By nature, children are playful and simply love testing the waters. For some parents, spanking and scolding might do the trick but for others, it's a different story.
But is corporal punishment such as caning truly an effective means of discipline? How can parents spare the rod without spoiling their child?
At least for mum Leza Klenk, she’s not taking any chances. The Singapore mother shares her creative method of discipling her three children, a 9-year-old, a tween, and a teenager at home through a Facebook post uploaded on Friday (Oct 9).
According to Leza who says that she doesn't beat her kids and “hates raising [her] voice [at her children]”, her method of discipline is divided into three ways — and the same rules apply to all her children.
From imposing a ‘fine’ on her children to taking away their gadgets, the type of punishment depends on the severity of her children’s offence.
According to Leza, “small offences” would warrant a ‘fine’ of 50 cents in which the kids have to contribute to ‘The Jar of Pain’.
She details the various offences and their respective fines in a “board of charges for offences” which she has stuck onto the fridge, to remind her children of their actions.
For instance, a $1 ‘fine’ would be imposed if her children are not being considerate (i.e waking someone up before 6.30 am). Being untidy such as leaving personal items around on the floor would also cost her children $0.10 for every item unaccounted for.
At the end of the month, Leza says the family would then spend the money collected in the communal jar at the arcade or at a nice restaurant.
In situations when her kids argue among themselves and engage in rowdy behaviour such as “jumping like a monkey”, the mum utilises a different approach.
“That means they have way too much energy – best solution, I sent them outside to play for 1-2 hours. I close my door (sic),” she wrote.
When it comes to “bigger responsibilities” such as the children not doing their homework, Leza says she will confiscate their gadgets immediately.
In doing so, she explained that it would allow her children to “feel the pain of losing their gadgets and money” and subsequently, learn from their actions and experiences.
From her #modernmotherhood hashtag, Leza appears to have come from a standpoint that modern parents might not take to physical punishment in disciplining their children as much as parents in the past.
While she acknowledges that such punishment could be harsh for some, she highlights that both her husband and she do not scold or hit their children in fear that it could breed resentment towards them.
A Facebook user commented that Leza’s method of discipline provided many “teachable moments” for parents towards their children.
According to the user, it helps to inculcate virtues such as consideration, responsibility, accountability, orderliness and respect among others.
“Can’t wait to impose these fines on my son,” another wrote.
As far as the list that Leza created might seem like a plausible deterrent for children in committing those ‘crimes’, the mum warns parents to not overdo it: To avoid a long list of offences.
She emphasised this point once again in her reply to a user: “This puts children under pressure, thinking they are always walking on thin ice.
“Just reasonable possible ‘crimes’ but bear in mind to also let them be mischievous and creative as children. Kids don’t grow best in very regimented households,” the mum adds, hoping that her tips will be helpful to other parents who are facing a similar situation.
This article was first published in theAsianparent.