Growing Up Healthily – Its Meaning

As I sat in a fast food outlet a couple of weeks ago, having my late lunch, I saw the grandfather-grandchild pair at their usual places. Grandpa is deeply engrossed in his newspaper, grandchild is doing his homework. I’ve seen them here more than a few times over the past few months, so I can only conclude that they are regular here.

One may jump into the conclusion that grandpa is not feeding his grandchild “properly”, so to speak. Some self-righteous parents may judge grandpa, or even grandchild’s parents. But I just witnessed a moment of tender exchange between grandpa and grandchild. They had a conservation with sincere smiles exchanged. All the time that they’re here, grandchild is very well-behaved and keeping himself occupied with reading and doing his homework.

I do not know their whole story, as to why they frequent this fast-food outlet regularly, why they do not have home-cooked¬† meals, where are daddy and mummy, when, etc. But when I saw that moment of tender exchange between grandpa and grandchild, I realize that raising a child is not about hovering above him all the time. Eating right is very important, none can deny that. But being raised emotionally healthy is of equal importance. A child needs to have the opportunity and freedom to explore and create meaning about all that is going on around him. Our roles and responsibilities as parents or caretakers are to provide the guidance and support, whenever and wherever they are required. As to when such guidance and support are required, and how much to be given, varies from child to child and it is the parents’ wisdom to discern.

God chose specifically us to be the parents to our child(ren); it is no accident or coincidence. It is a plan and God makes no mistakes in His plans. Therefore, sit back, learn to let go when we could and be ready to step in when we should.

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Do the Right Thing at the Right Time

When I first started reading the Holy Bible, the Book of Ecclesiastes is one of my favourite books. There is a Shakespearean air to the way that it is written. It contains many words of wisdom, similar to the book of Proverbs yet different in its approach. Today as I ponder on the question of “Should I stay at home, or should I work?”, “Should I enrol my son for piano lessons, or painting class?”, I am reminded of a familiar verse.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:  РEcclesiastes 3:1

In this age of Pinterest and so-called parenting experts, being a mom becomes almost like embarking on a research-intensive, perfection-required project. Every day we are bombarded with content (images or text) which are supposed to inspire us to be a better mom, better wife or to have better homes. We are not short of advice on whether or not to spank our child. It can become rather overwhelming.

As a mother, I find myself often wondering if I made the right decision for my children. Did I make the right move when I decided to spend three years of my life staying at home, looking after my baby / toddler? Did I do the right thing when I sent my young children to nursery and daycare so that I could have some time to focus on my own studies? Have I missed out on something? Should I have done things differently?

We can never be short of worries. But we can learn to trust God and to proceed in faith. We must understand that different persons have different circumstances, so what works for one may not for the other. We should strive to do what is right, after weighing in the options, at the point when we are making the decision.