Monday, November 7, 2011
Another meaningful post from my friend's facebook wall
When I attended talks by childhood educationists and social workers, or when I read newspaper articles, I was sad to hear/read about parents who cried foul: "I am not able to control my child anymore. Please put him to the boys' home/reformative training centre."
Is it really the loss of control in question, or is it something else?
In the early years we certainly need to place limits and controls on our children's actions; we need to control and monitor what they eat; we need to control what they watch on TV or read over the Internet. We need to set rules and boundary.
As they grow, however, we need to release control gradually, and let our influence which has been building over the years to take over. It's futile to control a person forever, not even our children.
Therefore, inability to control our children isn't a loss; in fact, it could be a celebration, if dispensing with it our children can still function on their own. It's the inability to exercise our influence over our own children that is a cause for pity.
Influence is boundless. It's spread not just through words, but also through one's actions and bonding with one's children. When you share your principles with your children, you are influencing them. When you treat others politely, you are influencing them. When you play badminton with your children, you are influencing them. Likewise for negative influence. When you smoke, you are influencing them. When you jump queue, you are influencing them.
Influence is a much more powerful instrument than control. How to maximise positive influence on our children is every parent's duty, and a delicate job.