Resist the temptation (parenting thoughts)

Yesterday husband went to golf and saw a little girl practicing besides him who plays better than me (i’m terrible). So when he came back, he started telling the girls that they should get into a sport (golf preferably) ASAP to get better, especially having a sport in CV is good for college application.

When I heard that. I was like @#$#%@$%@$…. but i RESISTED. I paused and didn’t response because I know we’d enter a big argument if I started responding to him, as our knowledge basis is very different. As everything I do in life, if it’s a subject I don’t know, I’ll go to the expert. I’ll read everything under the sun (different views/opinions), digest to form my view on the subject, and then I can give my view. From all the parenting books I’ve read, I know few things:

  • As parents, our role is to guide the kids to find their strengths, their passion, their path in life. We are not to impose them.
  • Hobbies like sports or music instruments are meant to be cultivating hobbies, a mental escape for their study, NOT MEANT TO BE FOR college application.
  • The moment we inculcate the idea of everything we do in life is for academic success, they’ll start hating it, or they’ll have the world view that everything we do is for something. It took me decades to unlearn that concept. Approaching 40s it’s when I finally realise that I am allowed to do things just for the pleasure of doing them, and it’s actually needed for our wellbeing.
  • As parents, we need to RESIST to compare our kids to others. We don’t know their family situation, values, dynamics. What I know is that I want my girls to protect their passion, their childhood, against socially imposed norm or fashion.
  • I’d like my girls to learn one instrument, one sport, and another hobby to be a balanced person, not because it would help them for academic advance. It may or may not help by the time they go to college, but the process of learning them, the cycle of failure and mastering is what I want them to learn through those hobbies.

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I understand that husband is worried about Lizzy being delayed in development because Sofia is learning mandarin, piano, spanish, and loves swimming. But I assured him, she’s only 4.5 years old. Let her be our baby for half more years, and she’ll start. There’s nothing to worry about as long as she’s playing and socialising.

Husband left the room a bit frustrated, I think more with himself than with us. I then asked Lizzy, do you know that once you turn 5 you’ll learn things right? And she nodded. She knows EVERYTHING and well.

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My day went well. When I got home, I did some crafting with Sofia while both of us listened to our podcasts.

I had an evening meeting at work so went to sleep late. Woke up midnight due to heavy wind/rain sounds from Typhoon Ulysses. Something very interesting in the Philippines, because how many typhoons we get each year, they are named alphabetically, so now we are into U. πŸ˜†

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Question: How do you deal with parenting disagreement with your partner? What are the principles you follow in parenting?

2 thoughts on “Resist the temptation (parenting thoughts)

  1. This is a very interesting topic, indeed. My own mom was kind of known for promoting us to do things in part because “you need things to list on your college applications”. I mean, she wasn’t totally wrong- those things ARE important- but it definitely should not be the only reason you do an activity. She had my sister and I do many different activities, wanting us to be “well rounded”. I think overall I’m happy with this approach too, but some people look at it from the perspective that if you do many things, you will never maybe be truly great at any of them. If you look at people who are “experts” at things, they usually have to go ALL IN/ sacrifice other things to put all their attention there. In the long run, maybe I do prefer my mom’s approach….I may not be an Olympic athlete or playing the piano at Carnegie Hall, but I think I have had exposure and knowledge from many different areas, which I’m glad about.

    side note: have you ever read the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother?? I read it years ago so I don’t remember all the details, but it’s about a mother trying to raise her girls in the traditional “Chinese way” -which is pretty controversial and quite interesting (especially for those raised in Western societies). If you haven’t read it, you may enjoy it.

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    1. i read it and it was eye opening, it made me realise i’m so not that mom. what I enjoyed the most was her wakeup call when raising her second child, that the first method didn’t work as her second daughters was much more stubborn. I enjoyed the read though. πŸ™‚

      Like

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