Friday, September 25, 2009

the would-be vandal

according to dictionary.com, vandalise means "to destroy or deface (public or private property) willfully or maliciously."

i wasn't aware my car had been vandalised till last evening. as i was cleaning the car seats, i noticed ink marks on the back seat which would not come off with gentle cleaning.

only the boy could have done this. so i questioned him; guilt was written all over his face when he refused to maintain eye contact. but i gave him credit as he didn't deny it - or maybe it's because he knew he had been cornered. however, he claimed he could not remember when he did it, except that he did it because he couldn't find paper to write at that time. ha, ha, excuses, excuses!

after a stern warning & a smack on his thigh, i made him aware that writing on, or taking, other people's things without permission will not be tolerated. OK, OK, maybe i'm a little harsh with the punishment, & there was no obvious intent to destroy nor an element of malice in his act, but didn't Yoda once counsel in Star Wars:

"If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will" ?

i'd like to think i nipped it at the bud.

12 comments:

iml said...

I think your boy is old/mature enough to reason things out with him. This is one of those things done without thinking only to feel so guilty immediately after. Why? Cause it can't come off! And daddy is going to be mad!

doc said...

Iml,

actually, i wasn't mad at all. the car is already over 8 years, & there are worse scratches on the external body. i punished him only as a reminder not to do it to others, who may not be so forgiving.

(i knew i was in for some flack when i posted this)

suituapui said...

Some children have the knack for doing things like that - like writing on walls. They'll grow out of it...but smacking? Aiyor! A stern warning will do...and may go an even longer way. Some kids will go on and on just to test your patience. ...Sounds something like caning for drinking beer! Tsk! Tsk!

doc said...

STP,

we both have to live with this: he, the vandal-turned-victim, & i, the strict evil parent.

few years down, perhaps just before i sell off the car, i will ask him if he did learn anything from this. if he didn't, then i have failed.

JoMel said...

The boy once drew on the wall with black ink. He was 9-going-on-10. I gave him a cloth with detergent, and a basin of water, and made him rub it all off. He spent a long time, probably 2 hours rubbing the wall and in the end only 50% came off. He also got reprimanded and spanked by the father. That was the last of it. Nothing like that happened again. Now, when he'd dirtied the white desk in the studying room with stains and such, he'll clean it up without being told.

I believe that children have to learn "cause and effect" and the manner in which the "effect" is presented to them depends on the parents' assessment of the child's character and temperament - as in, some are more sensible than others, some will listen after being told while some needs more reinforcement than talking.

If it's not something life threatening, I would give a verbal warning. There will be punishment if the same thing repeats itself. This is also when you address disobedience and disrespect. like the boy with his wall drawing, which wasn't the first time it'd happened. Like I said, we put a stop to it once and for all, by being harsh (er).

doc said...

Jo,

thanks for your comments.

i was beginning to wonder if i'm the only old-fashioned parent left who still believes in corporeal punishment.

like i said, nip it in the bud. & yes, sometimes one has to be cruel to be kind.

Anonymous said...

Be gentle on him , ok. Could

be a way of getting a little
attention; 2 favourite people in his life , one left for good and one going soon.

Get him a nice art pad , telling him he can do his artistic work there.

But I understand your reaction.

Just me

SJ said...

hopefully he learn this mistake and never do it again. thus never make you clean the seat harshly again. hehe.

From me to you, suejean =)

MiChi said...

you are right, after one excuse, there will be another. Kill the root on the spot~~!! haha...

doc said...

Just me,

yeah, maybe he's attention seeking. he's fine now & really a good boy. can't ask for more.

doc said...

Sue,

i've decided to leave the ink marks there as a reminder of what he has done.

doc said...

MiChi,

like straight to the point & no messing about, huh?