My Life Experience as a Parent

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

My Life Experience as a Parent

Postby 2ppaamm » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:44 pm

[Editor's Note: Post selected for Portal publication.]

A fellow forummer asked me to start this thread. So I thought, hm... maybe. KSP has been a wonderful place for me since I started coming here (only on and off). My kids grew up with lots of tips from parents here. :) I will also share mine.

So here is the first post that I posted on another thread, modified here:

As a mother of 5, I grapple with the right way to bring up my five very different children. Do we treat them as friends? Should we be lenient or fierce? Someone asked me if I punish my child for not playing the piano (the answer is sometimes) ?

It is dangerous to treat your teenagers as friends. Having raised 3 teenagers by now, they are already in their late teens and teenage is almost over :( I can reflect and say that fortunately, my kids did not give me teenage heartaches except for very small, transitional ones.

It is dangerous treating them as friends because they are not your friends, they are our responsibilities and they need to know we set the rules and are the authorities, and that cannot be compromised. However, my kids know that they can always come to me for anything and I will listen and work out any issue with them. Even if the whole world is against them, they know I will be by their side, without deviation.

Being a good listener and being there for the kids are important, so is assuring them you have gone through more than them and therefore will know certain circumstances, certain issues better than them and their friends.

I am not sure if I sound really harsh, but if I do, then perhaps I have overly emphasized the importance of being a parent and not a friend, for a good reason.

Over the last 20 years, I have seen how my children have changed from taking everything I say as the ultimate truth, to challenging what I say and peer-influenced, back to realizing what I say make sense afterall, one full cycle. Those teenage years were not difficult because when they challenged me, I would hear them out completely but always told them my decision was final, sometimes to their dismal, but they got used to realizing who the authorities in the house are.

My kids are now big, my girls will still share their boy friend fancies with me, their crazy fashion sense (they buy my clothes), their secret admirers and admirees and most of all, they will listen to me for hours sharing my tips of life. I think if we want to have them as friends when we grow old they have become adults, we must first support them as adults and responsible parents and not just another friend.

Just my honest opinion, and experience from an 'older' mother. So listen and do not judge, but be firm. Now, I tell them they can bring their children in a few years and I will find a way to look after each of my grandchildren, while they build their careers. Hm... those childcare scares are getting into me... again. I want my children to now focus on building their families and careers as they prepare for their twenties and not worry about such things.

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Re: My Life Experience as a Parent

Postby Jennifer » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:01 pm

:thankyou: for sharing.

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Re: My Life Experience as a Parent

Postby teaberry » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:05 pm

Great post, 2ppaamm. :rahrah:

Thank you for your bare-truth sharing of your personal experience as a parent in bringing up your children. Your honest sharing have indeed shed light and help me understand how to adjust and temper my management of my growing-up teens.

Every parent has his/her own parenting philosophy. Our ultimate goal is to raise successful children with grounded values and at the same time have a great relationship with them. It is definitely not easy being a parent, neither it is to be a growing-up child. Most of us go through a lot of challenges as we grapple with being better parents. Indeed with proper skills as well as wise and practical advice from parents who have been through it all can really help make ur journey easier as parents.

Looking forward to pick up more nuggets of wisdom from you and fellow parents here.

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Re: My Life Experience as a Parent

Postby 2ppaamm » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:51 am

Thank you for leaving nice notes. :)

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Re: My Life Experience as a Parent

Postby jedamum » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:04 am

Nice sharing!
I always categorized you as an intelligent mother.
What will you say about not so intelligent mothers like me?
I find it difficult to find common grounds for discussion as I am not a current affairs person and not very smart or know a lot of things. Elder son's is usually directed to his dad when he asks about stuff he wants to know. I feel a bit dumb. I find it hard to get interested in physics or to understand economics or even gaming stuff. ....
The conversation topics will just get lesser when the boys grow up and they may view it as me probing, or give their infamous single syllabus answer. Elder one is now into this stage. My husband also doesn't converse much with his mother, not that he loves her any less. The amount of SMS I SMS her to chat her grand kids stuff or household in a month is more that his conversation topic with her in a year. ....

Is this the fate of mothers with boys?

Do also share your views too next time when you become a mother in law! This is a path which is tricky if you have boys. Kekeke.

