Parental Control

To what extent do parents wish to impose parental control over their children’s action and thoughts? To what extent would you as a parent influence the behaviour of your young ones?

Noted that we cannot control another human being who is able to think independently for him/herself. However, do we realize that we can indirectly influence their thoughts and actions? If you don’t believe this, think about your own childhood growing up. How much has your upbringing shaped you? How much has your parents’ speech and action influenced yours? Have you at any one point discovered that you actually sounded and/or acted just like your parents?

I’m not implying that parental control is not good or irrelevant. There are good values which we must live by and pass on to the following generation(s). Same goes to our family culture, with or without slight improvement or adjustment. Throughout my life, I have many teachers, life teachers, that is. The first of course, being my father. He gave me almost total freedom, except for those that might jeopardize my well-being and safety. I was allowed to choose my life direction, right from which school I wanted to attend, at the young age of 6, all the way to adulthood. It was my mother who tried her best to instill more discipline on me, as to what a girl/lady should do or say and what shouldn’t. I guess that provided a good balance, growing up. I must admit that I’m more grateful now than before.

Now that I’m a parent, a mother, I try to give some degree of freedom to my children. Allowing them to make their own life decisions while I provide a check and balance, when necessary. I have always preached to them that we shall always be responsible for our own action and choice that we made. However, we do impose parental control or rather rules here, when it comes to their well-being and safety.

They’ve been told repeatedly that life is impermanent. My presence here is as temporary as theirs. They will have to think for themselves; dare to make decisions; dare to make mistakes and to learn from them; dare to speak up while at the same time stand to be corrected; they are not perfect but many times, they made great decisions on their own, some of which I might not favour but they turned out well, better than I expected!

I always come across this : when a child (be it very young or an adult) did something greatly unacceptable, people are quick to judge and blame it on the parents. In my humble opinion, yes, parents are to be blamed in a way (if they one way or another, contribute to this delinquency) but if the child is a thinking young adult or adult, he/she has to assume the full responsibility. No excuse to pass the bug to the parents. Why? Simple because, we have the capability to think for ourselves, analyse any given situation and then come to a decision before acting or not acting upon it. If we get it right, bravo! If not, learn from it and make it right the next time. I always believe that all actions would have been thought of carefully before one acts upon them.

With or without parental control or guidance, there are people who made it in this world. What I mean by “made it” is that they live by a good set of principles and values. Some through the hard way of trials and errors in life, whilst some have the privilege to full family support and proper guidance. Regardless, it balls down to self; self-discipline, self-control, self-conscience…..

Dear young children/teenagers, when you have restricted or no passes to some thrilling actions and places, do yourself a favour, ask to understand why they are imposed on you. By having better understanding, you will be able to make wiser decisions in the future. You will know how to analyse situations and better choices. If you feel and think that your choice is right but different from that of your parents, have a discussion with them, while keeping an open mind.

Parents might know more but that doesn’t mean that they know everything and that includes you. Communicate openly with them so that they can understand you more and truly see for themselves how much you have changed and grown. Bear in mind that they are not trying to make life difficult for anyone, especially you; all they are concerned about is you and your well-being. Making them see your points is as important as you giving them a chance to present theirs to you and then come to a compromise.

Just remember, don’t rush to grow up. You have ample time to live your adult life. Enjoy your childhood and being showered with attention and adoration from your family members even though it might irritate you to your bones. Count your blessings that you are a receiver of such love and attention. Enjoy while it lasts, with a pinch of parental control. It’s not all that bad, really.

~ Alice N.


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