updated 29 Mar 2010, 17:48
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Mon, Mar 29, 2010
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Parenting is an inexact science

I REFER to Mr Nur Suhardi Mohamed’s letter, “Parent’s support crucial to children’s education” (my paper, Dec 24),

He gave advice as well as personal anecdotes on parenting and educating children.

Parents are important agents in moulding their children’s character and development, especially as they are the ones who make the major decisions for kids during their formative years.

However, parenting is an inexact science. 

Corporal punishment might work for some children, but backfire for others.

The same goes for tuition, music lessons, enrichment classes and disciplinary methods.

Parents should not be too eager to dive into parenting books and the like, treating their dependants as some sort of experiment.

The most foolproof method – which Mr Nur Suhardi poignantly pointed out – would be to regularly interact and converse with kids, so as to understand how they think and hence seek the most appropriate path towards solving problems or engaging them.

Compromise and consensus should be parents’ guides, not blind insistence and rigidity.

Even as peer pressure and other influences begin to make their presence felt, parents should not be afraid to shake off the Asian stereotype of detached parenting and make an effort to further engage their children.

Every kid is special and unique, so parenting methods would vary from one to the other.

Mr Nur Suhardi also made the excellent point that parents should not assume the roles of all-knowing prophets.

Rather, they must develop the humility and ability to learn not just from their children, but also from their counterparts.

After all, parenting is not a perfect journey.

It is fraught with challenges and pitfalls, but is ultimately fulfilling for parent and child alike.


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