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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Parenting Evolution

I was just reminiscing two nights ago, about my childhood - the encounters I've had and what my mother taught me. Having had a similar conversation over a pineapple tart making session with my mother 2 weeks ago, she mentioned that she never had the kind of challenges we face as parents of today. 


On feeding medicine

THEN in the mid 70s
When I was a toddler up to kindergarten, I remember running around the house like a headless chicken from mum whenever she had to feed me medication. I would be screaming my lungs out as she skillfully cornered me to take the awful tasting syrup medicine.Yes, I was dubbed "the screamer".


With my children, I don't really have an issue feeding them medication. When they were tiny tots, and if syringes didn't help, I fed them medication by dipping bread into their prescribed syrup medication. It worked for a good while until they realized it tasted just as bad! But I had to be innovative and get the job done. 

Fortunately, I didn't struggle much later on in years as they grew older. Perhaps explaining to them the reason why they had to take their medicine worked better than forcing it down their throat. And oh yes, then there's the reward we have to give when they recovered.

Verdict : Mum definitely had more challenges than I in this area!

On Food Choices

THEN in the 70s & 80s

We ate whatever mum cooked. No special requests whatsoever. We could eat the same simple dishes everyday and were thankful that there was food on the table. The only time I protested eating something was when mum painstakingly scrapped pork liver into my bowl of porridge without my knowledge because I detested it. So this is something I could try with my kids - that is if I can master the art of cooking pork porridge.


My kids are spoilt for choices. I think they would rather starve than eat something they do not like! Cooking for the family can be challenging - having to vary my dishes everyday - ok well I cook about 4 times a week. The vegetable my son likes, my daughter doesn't and vice versa. It gets frustrating on some days. Definitely not as easy as my mum had with us.

Verdict : It is moi who feels the challenge in this area.

On Where Babies Come From


When I asked my mum where babies came from, she told me "from the pusat" (*pusat is belly button in malay). I grew up really thinking so and was bewildered at how a tiny hole on my tummy could squeeze a baby out! I didn't find out exactly where until I studied 'Human and social biology' in secondary school.


When my kids asked me where they came from a few years ago, I could show them. Because an incision was made at the bikini line where they came out from. I've also explained to them where babies come out from in the natural and there is no need to shy away from the facts like how my mother did. In fact, they learn about the reproductive system in primary 4 onwards.These days, all kinds of information are at the tip of our fingers. It's better if we tell them the hows and the whys when they ask rather than read up information on some dubious sources they may chance upon.

Verdict : I think mum and I have our own challenges but in a different way. We were definitely more conservative back then so I don't blame her for saying what she did. Now with lots more exposure on sexual education, it is important for me as a parent, to open up to my children when the need arises. 

Parenting styles have definitely evolved. Gone are the days where punishment equates to caning. We tackle challenges differently with each child and put in more effort in ensuring they get the best out of their childhood journey. 

One thing that remains the same for sure : you can never shake a mother's love.

Till the next post, have a blessed week!

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  1. From the pusat!!! Hehe
    Dipping med in bread. Wow that's ingenious!

    1. Thank you thank you... the ingenious part of course. :p

  2. I agree that the challenges that we face parenting this age is different from our parents but each era/generation will certainly have it's unique challenges for all parents.

    1. Yes I agree. But the simplicity of it before didn't really make us a complicated kid. It's tough being a kid these days.


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