20 April 2013, by Darren Lim
Recently , I was invited to co-host a travel-info-tainment-logue with Mark Lee and because our family was invited to appear in the programme , lock -stock -barrel were packed into the sponsored MPV to begin our 4D3N tour into Johor Bahru at the beginning of this year .
After the program was edited and telecast earlier this month , there were lots of compliments on how well behaved our kids were , which we thankfully accepted . Most were about how impressed they were that our kids would remember to greet the people at their table before they start eating !
Whenever Evelyn & I heard such compliments , we would always look each other in the eye and smile ….. The amount of pain staking effort well-meaning parents need to take to ensure simple things like that are not forgotten, can be amazingly immense , not to mention frustrating and time consuming ! Even though we have been ‘drilling’ the kids to say things like that , such as addressing people when we meet them, for years now and giving them the reasons why we do this , the importance of it etc , they can still forget sometimes!
We have gone from encouraging , reminding , reprimanding to even taking punitive measures , like losing the privilege of watching tv; but during some periods when their system is ‘down’ , it will just simply refuse to ‘work’!
And we’ve gone through this cycle so many times , we know even after this episode of good behavior which many have seen on screen , the kids will revert to ‘ forgetful behavior ‘ again soon — sure enough we are working on reinforcement again these days !
Some might ask , isn’t this very tiring and won’t your patience run out like that ? Yes it does in fact ! We’ve even gotten so desperate we asked ourselves if the deterrent measures need to be harsher! But guess what , this is parenthood ! We are setting the stage for the kids to practise being caring, polite and respectful until it becomes second nature through all that drills and practice ! And because we are their Coach of Life , it’s up to us to do all that guiding and reminding work !
So how long more can we last ?!
Well , I think we’ve come to accept this as a way of life for us for now, though we really would like to see all that being self- initiated really soon ! Just as it takes some time for us to get used to another way of doing things, children will have a much harder time to get new habits to ‘stick’! And each child is different from the other so the time they need to ‘ get it’ would be different. But what we do believe is what we are doing is sowing the seeds of good behavior and values into the lives of our children and with the principle of sowing and reaping , we will one day harvest the fruits of our labour which our children and people who come into contact with them will enjoy!
This really gives us lots of hope and perseverance to continue with all that ‘ nagging ‘ and of course , the occasional compliments they receive every now and then, warms and encourages our heart along the way …….so mothers and fathers out there , let’s not be weary ! Battle on !