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Re: My Life Experience as a Parent

Postby 2ppaamm » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:06 am

jedamum wrote:Nice sharing!
I always categorized you as an intelligent mother.
What will you say about not so intelligent mothers like me?
I find it difficult to find common grounds for discussion as I am not a current affairs person and not very smart or know a lot of things. Elder son's is usually directed to his dad when he asks about stuff he wants to know. I feel a bit dumb. I find it hard to get interested in physics or to understand economics or even gaming stuff. ....
The conversation topics will just get lesser when the boys grow up and they may view it as me probing, or give their infamous single syllabus answer. Elder one is now into this stage. My husband also doesn't converse much with his mother, not that he loves her any less. The amount of SMS I SMS her to chat her grand kids stuff or household in a month is more that his conversation topic with her in a year. ....

Is this the fate of mothers with boys?

Do also share your views too next time when you become a mother in law! This is a path which is tricky if you have boys. Kekeke.

Yes, I do have boys, three of them!

Do I have a good conversation with my oldest boy? Actually, yes but not because I am an intelligent mum (not as intelligent as I hope to be :imdrowning: ) There are topics that I cannot comprehend completely, since my son is already doing post grad, and I have no idea what he is talking about especially in the topics he studies, because I never studied those things.

What I do is tell him I do not understand those terms he uses, and would he please explain them to me. I explained to him only recently that he must not talk to everyone expecting them to know in the same kind of details he understands certain topics because he studied in depth about them, and most of us didn't. So he has to treat everyone like we are completely ignorant, and then patiently bring us to a level he understands it. After many "I don't understand you" discussions, he is now beginning to explain himself in simpler terms.

I think it is the same whether they are our boys into late teens, or our husbands who go to work and come home to share their stories. We do not really know what they are talking about. I actually have to do a lot of research about what my kids say just to have simple conversations with them about what they love. Sometimes, when it gets too deep, I ask if we can talk about something else, or just sit pretty and listen.

Boys tend to talk little. Somehow, I 'managed' to get my sons to talk a lot, and sometimes, they just keep quiet. I treasure the times they decide to open up and discuss things and try to bring it deeper and give analogies. Of course, I also bring in my own topics lah... like my own child hood, why I think this or that way, my friends, my funny stories. The sons seem to like my silly stories. I am a pretty good story teller, hahaha... like to animate and entertain, tell jokes and act funny just to make them laugh. At times, even for my boy who is turning 20, I will tickle him till he rolls on the floor just to make him feel like a little boy again. (Only mothers can do that. :boogie: )

As they grow older, there will be less topics of common interest, but fortunately, since we brought them up, there are always great shared memories. My boys like to know what they are like when they were little. I tell them how they used to be when they were small, my challenges and my happiness as I watched them. How I used to cut their hair on the sink, when my oldest fell and how worried I was, what they used to say they would do and whether they did eventually do them, what their ambitions were and why they did or did not pursue them, what they think about the other siblings' choices, how they felt about me selling the old house or old sofa, what they thought about their choices of schools, actually, every car ride, we have lots of things to talk about. The present, the past and the future. The news in circulation, and the latest fashion in music, dress and their friends' latest fancies.

I think we don't have to be intelligent to have a good conversation with our intelligent boys, we just have to get into their worlds. If their worlds are too difficult to understand, I ask if they would get me there. If the future is too distant, we talk about the present or the past. Try everything lor....

It will be sad for me if my sons stop talking and sharing with me, but knowing me, I will go in all directions and find common topic. I very ji za. Haha... When they finally get married, I know my daughter in law will be jealous if I talk so much with my sons, I guess my role will dwindle into a supportive role, and I just do things to support them. At that time, my responsibility to keep him happy and accompanied will be handled over to another woman, and gladly so. :) And if I badly want a conversation, I will invite him for lunch so that the wife does not know or feel intruded.
Last edited by 2ppaamm on Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My Life Experience as a Parent

Postby jedamum » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:21 am

2ppaamm wrote:

As they grow older, there will be less topics of common interest, but fortunately, since we brought them up, there are always great shared memories. My boys like to know what they are like when they were little. I tell them how they used to be when they were small, my challenges and my happiness as I watched them. How I used to cut their hair on the sink, when my oldest fell and how worried I was, what they used to say they would do and whether they did eventually do them, what their ambitions were and why they did or did not pursue them, what they think about the other siblings' choices, how they felt about me selling the old house or old sofa, what they thought about their choices of schools, actually, every car ride, we have lots of things to talk about. The present, the past and the future. The news in circulation, and the latest fashion in music, dress and their friends' latest fancies.

