I want to see Little Habib. Hopefully your pregnancy is doing great! :D Take care Ummi.


Ummi's Blog said...


Azizzah : Insya'allah..will try my best to make it.. : )
This year, no mood lah sayang.. Abang H has been sick for 2 weeks but nw recovering oready.
U take care too !

Mother of 2 said...

As a mother its understandable you feel that way, and your hubby is prolly right too.

Take it in positively. As long as the person dont have a grudge on your son, its ok. Maybe he really did not know how to put it in the right sentence.

Kids nowadays are too pampered anyway! Unlike our time.

Anonymous said...

i cant agree more with ur husband.tho we shud be protective to our kids but there are times we shud tell them or teach them wat is right or wrong.. it's amanah from Allah also to ensure they are in the correct path.

Ummu Nabil said...

*taps chin thoughtfully*

I can feel what you feel. Heh. Though Nabil is as rambunctious as most boys his age, he is rather naughty in his own way. If he is corrected by someone else other than his caregivers ie me, my parents, my in-laws, my siblings (yes, my brothers are WONDERFUL discipline tools! Love them! A firm "No" or "Hepp!" from them is all it takes when Nabil pushes me to boiling point; they know their sister has very short fuse. Maybe they pity Nabil more than they do the frazzled mother) I let him be corrected as long as it is not overdone. BUT, I would take it as being remiss on my part as a parent for not being quick enough to intervene and distract my son from his error that someone else has to do it for me, so if I feel offended, I will swallow that feeling. Thankfully, Nabil is not quite adventurous enough to persist once a nice warning is given by a stranger.

I suppose in this instance, the man's approach could do with a little more finesse. He could tickle Little Habib while admonishing him instead of intimidating him; the objective was to make Little Habib stop hitting the girl during prayer, is all.

Also, we have to remember sometimes we might tell other children off, nicely or otherwise, not knowing if we have offended their parents or not. Especially if said parents are too nice to say anything lest things blow out of proportion.

Here's to surviving motherhood without any in-built manuals!

Anonymous said...

Salaam Ummi,

Rule of thumb to avoid any disciplanary measures onto your child by others:-
1.Remove the lil one from incident after twice unwanted behaviour before it aggravates.
2.Explain to him (knowing or unknowing) while you carry him. eg. Kakak is solat, we shouldn't disturb her, etc.
3.Get out of sight to avoid any repetitions of unwanted behaviour.

In addition, we do acknowledge why others did harsh on our child. We think first before act. Reasons:-
1.Their background and experiences e.g. elder, girl the only daughter
2.Their under-understanding of the young minds e.g. need to be strict from young
3.The pre scenario e.g. the elder maybe tired, so a bit short expecially in men

Ummu Mukhtaar

Ummi's Blog said...


Mother of 2 : Kids are too pampered nowadays cos its a different era, parents can afford in terms of financial wise to pamper their kids, cartoons and educations are way more advance now hence the new style of behaviour. But I agree, i still prefer the oldern method of disciplining..mak tenung ajer, kita dah takut eh.

Anonymous : yes its an amanah and I am working on it... : )thanks.

Ummu Nabil : at least Nabil stops at the first NO !... my son ni, suka test us...too much sugar maybe.

true, I acknowledge that its a remiss on my part, for this time I will swollow the sensitive feeling..will try to be more alert next time and beb, yr rite..there is no inbuild manual eh.. just that Allah gave us brains..so we gotta pandai pandai ah... salah langkah, it may go wrong.

Ummu Mukhtaar : I like your advice..macam professional child care expert...
still, no matter what the age gap is, men or women, tact is important.
I am a woman, I have feelings too, and If I need to sulk a few days before I can truly trow away the grudge, I will do it..heh...
anyway, im better now lah..will go to his house later to hantar kueh. dah 2 hari tak pergi oi...mesti diorang dah terasa..haha..nanti Hari Raya, mintak maaf ajer lah..hehe...