I went out for dinner with my daughter and husband a few days ago and while waiting for our meal to arrive, I started thinking about those good old days when we spent time with mum eating at this place. I could still hear her voice and see her sitting at the table eating with us. When we got home, I started to feel a heaviness in my heart. As I prayed that night, tears began to fall down my cheeks. I was weeping a loss of a dear mother.
I realised just why I love doing what I do right now. I could feel that in all those years when I was feeling so supportive and had so much energy, my my parents have been there to support the growth of their children. They have facilitated our growth and provided us with everything that we may need in order to lead a better life.
I am no different from any other children in this world. I started as a baby and grew up as an adult. Then I got married and became a parent. I support and shower love upon my only daughter.
My parents enrolled me to study Mandarin when I was only 3 years old. And I have been dealing with four languages and a local dialect called Hokkien since I was a kid. They had made the decision, which a wise and forward looking one. It shaped the way how I was brought up.
My father came here from Malaysia and he was a labourer. To this day, my parents education and background had no relevant to the world I lived in at that time when they were bringing me up. When I was growing up, my neighbours were mostly Chinese. This was post-independence 1965 in Singapore. My parents were brought up during pre-world war 2 era. My mum was born in 1933 and had lived through war and post-war era. So as a couple, my parents could never had planned, let alone understood, how to raise a child born in 1960’s. Moreover, my parents could neither read nor speak English.
Despite all the life challenges, they were wise. They were wise enough to follow a path, the path of their children. Initially, I guess it was a choice between studying Malay or Chinese. When we started to show progress in our studies, they decided they would let their kids continue learning Chinese.
Now, in the beginning of this blog, I mentioned about my network of business owners and entrepreneurs. I learned that majority of these successful people are high income earners and therefore they decide their kids’ future based on their present way of life which is successful, comfortable and risk-free. Is this enough to lead our children into the future? Let’s talk about our present world.
In 2020, the world health crisis had hit mankind in ways that no one could ever imagined. Every areas of our lives are affected. Obviously, more and more people are clearly apprehensive about their future and that of their children.
Whilst Covid-19 has changed the business landscape everywhere around the world, we cannot deny the fact that our role as parents still remain the same. Our job and main business to raise a child and lead the child to a better future. And despite the global economic crises of 2007 and 2008 and the covid-19 pandemic, here we are. Here we are in 2021 still holding firm to our core belief that we can do better and that we can grow to become better. If we know how to get to 2021 safely, then who better than to lead our children to 2022 and beyond to a better world?
I believe only parents can do this job better than anyone else. What if you do not have children of your own? I believe you can think of someone younger and less able whom you can lead and take care of. You may not a parent, but you can certainly lead this person the same way your parent has led you to this world. You can lead the way to your family’s future.
If my parents hadn’t enrolled me to study Mandarin, then I wouldn’t be who I am today. I may have done all the work by myself, studying and working hard to pass exams. But we cannot deny this simple fact. Parents lead the way, parents make decisions for their kids and parents make life choices that will directly affect their kids’ future and well-being.
As a young adult, I use to lament upon my so called less than fortunate circumstances. I compared my life with my successful peers who come from well-to-do families.
It was not until I picked up this book by Maria Montessori that I started to change my perspective and totally believe otherwise. I saw clearly that the future of a child does not rest upon the status and income of their parents. A happy child does not come from a rich and well-to-do family. A happy and successful child is one who follow his or her path of growth.
Maria Montessori wrote “Look At The Child” and I wrote Parenting Inspired: Follow the Path, Where the Child Loves to Grow. I have expanded her teachings and faithfully followed my child. In 2003, I immersed into learning Chinese all over again and spend the next 17 years doing nothings else but followed my daughters’ path. How is she today? That is a topic for another blog.
My parents never knew of such a concept. They never knew how to read English, let alone understood to create a concept. But they looked at the child and followed the path of the child. They raised three beautiful and successful children who can speak four languages. And I adopted the same philosophy when I was raising my daughter to speak three languages.
If ever you are feel you cannot afford the kind of life and education for your kid, then remember these few words.
Your income and status do not and will not determine your kids’ future.