I think we don't have to be intelligent to have a good conversation with our intelligent boys, we just have to get into their worlds. If their worlds are too difficult to understand, I ask if they would get me there. If the future is too distant, we talk about the present or the past. Try everything lor....

:goodpost:

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Re: My Life Experience as a Parent

Postby ImMeeMee » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:53 am

Thanks for sharing, 2ppaamm.

My eldest doter is 9 this year. I find that she has a strong mind of her own, she day dreams a lot, and she can be quite defiant at times. She is also at the stage where she can challenge, negotiate and argue well for what she wants.

I find that a harsh hand doesn't work well with her. I cant also be too soft as she knows how to work her way around things. I have tried many things - explain, persuade, negotiate, scold, cane (so far once) - sometimes these methods work, sometimes they don't.

Many times she drives me up the wall to the point where I cant control myself and I explode. I have tried telling myself to control my temper, but it can be easier said than done. Sometimes I succeed sometimes I don't, especially if she pushes her limits.

There are times when I feel really frustrated, and there are times where I feel that I have failed as a mother.

I feel happy when I am able to find things to connect with her, and make her laugh. Becos I have a youngest special needs child and I spend considerable time with her, plus a second doter, I am not sure whether I am paying enough attention to this eldest one. We don't have a lot of chances to do things one-on-one, its always with the three of them together if at all.

How do you spread yourself across your brood of 5 and ensure that you meet each individual needs?

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Re: My Life Experience as a Parent

Postby just.learn.lah » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:03 am

My two gers are "almost" grown up... 19, 20

My greatest joy as a dad - is that I drive them up and down to school and classes.
It is during these half hour-45min journey that I bond with them. Sometimes I tell them stupid things that happened - or things in facebook (yes - fb is a way to connect with them).

Because I share with them - they also share with me... but sometimes not as much as with mame - the elder one is closer w mame than the younger one.

One thing I can share is that my wife took a decision to send them for a lot of classes when they were young - i will be the kids' taxi driver in the weekend. It was a great decision cos - now - we dun have to worry about their studies - they will want to study - and dun go out if there are things to do or exams to study.

I was also helping them with their school and home work - cos I very good at it (I teach other kids for a living). So I get them the resources, and guild them - Upto a point - then they become smarter than me... haha

Great post ...

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Re: My Life Experience as a Parent

Postby Sun_2010 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:06 am

jedamum wrote:Nice sharing!
I always categorized you as an intelligent mother.
What will you say about not so intelligent mothers like me?
I find it difficult to find common grounds for discussion as I am not a current affairs person and not very smart or know a lot of things. Elder son's is usually directed to his dad when he asks about stuff he wants to know. I feel a bit dumb. I find it hard to get interested in physics or to understand economics or even gaming stuff. ....
The conversation topics will just get lesser when the boys grow up and they may view it as me probing, or give their infamous single syllabus answer. Elder one is now into this stage. My husband also doesn't converse much with his mother, not that he loves her any less. The amount of SMS I SMS her to chat her grand kids stuff or household in a month is more that his conversation topic with her in a year. ....

Is this the fate of mothers with boys?

Do also share your views too next time when you become a mother in law! This is a path which is tricky if you have boys. Kekeke.


Jedamum, I just wanted to let you know that I consider you as one of the wise moms around in ksp. I dunno your IQ but let me tell you , your EQ levels are fantastic. You intuitively understand your family so well. I have learnt some things from your sharings here.

I am sure you are a great mum, because you understand your child's needs well and you truly accept them. The external stuff that the kids are interested in, they really dont need you to help , there is google , and there are friends and teachers, your DH, maybe uncles and cousins. Once in secondary , they will find their way. If you really want to be involved may be choose one area that interests you and try to get your DS to guide you. But what your providing them - the emotional support , love ,acceptance , the feeling of home and family - only you can do it. And you are doing a great job of that :salute:

Not all that I learnt from you, I can implement. One which I did was greeting DH when he comes home. I go up to the door to greet him and have a "how was your day" chat as he sits and removes his shoes. Some days I dont :oops: , but at least I holler out a cheery " hello, you are home!" . It kind of destress us both - All thanks to you

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