Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dictate A Life

I'm removing flooble (the chat box) as it's hardly used and has become a wastage of space. I will be putting in Categories column so that people who wanna avoid reading about ghost can read other categories. All these, I hope can be completed by the end of the week.

Would love to get some comments on today's post!! Be it from new parents, or anyone at all.

When should parents stop dictating the life of their children? As your children grow up, you are dictating what they should eat, what school they should go to, and so on and so on. The first freedom a child has is 'choice of friends' when they first enter Kindergarten, and then the 'choice of food' which they can buy from their canteen. However, parents still dictate the child when they're at home, what time to sleep, what time to study, limitations of tv and entertainment, checking of report cards, etc.

Now, from my casual observation, the first choice a child makes about their future comes at the end of Form 3, where they can choose several paths in Form 4 and Form 5. Some parents still choose for the child, while some give the freedom to the child. I'm the latter. Further on, after Form 5, the second big choice in life comes to a child about their future, which career path to dedicate their remaining academic teenage life to choose. Yes, some children have all the freedom, some are 'advised' by parents while other are purely forced to take a certain path. Sorry to say this, but quite a lot doctor parents force at least one of their children to trod the medical line. I'm happy enough that I'm the first, given the freedom to choose.

After studying, the third choice of life, what company/industry to work in? For lawyers, doctors and other professionals, it's a no brainer unless they don't like what they studied. For others, it's quite a huge choice out there. Accountants and business students can practically work in any industry, while engineers and tourism students has some limited scope, still, there are tons of areas to venture into. At this age, MOST parents do not dictate what their child should do. Of all the freedom that I've gotten since Form 3, my career path was the 'second' dictation, that is, I am 'advised' to work at a certain company/industry by my parents, well... a parent actually.

And then we work, and then the fourth choice in life comes in, choosing a mate, but that's another story. Back to the series of choices regarding careers, I have had 3 career changes in my life, and only one of them was on personal freedom, while the other two was 'advised'. In other families, parents don't give a hoot what and where their children work, as long as they work and be a responsible salary earning citizen. While in some other families, whereby the parents are running their own business, the children is forced to work under their industry to learn their trade. What's your thought on that?

My personal opinion, at least for now, for the betterment of my children's future, I can only teach and let them observe as much as they can before they are 15, before letting them free to choose what they want from life. Yes, I will need to guide them. Can't give too much freedom or else "Dad, I wanna work as robber lah, can get RM10 million overnight if don't get caught." Guiding them in their career path I think it's good, that is to show them the positive and negative sides of the industries they wanna go in, but still, it should stop before the "short list" stage. Let them short list what they want, and then let them decide what they want. We can only support, not dictate anymore. Still, as a human being, it's not going to be easy to be someone who have cared so much about your cute lovey dovey child that you stay up to kill mosquitos, to release them into the cruel world of decision makings... but that time will come, as it did your own parents, and your grandparents. It is the responsibility of a parent to support a child's decision, after you've filled him/her with the knowledge and wisdom he/she needs to grow up well.


Dragonfly said...

Let our children free and be there when they need us :) Let them learn to see, listen, and think for themselves.

Queenbee said...

I think it's not dictating the child's life, but more of a guide. When the kid is younger, the guidance is stronger and firmer, but as he get's older and more thinking, you're there more as the sounding board and to provide another perspective in his life. As a parent, you do not want your child to make mistakes, especially the same mistakes that you've made, BUT make them he must, for that is how he learns. Like dragonfly said, you let them fly, but anytime they need to come back to your nest, allow them so that they could recuperate and regain the strength to fly again!