"Mon, Nov 17, 2008 NST Stressed out: Wrong priorities harming children
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Four children go missing every day. One in three children has mental health problems.One in 11 children scored straight As in their Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah this year.
These figures and the growing legion of obese children, with rising cases of Type 2 diabetes, high-blood pressure and high cholesterol level, have got experts wondering whether Malaysians have got their priorities right -- focusing on educational excellence to the detriment of the children's safety and health.
They are questioning if the misplaced focus could be the cause of the woes facing children. The medical profession has blamed parents' indulgence for the growing number of obese children and health problems such as diabetes, high-blood pressure and high cholesterol level.
Sri Murugan Centre director and founder Datuk Dr M. Thambirajah said everything began with the family unit.
He said in the past, teachers took it upon themselves to play the dual role of educator and parent. "But today, because of the workload and pressure to perform, they can no longer play the dual role. It is unfair to expect that from them."
Thambirajah said children from middle-class families faced competition every day in examinations, piano lessons, art classes and others. He said these children faced stress.
Human Dynamic child counsellor Wong Yee Men agreed that children were stressed out these days, but disagreed that this problem was confined to middle-class families.
"Today, both parents have their own careers. Children want their parents to spend time with them, period."
Wong said she had seen an increase in referral cases from parents, teachers and counsellors for children with behavioural problems, learning difficulties or even emotional blockages."
The curse of progress of urban society? That our children should be harmed as the parents supposedly toiled away to make a living so that the children can be comfortable!!??
Lessons for me are:
1. children are like growing plants, they need a lot of attention and care and nurturing. They are fragile at young age and will need PROPER development to become strong, independent, and healthy human being. Hopefully, better than their parents!;
2. to develop a child, it will need relationship building. To have relationship, it means investing time to be with the child. It means to be able to communicate effectively and productively with the child. So, effective communication skills are required. The mindset of the parents have to be: we are her to listen and to help develop you at your own pace for your own good. Tell us if we are not understanding it or we are over-doing it!;
3. time is scare for the parents. Time cannot be managed as time is finite. All of us have 24-hour a day. Whether you are the wealthiest human being on earth or just an ordinary Ah Meng or Ahmad or Arumugam, we have 24-hour a day! So, it is the priority management that will free us from time used to watch the bloody useless TV program or have a drink or two with your colleagues at work whom you have already spent 2/3 of your day working together, etc to get in touch with your children. PRIORITY management and DISCIPLINE will help the so-called 'busy as hell' working parents find time to spend with their children. NO MORE NO LESS. It is entirely up to the adults!! Is this a sacrifice, well, this will be a different debate as we must be clear that if we bring the kids to this world, we have to make sacrifice to bring the kids up! Properly!!
May those Malaysian kids get properly medical and social help while the parents reflect upon their PRIORITY! Get help to learn to communicate effectively with their kids!