Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I Can Be A Monster Mom...

Yesterday, I was able to watch this video circulating on Facebook.

It's of a mom 'not-so-lovingly' (as in hindi talaga) lecturing her son while in a PUJ (public utility jeep) about losing something he was supposed to be holding. The mother, at first, was just shouting at the kid, and then after a few seconds she moved on to hitting the kid's legs with an empty mineral water bottle, and then a little bit later he moved on to hitting the boy's head, and then there was even a point na siniko nya yung bata sa mukha.All the while lambasting the kid for losing that whatever-it-was-that-was-so-important-he-had-to-torture-the-kid-in-public.

When I saw the first few minutes of the vid, I was thinking "Who am I to pass judgement on this mother? Like her, I too have my gigil (in a negative way) moments with my own child." I won't be a hypocrite and say I have never hit my kid when she was intolerably makulit and petulant. I did, a number of times. In fact, I confess, I have a tendency to be a 'monster mom'.


I can be a bit of a perfectionist. When I teach my kid to write, I want the lines to be straight. When I teach her to color pictures, ayoko ng may lampas lampas or uncolored spaces. I lose my cool when I notice that she's not listening to me. I think I had even slapped her hand a couple of times when she intentionally messed up her writing because she was tinatamad na. And she had just turned four. Suffice to say I am definitely not cut out to be a teacher at all. I also tend to shout and glare at her when she's being pa-baby and sumpungin. There are times I think I take tough love a bit too far.

I won't blame anybody for how I reacted to her little mistakes. I think this is just how I am made. I bet the 'perfectionist' peg would work for everything else, but definitely not in teaching or raising a child. I want my daughter to be ahead in everything, I want her to be 'the star' --- but hey, don't we all? :) So yeah, I was definitely on my way to becoming a 'monster mom'.

But the point here is, will the 'monster mom' mode work in making her outstanding? Will it mold her to be a better person?

I realized, discipline, to a certain extent is absolutely necessary. To adhere to rules, regulations, and standards, are a part of life that even kids must learn. I also think that by a certain age, a child must understand the line between study time and play time - and that though studying can be fun, it can't be all play. Because in the long run, that's how life's going to be. There's going to be a time for work, and there's going to be a time for vacations. There's going to be a time for solving problems, and a time to just be carefree.

BUUUUTTT, I also realized that the 'brute force' method isn't exactly the best way to 'embed' that idea into kids. The mama in the vid was all about physicality (nag-imbento talaga ko ng term), perhaps thinking that when the child is hit, that pain will help him remember the 'lesson'. Perhaps, it will. The problem is, it wouldn't be the only thing he would get from that moment. He might grow up thinking hitting another person is the best way to teach a lesson. He might grow up believing that inflicting pain in others is ok. He, unfortunately, might grow up just repeating the painful cycle with his own family - and that would be the saddest thing.

So this 'potentially' Mrs. Hulk of  'monster mom' (that's me), had come to terms with the fact that she has to change - I had to change. I can still be a 'perfectionist' yes, but I have to always remember that I am rearing a child. I am starting on fresh ground, and must plant the best seeds. I must instill discipline, but in a loving, yet still firm way. A child would learn in his/her own pace, and there are a lot of ways I could guide and help her in reaching her goals without necessarily enforcing my way in everything. Ayoko naman ata maging 'terrorist' sa buhay ni bagets. :) And green isn't exactly the most flattering color on me. Hehe.

Now, when I teach her writing, phonics, and numbers, I use other ways of making her sit still, listen, and follow. I get her interested in what she has to do without forcing her. I applaud her for doing good work, and I become supportive (instead of angry) when she makes a mistake - I tell her she can try and try again until she gets the hang of it. I tell her that school is for studying and that there's a time for playing, and I make the idea/vision of playing even more exciting so she has something to look forward to. It turns out, that was the best way of bringing back her focus to studying. :) 

So to the mom in the vid, I feel you. I feel that you were having that gigil sa inis moment nung pinapagalitan mo si bagets ng bonggang-bongga na parang last day na ng galit sa mundo at nilalabas mo lahat sa kanya. While the galit moment is all but natural (tao naman tayong lahat - may boiling point) though, I think the way you manifested your anger was a bit excessive to the sweet little boy. If he lost something important, yes, he must be made to realize he should take better care of things - but hey, not exactly in the super palo with a mineral bottle kind of way. A stern (but loving) sermon would have done the trick. He'd probably cry his eyes out after a sermon, but he most definitely will remember the lesson, without necessarily having to go through an ego-bruising, painful moment.

How would I have reacted? Hmmm... if it was say, a legal document that my daughter was holding and lost, I would have gritted my teeth in inis and would have stared glaringly at my kid and say "Haaay nakuuuu..." But, once all the teeth grinding is done, I would realize "E bakit ko nga naman kasi pinahawak sa kanya. Shungerks." And then I'd hug my probably already teary-eyed little princess. No sense in hitting her senseless anyway, hindi naman maibabalik ng kahit ilang palo yung nawala nya. But the hug will definitely bring back her faith and trust in me as a loving mom.

So thank you Facebook, for this precious realization moments. Madami ka din good points minsan eh, hindi lang pangtuksong magshopping at kumain. Hehe.

And yes, no more feeding that 'monster mom' in me. :)


  1. I think the worst thing I did to my little girl is to slap her hand. But that's because she was reaching into a live socket. Other than that, I always avoid being too physical when teaching lessons. Some people disagree with my method. They say I'm too gentle that's why very makulit ang anak namin. But, I don't want her to remember me as a monster mom. I want her to remember me as a loving, supportive mommy.

    Kim, Mom On Duty

  2. Hi Mommy Kim! Totally agree with you, I don't want to remembered as a monster mom either, so I'm exerting super extra effort talaga to learn to be more patient and considerate of my little girl. :)

    Thanks for the comment! :)