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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Relaxed Parenting

There comes a time when parents wonder what we have done right or wrong. The answer is, you will never really know for sure.

So many factors come into play when we parent. The person we are, the values we live by and the condition of our hearts and minds.

I look at a Singaporean couple who have similarly migrated to Toronto and whose three sons have done extremely well, two of whom made it to medical schools and the other one topped his cohort in his area of study. Many, like myself will envy them and ask ourselves, "What have they done right?"

Parenting is a high-risk venture. When we carry the child, the pregnant mom can only ensure what she eats benefits the child. A lot of the other factors are quite beyond her control. The child's looks, the child's temperaments, the child's tendencies are questions she will not have an answer to. Parenting is always on hindsight.

Personally, one of the greatest achievement that I have done will be to take my children out from a highly stressful environment to one which truly enriches them overall. Given the bigger physical space, cooler weather and less stressful school environment, they have a lot of opportunities to develop other interests. They love the outdoors now because here in Canada, despite having the sun, we experience relatively cooler weather all year round. There is so much space for camps, games and other forms of recreational activities.

I, as a parent too, is so much more relaxed. I now pursue my own interest without having to worry too much if they can make it academically. There are so many platforms for my children to explore and excel. Richness is being able to experience life multifacted. As a parent, you love to hear them discussing their experiences of the camping trip or the activities they help to organize in a youth group. When they do well and announce they have scored high 90's, I will definitely high-five them.

As immigrant children, my teenagers have learnt to think very hard before spend their money, so they do exercise a lot of constraints material-wise. Nonethless, mentally, socially and physically as a family or as invidual member, we are definitly faring better. When we, as parents do well mentally, socially and physically, our children do even better. So, as parents, if you think you are too caught up and not coping with the competitive races you are currently engaged in, your mood swings and your reactions do not only affect your own health but that of your children. As parents, think simply, if there is too much for you to handle, let go of some. Let us not be greedy. Many a time, you can't have the cake and eat it and eat it all the time. Some things have to go. That's why I firmly believe that we are travellers and traders on this earth. Travelling to pick up opportunities to enrich ourselves and others. Trading off things with less eternal significance for things that do really count.

Had I been crippled by the fear of the BIG move, nothing would have changed. At least for now, every setback in terms of hardship in the beginning, has turned out to be a Blessing In Disguise.

Please stay tuned for write-ups on the colleges that Channel Education (Journey2Canada LLP) represents in the following weeks.