Friday, 2 May 2014

Pouring water into a leaking jug.

Why are we pouring water into a leaking jug?

Sometimes, I'm wondering if we should just go back to our old ways in educating our children. While I'm totally supportive of the idea to provide the necessary counselling and guidance to the child that had committed the mistake. Ensuring that the child receives an appropriate and equivalent consequence, is equally important for the development of the child's character.

However, there are people who seem to overtly focusing on the support, overlooking or not giving an equal amount of attention in the delivery of a consequence, and neglected the follow-up with the child and people around the child. There are serious implications resulting from such an approach of overtly focusing on providing support to that child.

Children, when young, are not able to understand what's right or wrong. Until they are matured enough to understand consequences of their bad behaviour, they learn not to do the bad things again through the association of the consequences delivered by the adults. Not giving an appropriate, direct and equivalent consequence, send the wrong signal to the child that it is ok to continue with the wrongful act. After all, by carrying out the act, they were already rewarded with thrill of the act, the physical possession and/or the emotional satisfaction. The non delivery of a consequence only reinforced the behaviour to repeat the act. To make matter worst, giving overtly attention in the form of counselling and guidance created a negative reinforcement towards the behaviour. It further reinforced the behaviour as doing it, the child is rewarded with the thrill of the action, get away with receiving a consequence and rewarded with an overtly attention given to him.

The other issue is the reluctance to communicate to the victim and other children on the wrongful act of the child. I am not talking about public shaming which happens frequently during my time. However, it is equally naive to think that news of the incident stays with the perpetrator, the victim and the educator. Even if the news does stay within the small circle, what signal are we sending to the victim?

It's Ok to do the wrong things. You will not get any punishment; more people will be showing you concern and talks to you frequently?

As parents and educators, are we pouring water into a leaking jug?

What's the use of sharing knowledge and accumulating wealth for the child, when the need to build the child's character was neglected? Without a good character, all those will go to waste. The best we could impart to our children is a good character and right attitude to face life, as we can never outlive them to ensure their path in life is always smoothed regardless of their doings.

Are we still pouring water into the leaking jug?