“I waaaannn” are the words Richie Gilbert’s kids choose to use when they need something. “My kids had great manners until they started in the school they are currently in” says Richie. Things went downhill from there and it has become difficult for him to instill the same good behavior, (the pleases and thank yous) back into them. He has chosen to move them from their present school in December.
Is this the problem then? Are schools in Singapore refraining from teaching kids about how to behave and focusing purely on academic qualities?
Whatever the reason, many kids today seem to have been dipped in arrogance and are dripping with sarcasm. This is directed at everyone from their peers and parents to their teachers and even their grandparents. Asia has always been able to pride itself on good cultural values with a certain amount of respect that must be given to elders and each other. Is this part of our culture dying? Is Singapore moving towards a busier, more material world where kids are not given the attention that they need?
Bad habits in Singapore
Bad table manners, such as playing with chopsticks like a drum set, refusing to vacate tables at fast-food restaurants after a meal and leaving the table without being excused are all habits that kids are developing. Many of their everyday activities involve situations that provoke bad habits. Kids see passengers refusing to vacate a seat on a train for an elderly person or pregnant woman, and they feel it is perfectly acceptable to do the same. Rushing into trains, chatting extremely loudly on buses and sliding down MRT escalators are all unacceptable and dangerous forms of behaviour. It is unfair to blame any one source for this. Kids can pick up bad habits anywhere – from their peers at school, their parents, teachers and even strangers.
Find out what parents can do to bring up their kids to be well-behaved…
What parents should do
As a parent it is important to recognise these habits and ensure that you constantly remind your kids that what they are doing is incorrect. “A kid is like a sponge. They learn and follow whatever they are taught and anything they see”, says Maggie Ong, one of our readers. It is therefore important to realise that setting a good example is important but is not enough. If you have young ones that throw tantrums to get their way, here is how you can deal with it.
Not just your kids
“I think we are generally far too indulgent with children”, says Nicki Liang. She also says that it is difficult to correct her children when their friends’ parents let them behave in a manner that she is trying to correct. This means you might be affecting more than just your own kids.
Praising your young ones when they behave well is a good way of getting them to differentiate between what is ok to do and what isn’t. Make sure you nix the ‘whatever’s’ and eye-rolls while you still can. The younger they are the easier it is to do. Read about how to discipline your toddler here.
Source: TODAY – Moral education for the young generation