April, 8th 2013, I posted this article on this blog, “Yes, the asianparent.com, There Are ADHD Children, Everywhere. in response to an article from theasianparent.com
I was looking at some of my past notes after I wrote that article and I realised that I had commented on another of their older articles, this one entitled, “Parents and their demon children“.
I do not understand why theasianparent.com allows their writers to use labels on children like this.
In the other article, Why French kids have low ADHD rates, the writer, Miss Marican referred to ADHD children as “young troublemakers”, this article has this writer, Miss Felicia Chin, calling someone’s “ex-friend’s” daughter, a “demon child”. At least half of the content of the article then continues to describe the child’s behaviour as such.
Quotes from the article:
“Her daughter (let’s name her Dilly) makes all other child bullies I’ve come across, look like ideal children.” “Her daughter is a very intelligent kid–but ruthless, violent, demanding and self-centered at the same time.”
“but her bullying got worse and she started speed-punching my daughter who is a year younger and a head shorter than her, on two occasions, just because my daughter didn’t respond to her screaming (my best friend’s daughter barely talks, she screams and orders people around including adult strangers).”
“She also semi-bodyslammed my daughter, throwing her to the ground while we were queuing up for desserts.”
“Prior to the party, two other friends of mine even asked if my best friend’s daughter would attend. They were afraid of Dilly bullying their kids because Dilly had met their kids once and had been rough with them.”
”At the party, her daughter was screamy and loud as expected, bullied the other kids and had to be in everyone’s photos, and kept calling my daughter names and announcing to everyone that my daughter ‘is a loser’. Dilly took the toy tiara and sceptre from my daughter’s 3D birthday cake and refused to put it down, she played with it till it broke and then flung across the room to an adult guest’s cheek almost blinding him.”
This is supposed to be an online resource, promoting good parenting skills and articulating the development of children. There was no discussion about other possible underlying problems that may have contributed to the child’s behaviour, other than assigning blame to those related to the child.
Miss Chin then outlines when an adult should intervene but does not advice how the intervention should be implemented. There is no discussion about how parents should ensure that the child in question is not hurt by the adult’s responses to the behaviors.
One more thing, reading this article again, I have come to realise that this article had absolutely nothing to do with parenting skills or child development but about someone telling her side of the story of a quarrel she had with an “ex-buddy” and then having a go at her and the daughter. Miss Felicia Chin facilitated that and theasianparent.com allowed an article like that to be published under the guise of “advice” to parents.
The name-calling did not end there because the article concluded with an online poll and the question asked: “Will you discipline your friend’s monstrous kid?”.
This whole article, from start to end, was in very bad taste.
Okay, maybe that article was almost 2 years back but still, the negative labeling of children should really go.
Anyway, I decided to stay and look at more of theasianparent.com articles and I came across more articles that were of concern and advice that I found really questionable.
For example, the article The Barking Mom – Yelling at kids: to do or not to do
The writer, Miss Karam, talks about, yelling, of course. She admits that she yells at her children. She discusses the downside of yelling. She also cites research conducted in 2013, which shows evidence that verbal abuse, such as, “shouting, cursing, or using insults” on children, can be as harmful as physical abuse.
Miss Karam also recounts a time when she was so furious at her children while they were in the car, she told them to, “get out of my sight” and her children did just that. And thus began what must have been a nightmarish and terrifying search, for her children in the streets of Bangkok for the next two hours.
And yet, this mother continues to assert:
“Now I believe that it’s normal to yell but it’s important to make sure that it’s ‘safe yelling’ — yelling that won’t cause permanent damage but will bring about improvement and change.
Don’t just flip the lid because you’re exhausted or busy and need to get things done. I may be criticized for saying this but if you must yell, do it with love.”
I do not get this. How can anyone be yelling at someone in love? It is the same tired excuse when parents hit their children and then say, “I hit you because I love you”.
When you yell at someone, it is because you have lost it and you are really angry at that person. It is the same when you are hitting a person, you are doing it because you are angry. And when you have lost it with your children and you are angry and you resort to yelling or hitting your child, trust me, your child ain’t feeling any love from you.
If you as an adult, with a brain that is far more developed than your children, cannot regulate your emotions and are not able to maintain your control of your behaviours, is it fair to demand that your children control their behaviours?
As poet, Jeannette .W Galambos aptly put it,
“You don’t hit a child when you want him to stop hitting. You don’t yell at a children to get them to stop yelling. Or spit at a ch ild to indicate that he should not spit. Of course, you want children to know how to sympathize with others and to “know how it feels,” but you … have to show them how to act–not how not to act.”
I also came across this other article, “15 things your child should not do in class” but that is for another article on this blog.
I called theasianparent.com about two years ago when I came across some of their articles, which I found disconcerting, I spoke to someone associated with it and expressed how I felt. I asked if the people who write the articles for theasian.com were in the field of education or anything to do with child development. He responded in the negative. He said they were all in other fields. He promised he would get someone to contact me to get further details. However, no one did.
This time, two years later, I called the asianparent.com again and spoke to someone associated with it. I asked as I did the previous time, if the writers were in the education field or anything associated child development. He said no. I discussed with him the articles that I was concerned with. The gentlemen told me that he was not from the department which dealt with the content of the online resource site and that the person who was, wasn’t in the office. He promised that he would get someone from that department to contact me by the next day. Two days later, someone did. However, the person who spoke to me, also did not have anything to do with the content matter and said that she knows nothing of what I was speaking about. I informed her that I was promised that a person from the department dealing with the content would get back to me. I was informed that the person who was, was this time in a meeting. She requested that I write to the editor to express my concern instead.
It seems to me that concerns aren’t taken very seriously by the people from this online resource site.
Am I on a witch hunt, as some people may accuse me of? No, I do not believe that I am. If an online resource site has over 60,000 subscribers and almost 100,000 Likes on its Facebook and its writers with no background in the relevant field/s, are dispensing advice to parents that is time and time again questionable, then someone needs to let the public know.