Monday, 16 January 2012

How Not to Raise a Child

I came across this today:
The following has been attributed to the Houston Police Department, who supposedly put out a pamphlet with the above title, and listing the following rules of raising a delinquent child.
1. Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.
2. When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think he’s cute. It will also encourage him to pick up “cuter phrases” that will blow off the top of your head later.
3. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is 21, and then let him “decide for himself.”
4. Avoid the use of the word “wrong.” It may develop a guilt complex. This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.
5. Pick up everything he leaves lying around—books, shoes, clothes. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others.
6. Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but don’t worry about his mind feasting on garbage.
7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way they will not be too shocked when the home is broken up later.
8. Give the child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his. Why should he have things as tough as you did?
9. Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustration.
10. Take his part against neighbours, teachers, policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.
11. When he gets into real trouble, apologize to yourself by saying, “I never could do anything with him!”
12. Prepare yourself for a life of grief. You’ll surely have it.
I must say that I am guilty of some of the above, namely 1 and 9, which, to me, are closely related.
Admittedly, I do say “No!” to my 19 month old, but probably not as often as I should. If I have to withhold anything from him, I tend to try to distract, rather than to refuse him outright. I know in my head that letting him experience frustration is good for him and will build character, but I cannot bear to see him cry. Partly, it breaks my heart, partly I get very frustrated when he does. Hmm… maybe I’m the one who needs practice in dealing with frustration here.
Anyway, I agree with all these points in general, and before I had Evan, I’m sure I would have said a resounding “Yes!” to Nos. 1 and 9 too. I guess it is time to let my head, and not my heart, take the lead.
As for the rest, some are not applicable yet (he has no use of money at the moment), and some are good reminders – picking up after him, arguing in front of him.
What do you think of these? Which ones do you agree with, and which ones do you disagree with?

Monday, 9 January 2012

Vocabulary at 19 months

The Little Man has been a little slow in speaking, and has only in the last month expanded his verbal vocabulary by 50%.

  1. Cat – I believe this was his first word ever, but I cannot remember when he said it. He can’t pronounce the ‘C’, though, so it comes out as ‘At’.
  2. Mama – this comes out in various ways – Mum-mum-mum/Mama/Mum-Mum
  3. Dada – A-ga-a-ga
  4. Roar – Not really a word, but he does like to roar like a lion.
  5. Tiong Bahru – three syllables for sure, but he can’t really pronounce the ‘Tiong’ yet. The ‘Bahru’ is pretty good though.
  6. Egg
  7. Hang
  8. Home – First word of 2012
  9. Over – more like ‘ober’, but I’m not complaining.

The interesting thing about his choices of words is that they are generally not words that anyone has tried to teach him to say, other than Mama and Dada. In fact, the words that The Hubby and The Grandparents have tried to teach him, such as ‘ball’, ‘taxi’, ‘bus’, ‘car’ and so on, he has not uttered a single one. The words that he has decided to pick up tend to be very random, uttered after hearing one of us say them in our normal course of conversation.
In addition to his verbal repertoire, The Little One has a vocabulary of signs too.
  1. Round and round – usually to indicate the fan blades going round and round, but also used when he hears the song “The Wheels on the Bus”. Index finger moved in a circular manner
  2. All Done – As per American Sign Language (ASL). Usually to indicate that he is full and does not wish to eat any more. However, he is using this less and less, and generally with one hand, rather than two, recently.
  3. Please – as per American Sign Language (ASL). He picked this sign up extremely quickly – I only had to show him how to sign it once or twice.
  4. Milk – as per ASL, but it took me forever to teach this to him.
  5. No – indicated by twisting his wrist repeatedly. Usually used to indicate no more, not moving or not switched on.
  6. No – indicated by shaking head from side to side. He’s used this sign for a very long time, usually to indicate that he does not wish to do something.
  7. Wave – waving arm from side to side. Used to indicate both ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’.
  8. Flying Kiss – Standard flying kiss motion, but does not always follow through with the ‘flying’ bit.
  9. Apart |
  10. Together |– These two he kind of came up with on his own while playing with me and Floppy, his stuffed rabbit in the car one day. He uses ‘apart’ to get us to help him take some of this toys apart, or to get us to open boxes of his toys.
  11. One – Generally used to ask for ‘one more minute’ of playtime.

I think there are a couple more, but I cannot recall them at the moment.

According to the American Academy of Family Physician’s article on Speech Development, a 19 month old is supposed to have a verbal vocabulary of 20 words.  So The Little Man is a little slow in that regard, but I am honestly not too worried. He understands us perfectly fine, and is generally able to communicate his needs and wants. Besides, he does not display any signs that indicate anything more worrying. According to the article, the most likely cause of his speech delay is “Maturation Delay”, which is apparently a condition more common in boys, and he will most likely outgrow it by the time he enters school.
I am looking forward to his increased vocabulary, so that there is a lot less guessing on my part and less frustration on his part when he tried to communicate. In the meantime, I am enjoying the relative peace and quiet.


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