Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Then and now

I see there is a difference between our generation as parents and our parents' generation.
Back in my parent's generation it seems like everyone was working hard to put food on the table and just getting ahead in life to give their children the best they could in experiences and ability to go to a good college.  And mind you, this is only from a Chinese family background.  I can't speak for anyone else's upbringing.
In our generation as parents I feel like the focus is more on esteem and making sure that we communicate to our children in such a way that they feel strong and connected.  It's more about the communication factor whereas back in the day, when we were kids, communication was just not a big focus.  What was a big focus was doing well in school, making sure you had the proper manners and the only communication that was going on was barking of orders and a lot of, "Do it because we told you to. Because we are your parents."  No questions asked.
It seems as if raising kids in that type of environment might've been easier since you really didn't care if your child cried herself to sleep.  The notion was, "You do as I say because I am your parent.  I feed you, I care for you, I provide for you.  And when you get older you will understand all that I am doing."
In my perspective, now that I am older I do understand all that my parents were doing for me.  But, oh how I wish they had taken the time to communicate with me so that I could've understood back then.  So I wouldn't have spent all those lost years in school because I just didn't understand the importance of a good educational foundation and I just didn't care because that was how I was going to rebel.
I wish there was more of an emphasis on love and respect (mutual) and showing of it rather than pretending tenderness was for suckers.
On the flip side, somehow, I feel like sometimes society has gotten just a tad lax about disciplining their children.  Because many parents don't want to upset their children or in trying to not harm a child's self-esteem, you inadvertently raise a very egotistical child that doesn't understand why the world does not revolve around him.
Truly, at the end of the day, I tend to think as long as you are not constantly beating and berating your child, he might just turn out all right.  Sometimes, what a child is made to overcome just makes him stronger, right?  I spend a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to communicate to my daughter.  But I also need to remind myself that she is a resilient child and if I fall of my rocker sometimes, it's okay. Everything will be all right because at the end of the day, I am a human being and I am not perfect, but I love her and this love emanates from the deepest part of my soul to touch the deepest part of her soul.

A temper check

Yes, I'm famously hot-tempered.  I've blogged about my inability to just keep my temper in check.
However, I must commend myself that I have been doing a much better job at not "losing it" when dealing with D.  She's not by any means a terrible child.  She never throws tantrums or really does anything to warrant my temper, I am just easily frustrated.
The other day, I was asking her to put her crayons away quickly because we had to leave (rule number 1 - never rush a child because you have not been conscientious of time...) and she was moving very, very slooowwwly.  So, I started to scream (because I was frustrated) and she in turn, shouted back, "Stop it!!  Stop yelling at me!"
Yes.  She did.  And I appreciated it because then I realized it was not her fault that she was moving so slow and that we were running late.  Chillaaax...
Obviously, my ideal would've been to just let the crayons stay there and not rush her at all but of course, I wasn't thinking with a clear mind at the time.  You see, I am not programmed that way.  Have you met my family??

From the mouths of babes

We saw this the other morning....

And D said, "Look, he's dressed up like a cow!"