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Domestic CP - June 2004
The New Paper, Singapore, 9 June 2004
Try discipline with love
FOUR canes hang in a cupboard in Acting Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam's home.
They are for his three sons, aged 10, 12 and 13 and an 8-year-old daughter.'I bought the four canes a few years ago, but I've never used them before.'
And that's a heartening fact for the loving dad. He will spank his three sons occasionally, when they are engaged in rough play and hurt one another.
However, he has never spanked his daughter before because he thinks she may not take it well.
So he uses another weapon - his raised voice, which means business.
He told Lianhe Wanbao that parents should discipline children with love, and let them know it.
'Otherwise, only their outward behaviour will change, and you will not mould a self-disciplined child.'
Parents who wring their hands in despair over their children's dismal standards of Mandarin can take a leaf from his book.
His lawyer-wife, Madam Jane Yumiko Ittogi, is of Chinese-Japanese parentage and can speak Teochew.
The couple, who met in London several years ago, studied Malay as a second language in school.
Despite that, their two elder sons are studying Higher Chinese and often read Lianhe Zaobao's sports pages.
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