Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kytephone in the News

Imagine our surprise on Sunday morning when we found out a news program, Weekly C3, on Thailand television had done a segment on Kytephone! While completely unexpected, it was a pleasant surprise. You can check out the video here:

Here's some of the online coverage we have received:

  • TechCrunch
  • Financial Post
  • BetaKit
  • Tech Sina (China)
  • Canada.com

If you have seen Kytephone featured in the news or blogs in your region, we'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or email us at info@kytephone.com.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thoughts On Punishment

A few days ago my five year old grandson came at home and he was definitely in one of his “naughty” moods. Sure enough in no time he was throwing the sofa cushions all over the room, knowing very well this is something I do not like and do not tolerate. However, when I asked him to stop, his answer took me by surprise,

“Alright, punish me, I'm a bad boy.”

As surprised as I was I managed to answer,

“No, I will not punish you, just would like you to stop throwing the cushions, they serve another purpose”.

He then quickly went under the dining room table loudly announcing,

“Then I will punish myself”.

My mind was racing, but I knelt on the floor and explained to him why he shouldn’t throw the cushions or toys or any other object for that matter not only in the house, but also at school or outside.  And he needs not punish himself, but think as a big boy instead. In seconds he was out and I just couldn’t help but kiss him. 

Much later, I kept thinking of his reaction and, of course about punishment.

My grandson has never been spanked or verbally punished, but he had gotten time-out and rewards often. Apparently he was getting used to punishment. Turns out punishment doesn't work not only when it is physical, offensive and humiliating; it also doesn't work when it's administered too often. Question then becomes: Is punishment really a good disciplining method? Not to me.

Apparently, it makes kids think they are “bad”. This can easily escalate to self-hatred, but even if it doesn’t it is quite obvious that when a child believes he is “bad”, he acts “bad”. Also, when kids are punished too often or this is the main disciplining method their parents use, they develop the perception that through punishment they “pay” for their misconduct and feel free to misbehave again. Perfect “no-win” situation, don’t you think? And how do you get out of this vicious circle?

Good behaviour is relative. I dare say each family have their own criteria and they depend on a number of factors, such as cultural background, value system, and even parents’ personalities. What is important regardless of all differences, is to gradually and very patiently teach kids self-control and responsibility, not turn them into scared obedient puppets who don’t love themselves because they believe they are not loved. Of course, kids have to be disciplined, but disciplined with love, not with anger (Ah, how difficult this can be at times!). After all, it is their behaviour we do not approve of and disciplining them doesn’t mean we don’t love them. Let’s show them this!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why Do Kids Lie?

All kids lie. All parents know it. And if some of us do not acknowledge it, they are only fooling themselves. I am sure each and every one of us can instantly give an example of a child’s lie. But how many of us ask the most important question: Why do kids lie?
We live in a highly competitive society; it is our kids’ real world from the moment they open their eyes. It comes as no surprise then that even 2-year old ones already try to succeed and have their own understanding of the importance of victory. This almost instinctive strong desire to be better than the others is what makes kids consider lying.

There are a few main types of lies:
  • The Manipulative Lie: most of all it serves the purpose to boost the child's self-confidence, to validate and re-affirm their personality. Kids are starving for their parents' love and attention. And they have extraordinary capability to sense how and when to please their parents in order to get those. If we are not careful, children will find the easy way to get what they need - by lying.
  • The Fear Lie: most often kids lie out of fear. The fear of punishment - punishment is also humiliating and derogatory; the fear of being neglected - not feeling loved and accepted can impact a child for life; the fear of rejection - a child’s damaged self-confidence and self-respect will be very difficult to restore. Constant fear in general leads to serious emotional and mental issues.
  • The Protest Lie: often kids also lie as a form of protest - usually against parents’ control. As parents we must never forget that our children have their own personalities; they have their own mind and their own feelings. All of which we must not only acknowledge, but deeply respect as well. We need to control our kids, yes, but we need to give them their freedoms too. If the parents are too controlling the kids’ instincts of self-preservation kick in. Children are helpless, adults are powerful and the only way a child can defend and protect themselves is by lying. Sad, but true.
So, turns out children really have solid reasons to lie and those are based on sound logic. Are there solutions? Of course. If we know the reasons, then we can eliminate them and the child will simply have no reason to lie. Easier said than done, you’d comment. Not really, it actually is simpler than it sounds - know your children, love them, respect them. Be strict, but loving. When you see that your kid is lying, understand why are they doing it. Knowing the reason will allow you to correctly assess the situation and will enable you to make the right decision. There are no parents who tolerate lying children, but we have to carefully consider how to deal with the issue, because our actions affect our kids for the rest of their lives.

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