The Younger Generations
I am 26 years old this year. I am engaged with no money for our wedding yet, does not own a HDB flat yet, let’s not even go into talking about having a child yet. In other words, I am not in any position to talk about parenting. But today I am going to talk about parenting.
I read an article on mypaper today (30/11/11 page B8 in Chinese), “Let your child learn to be independent”.
The article talks about how the youth of the current generation are getting less and less independent because they haven’t got the chance to learn it themselves. To this I agree. I myself am not very independent actually, I still depend on my parents on certain areas. Breakfast, dinner, laundry, etc. Basically I’m like an overgrown child except that I earn my own money and I’m paying 90% of my own bills. The 10% being my utilities usage and the insurance my mom sign me up on. Trust me, I feel ashame when I wrote all that.
What I want to say is that our current generation is a little different now in this age. They are more ITsavvy, they have more exposure to much much more information, be it useful or not (the internet, the greatest information dump). I still remember the days when I find the answers to all my questions by flipping the large index of my 31 leather-bound volumes of my $3k encyclopedia my parents invested for their 3 sons. And in the end I am the only one reading them actually. Compare that to wikipedia, a few clicks and everything is there. And anything which you don’t know or any words you don’t understand? Just highlight it, copy and paste it on Google. So simple!
Then these kids nowadays don’t need to do household chores, they have maids for that. Comparing me when I was young and now, when I dirty my shoes and shirt from running and rolling in the school field, my mom will scold me: ‘WHO DO YOU THINK WASH THOSE DIRT OFF YOUR CLOTHES? AM I YOUR MAID??’ Random kid today roll in the mud and got home still dripping with mud: ‘Aiyo ah boy ah why so dirty? Maria? MARIA? COME! Mop the floor and give ah boy a bathe! HURRY UP BEFORE HE CATCH A COLD!!‘ What a difference. I heard from my brothers who were at least 6 years older than me that they had it even worse. My mom would grab them and cane to kill. That’s why we see so many spoilt brats around.
These young ones, I meant those under 20 years old, some of them didn’t know how to use an iron. I mean I even have someone 2 years younger than me who can’t even tie his own shoe laces during my army times!! Ridiculous! I think the parents nowadays are really sheltering their kids too much. They want their kids to devote all their time on studying and aim for good grades. But what about their character? The moral values? And the skills apart from studying in order to survive in this society? Like what the article said, alot of kids nowadays will grow up and become someone who can study very well but can’t do the simplest tasks like cutting fruits without cutting their own fingers, operating the washing machine, going from one place to another without getting lost.
Actually I am lucky to be a guy. At least if I missed any basic skills required to be independent I still get a chance to learn it in army. Be it how to ‘chao geng‘ (might be essential depending on your personal goals in life) or how to survive in a jungle (if you ever got lost in one). I learnt how to be responsible for my own actions and how to work for what I want in life. All these I never learnt or never put into practice. Moral values like integrity, you won’t get it in schools nowadays where students would kill each other to be number one. All the scheming and backstabbing, well its a good exposure too since you learn all the politics stuff you get when you start working on a job in school. Or maybe I was just oblivious when I’m in school.
I think a lot of parents nowadays missed the point. What’s the point of raising a kid who can get straight ‘A’s but has zero EQ? They might become someone important and earn big bucks but they won’t appreciate your efforts and just dump you into a nursing home or worst, make you live in the streets. If I have a kid, I won’t mind if he can’t study very well, as long as I imbue him or her with all the correct moral values and raise them to be good people. I don’t care if they are poor next time, that’s their choice, I’ll let them have the choice to be whatever they want as long as it is lawfully right.