Friday, August 5, 2011

Being independent

I’ve not blogged for a while, just kinda busy both at home and at work. It’s just hard to squeeze time to do things truly for myself these days. I don’t wanna just bullshit in my blog though I’ve all the right to do so. Since I became a parent myself, I don’t think my blog is simply a forum for me to express my thoughts. I would like to share my blog with my kids when they become old enough to read and in case they would like to understand more about their old man. So, I only want to say things here that I wouldn’t regret telling the world, including my kids.

Why am I busy? It is because I’ve responsibilities to fulfill. There comes to my thought about independency, the subject of this blog. I wasn’t growing up with lots of materialistic leisure. Living in a place where most of our neighbors have more or less the same economic status, families did know each others well. We talked to each other face to face, not by Facebook or via web. Inter-personal relationship and skills were much more developed back then than people these days. In that aspect, I don’t know if technological advancement is really a blessing or a curse. Anyway, for families without lots of means, bending together to trade helps and favors became very natural. I’m not talking about things that materialistic i.e. money, but simply sharing simple tools or even services like helping out watching others’ kids, things like that were very common back in those days.

Within the family, siblings did know the virtue of sharing, cause it was not just being polite or diplomatic, but out of necessity in view of shortage of resources. As a result, we learnt how to accommodate of not having certain things at certain time. We learn to be patient, taking turns, cherish the chance of our turn and being responsible for maintain the well-being of things on hand. In cases that we just don’t have what and when we want, we would improvise, coming up with alternatives, or simply practice tolerance.

As a result, all these contribute to our growth and maturing experiences. We might not be able to be financially or materialistically independent, but we have independent mind and composure to deal with ups and downs. We became more responsible to deal with what being put on our plate. We would either automatically start doing ourselves, or seeking others for help. Certainly, not simply push it back or to other people. We just know that if something is put on our lap, it’s ours to deal with.

On the contrary, kids these days just behave irrationally from the point of view of most parents. For me, rather than complaining, I would choose to understand and then take actions. Cuz, whether our kids are angels or monsters, they are largely our own creations. Again, that’s being responsible of our own making. We can’t just blame on the others, like the government, the media, the society or whatnot, without reflecting ourselves on what we have said and done!

For the understanding part, it is our own making. We give our kids more than they need even though we thought that they want/deserve it. Actually, giving them certain things is not really an issue, but the problem is the missing lesson that should be come with those things. For example, giving toys to a kid is fine, but giving too much too often would diminish their values. More importantly is that we should allocate time to play with them. They may be creative enough to learn playing them themselves, but giving them proper guidance and observing how they play are as important as if not more than the toys themselves. That’s the lesson that I’ve been learning right now. I love to buy books for my older son, but there are already enough books at home for his access. What’s lacking is spending time with him to read and to share my understandings of the book content with him. To be honest, sometimes I do use TV/video as babysitting tools. I know that was not the best, but I just couldn’t help it when I’ve other responsibilities to be taken care of. Yes, my kids should always be my top priority, but it is easier to say than done in some occasions. I do feel bad of not spending enough time and attention to them, at least not as much as I want to/can.

There are just so much to teach my kids. I think becoming independent is one of the most important things. I would never like my kids to be relying on others all the time, particularly for things that they should be capable to do on their own. I don’t want them to give themselves excuses of not trying or doing. They should be encouraged to learn, to experience failure and to pick themselves up again, and to practice. Unlike some parents who want their kids to be perfect in certain things by pushing their kids beyond their limits, at which they hate what they are doing, I would rather take a step back to examine what are the needs and what are simply nice to learn. I think it would be ideal if kids will learn something just by encouragement or motivation. Sometimes, a bit of pushing, using carrots and sticks would be needed. On the other hand, for the things that are nice to know, pushing alone should never be used and carrots may not be preferable in the long one. Ultimately, it is up to the kid himself to choose whether he wants to learn, let alone master those skills.

I believe that there are geniuses, but they are rare and I don’t think my kids are. I also believe that practice drives improvement and intensive/long term practices create experts. However, when it comes to become a master of certain skills, a passion has to come from within in order to sustain the long term ups and downs of the journey. It is something that just can’t be forced.

I hope my kids will truly learn the importance and appreciate the advantages of being independent. First of all, the more a person knows the more independent a person becomes. Secondly, you can help people. It is always a nice to help others. Thirdly, you have more control of your life as you do certain thing at the time you want on your on term. Also, if you don’t need to ask for external help which would incur costs, you may not need to return favor simply to get even. Lastly, don’t perceive that knowing how to do something means that you are automatically responsible to do it. Rather, it means that you have a choice to do if you have to.

The above are based on my life experience as well as lesson learned from others. I’m sure it can be subjected to criticism or arguments on certain points. However, as I always believe, you don’t need to blindly accept everything, just take what works for you, and discard those that don’t. That should be good enough.

1 comment:

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