Last Saturday, aboard the Putra LRT, I sat beside a mother and her son. The son is around 12 of age, I assume and the mother is quiet young. At first, I did not take any notice of what the mother was saying to her son (who was standing in front of her, wearing a red backpack) but somehow, I started to pasang telinga. Why? Because the mother's voice is quiet audible through all the noises in the packed train. I managed to catch some words (or rather the whole sentences) that the mother said.
"Mama dah kate berapa kali, Izat tak mau dengar juga. Kenapa degil sangat ni? Belajar tak pandai-pandai juga! Nanti mama bagitau kat Auntie Linda Izat malas belajar, bukan macam Amir. Tengok Amir tu, pandai, rajin belajar..."
And Izat just stare at the floor. I saw his grip on the pole became tighter, turning his knuckles white, contrasting with the colour on his cheeks. Scarlet red. I had to force myself to turn away so I won't be staring at him in pity because the other passangers were doing exactly that. Somehow, I am confident that the last thing Izat needed was pity. The mother continued to scold her son as more and more people look on. Such a scene.
The whole thing really got under my skin. Keep thinking about it until now. Yes, the mother has the right to scold her son for not listening to her. She has every right to be angry because Izat is lazy (maybe). But, for me, to let it all out in the public is... well, too much. I mean, think about it. Just how many parents had done it? Scold their children in public, I mean. Did they not think about the child's feeling? How about his/her self-esteem?
Maybe I'm being biased, because I'm not a parent myself to start with, but nevertheless, I am entitled to my own opinion. After all, I believe that every one of us is familiar with this kind of situation. Once, if not always. The humiliation drives us to work harder, but somehow, in the society, the faults and mistakes and errors are highly prioritise rather than the positive points. The public is one thing. How about belittling your child in front of other family member or relatives? In Izat's case, the mother is comparing him with Amir (his cousin, maybe). It may well create competition between the two boys... or Izat could grow up resenting Amir for the rest of his life.
Sometimes, the parents expected too much without realizing the limit of their children. Of course they want whats best for their children, but they have to understand that pushing the children too far is not a good move. It will make them rebel. It will break them, if not now it will in the future. I've seen it.
I guess it is normal anyway because it just happens. And parents' words are mandatory, are they not? But... isn't it time to change the mentality and attitude? Or maybe it is just me?