Just last Monday, I finished doing my developmental profile, a written assignment for my module. As I observed my subject with much interest, I told myself that I had to come up to a recommendation best fitted for him. So, I quoted some of the principles and findings of Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D from his book Before It’s Too Late for my recommendation on how to help my subject further.
Reading Dr. Samenow's book made me ponder not only as an early childhood educator but on how I did my role as a mother to my children then. I could say that I did my best and is very thankful that at this stage, my children grew up to be successful persons in their own rights. But of course, nobody’s perfect. There may be a lot of things that I overlooked or some things that I should have done. Whatever the case may be, I am sure that life may have been much better for me if I had known some of his findings on how to step in- early and effectively in dealing with my own children’s feelings and behaviour.
Way back in the Philippines in my immediate environment, I had seen many instances where mothers and fathers have been shouted on their faces by their own children. I had heard of those bossy, one-sided, and dictatorial children. And hearing what happened to them now, made me feel sad for those wasted lives. Surely, if those parents had realized that those behaviour manifestations were not “just a phase” but a pattern of “a child headed for trouble”, maybe those children’s lives may be not as trouble some as it is now. May be those demanding children may not turn up to be monsters who bore children with different men or who became mistresses and are proud of it or to say shortly, antisocial or delinquents.
Dr Samenow emphasized that parents of antisocial children must combine with love and caring, stern measures that, at times, are at odds with their own concepts of good parenting. With an institution of a tough-yet loving- approach to assist a particular type of child, the child will develop an enduring sense of self-worth and self-respect.
Though of course, we cannot predict with certainty whether a particular two- year old or a six year old will grow out of being self-centred and demanding for in most boys and girls, childlike egocentric thinking does give way to an awareness of and sensitivity to others, still parents must be observant of children who persist in acting as though other people exist only to gratify their needs. By this, we may have helped a certain child in being on the road to delinquency.
So let us start now to observe our children and be alert to recognize as early as possible the traits of antisocial children. We must learn how to help those kids to accept responsibility for their actions. Let us act now before it’s too late.