August 31, 2006

Parenting - Teenage Years

I was being engaged into a converation this morning. Some doctors were lamenting how their teenage or adult children are/were rebellious... whether girls are more rebellious than boys.

Doctor A: There! Ask her (me) if girls are more rebellious than boys
Me: Not really, I still think generally boys are more rebellious
Doctor A: Are you that naughty and rebellious when you were younger?
Me: Of course not! I was a good girl, δΉ– girl
Doctor B: Are you sure?
Me: Yeah! You can go ask my mum :)

Well I think I had been generally quite a good girl in my teenage years. By God's grace, I did not mix with bad company with whom I could have very well ended up as a "McDonald's kid" or "Centrepoint kid" (at my time, a "McDonald's kid" means that you hang out at McDonald's after school and they usually carry the tag of being a juvenile, smoker, poor in studies, etc)

Amidst the 7-8 doctors who had children who were at least in their teenager years or even older than me, they were exchanging stories of how their children were/are doing badly in their studies (because they were lazy and not because they are academically poor), spending money excessively, picked up smoking, etc. In one example, he sent his son to Australia to study. In his first year there, he spent $100,000!! After the first year, he took his son to his clinic to sit down with him for one whole day. He purposely chose a day where he did not have any patients. From there, his son understood that money does not come easily even though his dad is a doctor. Subsequently, his expenditure was down to $25,000 per year.

I gave a comment that if they want to understand their children more, get to know them and the friends whom they hang out with. Invite their friends over, talk to them and know how they are like. In that way, parents can know why their children behave in a certain way and at least to be knowing what kind of influence the friends have on their children. Every teenager would undergo peer pressure and friends would be very important to them. Doctor A said that I sounded like I am very experienced! But of course I actually speak as the capacity of a child. After all, who am I to be 'experienced' when I am young enough to be their child?!

In the 10-15 minutes I was standing there, I felt like telling them one thing - it is ultimately the parents' responsibility to educate/teach/discipline their children. Teachers can help only that much. How your children turn out to be, is reflective of how you have been as parents. God gave parents the mandate to teach him/her in the ways of the Lord, to bring him/her up to know Christ. Even if the parents are not believers of Christ, the responsibility of teaching and educating moral values still remained.

Seeing how some of my friends parent their children, I have been impressed with how some of them teach them. At the end of the day, parents can teach the children but they cannot totally control what they would do and think. Godly parenting has to have godly wisdom and also total trust and dependance on Christ for the person that he/she will turn out to be.

1 other thoughts:

Probato said...

Amen.. from a children sunday school teacher.

We spent 4 years in universities to study a subject. We may even spent a few more years in master or ph.d. degree.

Noone spent anytime to study how to become a parent. So, does it mean it is easier to be a parent then chemistry?

In life, people just ran into situations that they have to prepared before hand, dating, marrige, parenting...

I just feel very sad to say that noone prepare those before hand. They just thought those are things that "they can handle when things come along".

At the end, because there is no idea of how to handle, "everyone did as he saw fit." Is this responsible?

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