I am not sure if in this instance the saying "there is no bad PR" applies because that article basically left somewhat an unpleasant taste in my mouth. I was quite affected by the article as I find it hard to reconcile how discipline equates to the children being shuttled from classes to classes every evening.
Discipline to me is not forcing an environment / practice upon a child (for the lack of a better term) so that the child is drilled to carry out tasks. It is a mindset, a practice and in a way, a value. Rather than drilling that into my kids, I'd prefer to explain to Dumpling the importance of finishing a task and not give up halfway.
Ok, I get that part about electronic gadgets as we are not big fans of such things at home but I do not find playground time inappropriate. To me, there is much that can be learnt from and at the playground - life skills such as taking turns, sharing, conflict management to building up the confidence to speak up, lead, etc.
More than that, free play is not a bad thing - it is moments like these that children get to create and imagine. My best childhood memories are when I played in the afternoon with my brother and neighbours and where I imagined I'd go on mysterious journeys; pretending to be a mermaid one day and a pirate the next. When we are left to be "bored" we reflect, we create and we explore. It is also discussed here that children should be allowed to get bored so they can develop their innate ability to be creative.
As a parent, some of the best moments that I have are when I disconnected from my iPhone, was 'present', really played with my child, basked in her companionship and laughed at her antics.
Above pic: cheeky monkey here mimicking me hiking up my Yoga pants and hamming for the camera!
Above pic: mid way through our nature hike, she broke out in a dance. LOL
So, I choose to have moments like these. Moments where Dumpling can look back 20 years later and remember that mummy and daddy were there with her, having fun with her and not remember us only as just providers and chauffeurs.