Feb 9, 2011

Do not over pressure or over protect your child.

Today's news in the Star, shocked me. A 17 year old girl, simply walked out of her Chemistry class in school, went up to the third floor of her school where her class is and simply got up on the ledge and committed suicide. What could have caused a young and intelligent girl (obviously in science stream) to do just that? The newspaper and her friends said it was because of a failed relationship.
Was it just that or something more? I am not trying to accuse the girl's grieving parents here, but sometimes, some parents are either to over protective of their children, taking extra care to shelter their kids from the big, bad, nasty and harsh world outside. I know and have heard of some kids who are brought up in KL and probably elsewhere too, who are homeschooled (nothing wrong there), then they are kind of kept at home. These kids never rode a bicycle, never been to the movies, they are really like a "katak bawah tempurung" (a frog underneath the coconut shell- so a proverb in Bahasa Malaysia says), or they don't know what goes on in the outside world.
Normal tweens or teenagers can tell you they love Taylor swift or Jonas Brothers, they enjoy High school Musical(heck, even my 7 year old girl can scream at the idea of Justin Bieber) and all but these "sheltered" kids have no idea at all who Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber or what High School Musical or Twilight is. Kind of bring to mind ' a bird in a gilded cage' huh..
Then there are some parents who over pressure their children with then so called intention that their kids can excel to be the best of the best. To be a super achiever in school and beyond. These parents keep their children sooo busy it makes me, a working mum with a family to juggle, a career to manage and all seem like a lazy bum. These kids go for taekwondo lessons, swimming classes, Kumon, Sempoa, religious classes,this tuition and that tuition, ballet classes, etc, etc.. A friend of mine who used to give tuition to some of these kids even pitied them. These parents would not hesitate to put the child down if they are below par or even unfavorably compare them to other super achiever children.
Just the other day, my friend was complaining about a parent who insisted that her son was smart despite failing his previous exams because, well, she and her husband have doctorates, so her son should be brilliant, too, and deserving of a better class..
There is no harm in asking your child to do well, or protecting them, as it is our duty as parents to love and care for them, but just not over doing it and over pressuring them.
Let the child be a child, let him or her enjoy his or her childhood. Being an over achiever does not guarantee they will always be successful or rich and have a good career, and an over protective life only makes them ignorant of the world outside. Let him play, explore, learn to be independent and all. Make sure he or she grows up balanced, with a well rounded childhood, with fond memories of their childhood. Too many kids these days are robbed of that chance. Support their dreams, their aspirations, guide them along, let them live their full potential without too much pressure. My eldest daughter is not a superachiever, but she sure does do me proud in her studies. She has told me before that if pressured, she will not do well. So I leave her to do her own things, just checking up on her from time to time to make sure she is on course and doing the right and necessary things. I encourage her to work hard, pointing out the necessities of hard work and also doing the right thing or its consequences. I encourage her to mix around with friends, go out with them, but demand to know where she is and with whom she is with and meet her friends and I am not a perfect mother, but I am sure my girls can look back someday and tell me how they enjoy their childhood. I guess that's the importance in it..

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