Case Study: Playing at Home

Written by Ekram Beshir and Mohamed Rida Beshir

Case Study: Playing at Home

Hasan is a two and half year old happy boy who lives with his parents and his four-year old brother Saleh. They live in a two bedroom apartment in a large apartment building. Hasan likes to jump and run around the apartment a lot which often gets his mom annoyed and makes her yell at him. One day while Hasan and Saleh are running after each other, playing and laughing, they break a vase on the coffee table. Their Mom comes rushing in shouting: “Look what you’ve just done, you naughty boys!” She slaps each one of them on the back of their hands five times and shouts: “Go to your room, I don’t want to see you, don’t come out till your father comes home.”


Questions

  1. Was the mother realistic in expecting that the two children could play quietly all day long without jumping and running around?
  2. Was there anything that the mother could have done to prevent this accident?
  3. Was the mother’s reaction to the accident appropriate? Did the children learn anything from this?
  4. Was the mother fair in sending the children to their room for several hours as a punishment for such a mistake?

Analysis

Parents need to set clear, precise rules and be consistent in applying them. This will enable children to be comfortable behaving within these boundries.

  1. Was the mother realistic in expecting that the two children could play quietly all day long without jumping and running around?

    The mother was not realistic in expecting that the two children could play quietly all day long without jumping and running around. It is a basic need for children of that age to jump and run around. A child at this age can play quietly or read for only a limited time, after which he needs to exercise his muscles through running and jumping. Forcing the child to sit quietly all the time will not help in the healthy growth of the child.

  2. Was there anything that the mother could have done to prevent this accident?

    The mother could have done the following to prevent this accident:

    1. Take the children out regularly to either a park or for a walk to give them the opportunity to jump and run around.
    2. Take the necessary steps to ensure that the apartment or house is child proof; for example, remove all dangerous, breakable, and valuable objects out of reach of the children.
    3. Set up a place where children can jump freely and safely within the home, for example an old mattress on the floor of one of the rooms.
  3. Was the mother’s reaction to the accident appropriate? Did the children learn anything from this?

    The mother’s reaction towards the children was out of anger and frustration. Yelling and shouting at the children is not a proper behaviour. Instead, she could have explained to them why it is not safe to run around the house and get them to help her in cleaning the mess.

  4. Was the mother fair in sending the children to their room for several hours as a punishment for such a mistake?

    Sending the children to their room for several hours as a punishment for such a mistake is not fair. Parents should control their anger and not over react. Instead take a couple of minutes to make Zikr to cool off and decide on the proper reaction, then talk to the children accordingly.

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