I just caught a show on a local television network. What’s interesting about the show is how a couple has to contend with dealing with kids from two households while their parents are away. This week’s episode focuses on the role of the uncle as a disciplinarian in the family.
His role and his relationship is put under the microscope when the kids, two teenagers from one family, two pre-teens from another and a toddler get themselves into various sticky situations in life.
What was most striking about this week’s episode was how the man, a firm believer in the need for scolding and punishment when it comes to disciplining a child. Interestingly, his firm and zealousness in doing things “his own way” puts a strain on the relationship between him and his wife, as well as that between him and the kids.
In one scene, the second eldest teenager, a girl by the name of Niu Niu plays basketball in a competition. At the death, her opponent charges into her during a last ditch tackle, but accidentally falls backwards and fractures her arm. This was the same rival that taunted her earlier during a routine practice match in the neighbourhood.
Though Niu Niu had no intention of fracturing her marker’s arm. She gets reprimanded by her uncle at the dinner table.
Taking into account the circumstances, and remorse that her niece is feeling, the wife feedbacks to him that he may have went overboard with his reprimands. Undeterred, he accuses her of spoiling the children and suggests that she has “no idea of how to discipline the kids”. Hurt, she declares that she washes her hands off helping him with the kids.
Guilt stricken, and also acting on the wishes of her uncle, Niu Niu proceeds to apologise to her rival at the hospital the following day. However, she is taunted by her jealous opponent again and leaves shortly in the wake of snide remarks.
Embittered by what happened earlier at the hospital, Niu Niu snaps while her uncle is driving her and her brother home. Under the impression that his niece is refusing to take responsibility for her actions and no knowing about the hospital incident, the uncle further reprimands her for being over-competitive, sparing no regard for her opponent’s safety. He suggests that she stop playing basketball if she cannot get her ‘priorities’ right.
Her brother tries to reason with his uncle, but ends up with an earful for trying to shield his sister and not living up to his responsibilities as an elder brother.
Frustrated, Niu Niu declares that she will quit basketball. Both siblings storm out of the car immediately when they get home.
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Have you ever come across a situation similar to the one above? Guys, take note especially!
We can all be very stubborn sometimes. And often, we are so focused on only seeing things from one point of view (ours) that we are blinded from seeing anything else! We get so carried away that the balance is tipped – Our sense of justice becomes the only scale for justice.
Yet, we all know that that cannot be further away from the truth. We all know that there are more than one way to look at a certain situation. In order to get the full picture, we should all examine a particular issue from several angles, and reflect on our course of action.
Some questions for everyone to consider when reflecting on our actions are:
1. Are our “instinctive” responses the right reaction to the issue?
2. Is it the best way?
3. Is there a better way?
4. Are we able to do it differently?
5. And, how can I minimize the risk/damage that may be arise?
Being extremely stubborn, I’ve realised over the years that my way need not necessarily be the best way. Quite often, it’s good to hear out the concerns and suggestions of others, and implement those that are good, or seek to utilise the strengths of others to achieve the result.
In many instances, I’ve also come to realised that, by seeking out the views and concerns of others, I’ve managed to plug the loopholes and build beyond the what was originally expected.
Acting a mono-listic perspective is a dangerous measure. And when it comes to ‘dispensing justice’ or disciplining children, it can have adverse effects, if not backfire on you since your justice can hardly be counted as fair. And it can also really hurt relationships (as depicted in the case of the husband and wife above) when you’ve only the mind that your way is the best way.
So, the next time you’re eager to react and see things in your dimension only, take some time out to go through the 5 questions above before making a decision!
Remember, the world is round! There is always more than on perspective to a particular situation! Embrace views for harmony!