Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Importance of Parental Control

Around the beginning of last year, Singapore's first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away. The whole nation was mourning, myself included.

A week later, a 16 year old youth was charged for uploading a video on YouTube. It made headlines on the news and unfortunately, the boy who had achieved his fame in less than what one would like, did not look like he had learnt during his first court appearance. 

I am a mother of four. When I had my first child, I had no clue to what parenting was. Even the simple task of breastfeeding was hard. I would think that it is only feeding a baby milk and food. Never had I known that it is a way to learn parenting.

Parenting to me was not natural and easy like breastfeeding. As I spoke to many friends who were also mothers, some told me they would put the feeding on timing while others simply feed on demand. 

Ask any mother you know, breadtfeeding a baby is not a natural thing for most women. You need to learn by instinct how, when and even why a baby needs it. Apart from being hungry or pain (such as illness or colic) which would be the most obvious as the baby would not stop no matter what, I learnt that he/she may be crying out just for attention, comfort, feeling tired or even bored or lonely. 

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Over the years, I found out that despite the fact that our children would test us repeatedly for an outcome which they want, we cannot give in. It is hard to establish parental control but we need to do it. Parental control requires attentive monitoring with lots of patience and love just like breastfeeding. There is no right or wrong for the caregiver when reading a child's behaviour but when it clearly requires intervention, we as parents need to step in.

Generally, children begin with zero knowledge of what is right or wrong till taught or instilled by the parents. They could also be learnt by their experiences with peers and other beings. In modern context, the effect of media is so far reaching that as parents, we need to watch out for information being fed to our children by monitoring what they receive through YouTube or other means. 

Our children would even grow to share ideas through the media and may not be fully equipped with the power of developing empathy and  compassion for the spectators looking on his production. 

Hurt to other parties has to be carefully considered when measuring the behaviour of the child and his or her impact on others. We do not live alone. Careful thoughts to fellowmen or to those around us would help our children become better beings in hope of a better world. In today's fast-paced society led by the invent of high-tech mobile devices, parental control is ever more so important.  

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