Thursday, October 04, 2007

Overbearing and constantly looking over your shoulders

During paediatrics, one is taught parents are always right regarding the child's health. While I find that true in most cases, it is wrong to assume this would apply in all aspects of life. Parents are not always right and do not always make the right decisions.

Parents make many decisions based on their experience and what they overhear from friends or family members. Very few parents would actually go and read up a book regarding what is right for the child or read up the latest data or study regarding what is beneficial for their son or daughter. Very few parents will ask their child if they want to attend violin lessons, football clinics or tutorial classes. Parents just assume the kids will benefit from them, which necessarily may not be the case. Parents will act emotionally rather than rationally when making decisions about their children. I would never doubt their love for their child but I always use a phrase for parents which I have used with some of my friends - "They have good intentions but wrong methods."

Parents cannot always justify their decisions regarding their children. A lot of parents will blindly use anything so their children can have an advantage in the world. Hong Kong parents send their children to tutorial classes but it does not make them necessarily smarter or happier. They do not send them out to play in the playgrounds in fear of injury but don't want them to play video games inside, fearing it will 'rot their brains' (which it doesn't). All they want them to do is study so they can get to a good university and hopefully a well-paid job. Unfortunately parents are sacrificing the present for the future in this case.

In spite of all this, I know parenting is a difficult task. Unfortunately we let too many young people have children and they are themselves too immature to take care of kids. In the most extreme I wish governments should ensure young people are capable of bringing up children. Perhaps issuing licenses to allow having children should be considered? Just a thought.

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