Thursday, October 24

Our children ain't our puppets

Disclaimer: This post has no intention of offending any particular breathing individual. I speak my mind, I write what needs to be known (and ponder about).

Just the other day, I overheard a parent saying something (I find disturbing) to her child.

"You better don't waste the money I spent on you for your education."

Like seriously? Did your child put a knife at your throat and force you to spend money on her? Which child wants to be forced into doing something they don't like?

C'mon be honest now, which child will tell you that they thoroughly enjoy going for tuition, enrichment or whatsoever classes the godamn society has for them now? Maybe in the preschooling age because they are not fully aware of the societal demands YET. I understood where the mother was coming from. However, there was definitely a better way of putting that message across to her child.  Words are murderous. Once words are spoken, they can never be taken back. Imagine if the child brings that sentence with her for the rest of her life, and rebels to punish her mother. Again, the fingers will be pointed to the child, and not the mother.

As mothers, we have to be very careful with what we say, do and how we behave infront of them. They look upon us as the very first role models (ok, I won't leave out the daddies here now..) Being in this world ain't their choice to even begin with. I am guilty of not being on my best behaviour when BunBun is around me. I do reprimand and smack her as well. But at the end of the drama, I will explain why I behaved in that manner. Yes, I could have "hurt" her feelings during the commotion and she won't understand why I would have such a reaction. But the point here is the explanation. She may be only 4 years old, but she is able to understand why I would be angry and hence the punishment. I will constantly remind her to not do certain things and I will repeat myself like a broken recorder until it eats into her that certain behaviour isn't acceptable.

My child may be a preschooler but I have dealt with primary school children for many years. They have a common "problem". They never really understood the meaning behind all these academic competitions and why their parents would spend so much time and money on them, just to ace academically. I don't blame them, because when their parents explain, they will say the wrong things. I have heard it myself, and I get disgusted. Let me share a few common "reasons" of their actions.

1. Because I love them.

Now, if you really love them, listen. Listen to their cries in their hearts. Listen to what they really want and guide them if they are swayed in the wrong direction. Love is not enforcing your goals on them. Love is listening to them and assure them that you will be there at every step of the way. 

2. They need the qualifications to feed themselves when we parents die next time.

Ok, let's get it clear here. You want them to feed on paper and live happily ever after? We all know about life cycle. Why not enjoy their growing up process and make learning an enjoyable one? Even if you want them to do well academically, work the brains a little harder and be in the process with them and let them know that you're there for them at every step of their way. The point here is not throw money on their behalf and reminding them not to waste your money. They will feel that you're not willing to do it.

3. How to face the society when they are not at par with it?

Why do you worry about that? They have to understand (as they grow older) that they are responsible for their actions. If they do well, good for them. If they don't, ask them how they want to make things better in that situation, and walk thru with them. 

4. They will not get what they want in the future if they don't do well now.

Whoever gets everything they want?! Did you? I didn't for sure. My mom always tell me "work hard for what you want" and if they want something, constantly encourage them. Motivate them. Not throw them into the dungeon and make them crawl their way out. Our kids are in a different era now. They cannot understand life of the past. They can only learn the lessons taught in the past (like in History class). 

5. This was how my parents brought me up therefore I'm using the same methods because it works.

Ok, my question is, did you enjoy how your parents enforced certain things you didnt like growing up? If you did, then good for you. If you didn't, what makes you think your kid is enjoying it? My theory has always been putting myself in another person's shoes. Be selfless and see the situation in a different perspective altogether.

I'm not judging anyone's parenting style but seriously, give your child that little break he/she deserves. Don't start making them do tuition/school homework in public places. Don't scream and yell at your kid if he or she doesn't understand their homework. Don't force them to understand your objectives as a parent because it's not their job to understand. It is OUR job to make ourselves understand our role and not overdo it. Love plays an important role in the entire parenting. Yes, I agree I give tough love to BunBun but I make sure she understands and is aware of the reasons behind it. She may not fully get the point, but she will get it eventually. She has shown me she understood certain things, but still, she's only 4 and the innocence of a child is still apparent. 

There's nothing wrong for wanting the best for our child. But when will we ever call it a day? Now we're worried about their studies, next will be their jobs, then their marriage, then their kids, then what? The cycle never ends. But if we start the objective by telling them that we will walk it through with them, through all successess and failures, the process will be meaningful and they will grow up with a different mindset towards life. If we judge them, how will others look at them too? We all want our kids to be successful individuals because it is for their own good and future. But we have to bear in mind that the process is equally important. 

Every household has a story. Behind every closed doors has tales of joy and tears. As parents, we are responsible for our child's emotional well-being, not just academic needs. They did not ask to be in this world. God has a purpose of bringing each and every child into this world and selecting their parents. So it is our duty to give them all the love the deserve. Do what your child wants you to be; a role model. 

A Primary 6 student once told me this.. 

"All I want from my parents is for them to understand me and enjoy what I like to do as well.   
I'm their child, not their puppet."

These words from my ex-student never left my heart. Till today, I remember what she said. I feel sorry for her because all she wanted was something so pure and simple, like a child. I'm not sure if she ever gotten what she wanted back then. 

Every child deserves their childhood because all they want is to have good memories. Make their memories worth remembering. We are in control.

SANses.com's Talkative Thursdays

Linking Up with Sandra

xo, Ashley.

2 comments :

  1. I only tell DinoBoy "Don't waste my money, finish up that noodle/rice!" xD coz he eats slowly outside especially at food court so when I rush him or tell him too many times to "quick eat your food." his stomach will auto shut down n suddenly he is full. Ya right... not even half a bowl and he is full, thus that remark.

    Sometimes it is beyond the parent control to NOT to join in the rat race and paper chase. When you see your child losing out, other's comments/advise etc will seems to be the correct thing or way to do.

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  2. Hi DinoMama,

    Yeah, I say that same thing to my daughter too! I wonder what's with the slow motion eating process with kids when they r out!

    Well, I still stand by my words of "we are in control" as a parent because ultimately, we must believe in our own flesh and blood. If they are not academically inclined, I'm sure there is something that child is good at. However, the truth is academic success is important, but not to a point of losing self-confidence along the way. We parents should know how to play our game well and not let others influence our direction. I've mingled with so many parents of my ex-students and all of them are literally agreeing with one another, not realising their kids have different capabilities! Their ultimate aim : my kid must be better than yours.

    ReplyDelete

Mahalo!

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