Oh, look at the mud on you ... Oh, no ... Don't ...
As I work through this article, my childhood images kept flashing back in my mind - sweet, tedious, confused, ... I cannot imagine the trouble my parents had gone through, are still going through, with me.Thank you, Mom & Dad, for bearing with me all these years.
PARENTING APPROACH: TIGER, EAGLE, OR ANIMAL OF YOUR CHOICE
The quest for the best way to raise the "finest" children - may it be the most intelligent, the most responsible, the most creative, the most fun, or a combination of all - is probably as old as civilization. Many schools of thoughts have emerged and died. This issue was once again brought to the lime light by Amy Chua's book on Tiger Moms. Her focus on discipline and obedience has triggered both admiration and disapproval. Now tiger moms are out and eagle moms are in. According to BabyCenter, 75% of US and 63% of Chinese moms want to teach their children to fly but let them fly freely. Unfortunately choosing a parenting method is not as easy as picking an animal/bird. You cannot evaluate the result right away and change course accordingly. Plus parenting is not a one-way street. One method is for sure not to fit all. There is no way to measure the effectiveness of different philosophies especially if we take the development of the full person into consideration. After all, we cannot measure humanity. Parenting is a rewarding but also a daunting task.
BULLYING: THE ONCE NEGLECTED PROBLEM
One such daunting task is to deal with the issue of bullying. Bullying has drawn a lot of attention ever since the Columbine shooting. The recent bullycides, suicides related to bullying, reemphasized the seriousness of the issue. BullyingStatistics.org reported that one in four kids in the US is bullied on a regular basis. 77% of all students are being bullied verbally. 14% of these students end up having long-term emotional scars about the ordeal, such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety about going to school and even suicidal thoughts. It is not surprising that every day 160,000 students missed school due to fear. But now even staying a home is no longer safe. Cyber-bullying is on the rise. About 80% of all high school students have been bullied online and 35% of teens have been threatened online. Scary statistics. How can we protect children from both sides of this issue?
LETTING GO: EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ALWAYS BABIES
And then there is the question of when we should let go. Remember that first day of school - Holding back tears when you said goodbye? Thinking how s/he is going to be doing all by himself/herself in a new environment? And then there was the first day of camp ...
That feeling of longing will always be there whenever your children take the first steps into new ventures. While they are always the "babies", learning how to let go and how to intervene is an ongoing challenge.
There is no roadmap for parenthood. But we can all share experiences and support. In the next few weeks, we will visit some of the issues mentioned above. Hope you can join us and share your experiences.