Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who deserves more?

Parents get more credit than they deserve and kids don't get enough....
Pecking Order
With one kid at the threshold of adulthood and one knocking on the door to the difficult years, I might be getting such a remark from my own kid in the near future too. I don't know. But I hope not. What I do know is my previous path had lots of potholes and occasional sinkholes which might have sucked us all in. Thankfully, that did not happen and I hope it will not happen.

Parents are busy today. Maid assumes the role of parents. It's also not uncommon to hear of full-week or even full-month baby sitting these days. In some cases, parents only drop by to see and play with their kids for a couple of hours a week (month). Some parents even employ maids for their babysitters! Remote control parenting... from a distance. And the excuse is the demands of today require both parents to work to provide a better life. They feel their family deserves more... they deserve more. And they ought to get credit for sacrificing so much for their family. Sometimes I think we get marginality from both ends... parents and kids.

Marginality brings about marginal thinking... marginal thinking can be myopic. And the easy life of today's generation for many makes marginal people even less sensible. There seems to be this lack of a particular edge which I can't quite put a finger to.

This is exam season and like many of the past exam seasons, I get SOS requests to give crash courses to kids; surprise, surprise... for History. Many kids don't like History and Geography. But lately, I am surprised at the high number of kids who seem to be failing these subjects, History more so, just because they say they don't like it. Whatever happened to plodding on because one ought to? These days, it seems to be that when one does not like a subject, one just lets it go....

One kid told me that she was totally off into her own world in Form 2. I could tell too cos she could not recall a single thing from the lesson from that year. There was some recollection of Form 1 work and also a little of Form 3. Another boy says of the same, except that he was totally gone in his own little world for almost the 3 whole years! If my grades had been dismal when I was in lower secondary, my parents would have made me feel really bad... or I would have felt really bad for disappointing them. But today, many parents also seem okay with their kids having those dismal results in these subjects. Maybe they are too tired from their own toils to think that it matters. Maybe they think it's not important... But kids need to be held accountable.

Results are not everything. But they also tell us what might need attention. The lack of determination, perseverance, the lack of parental supervision, etc, etc..

I chatted with the owner of a stationary shop I frequent recently. Somehow, we picked up a conversation and he told me his work with troubled kids. He was telling me about a kid he counseled 5 years ago. The boy had been expelled. But after a heart to heart session with him, this 13 year-old had a change of heart. He decided to go back to school. Despite many obstacles, he finally managed to get himself back into the school. It's been 5 years down the road. He is still in school. But he is not doing well at all. However, he plods on. This kind Samaritan pays for his tuition fees even though the tuition teacher says the going is really tough for the boy.

Will this boy pass his SPM? It's unlikely. But as this man said. It's not important whether he does pass. The important thing is he is persevering. That says something about his character, right? A(s) are not everything. They're important to open doors but beyond that, once you enter into the working world, your attitude counts a lot more too.

As for that kind soul... he has my admiration for the work that he chooses to do.

2 comments:

PreciousPearl said...

hmmm..... looking back i now know i'd been lost in a different universe between the ages of 12-16, only regaining interest in Fm 5 when SPM came round
maybe it feels worse these days cos all the more exams are heaped upon the poor kids

AJ7 said...

I went on a hunch when my boy went into F1 that it would be the start of sesat years.... so I taught him myself. Will never know how he'd turn out if I had not. But I see many boys going wayward once school becomes too tough for them. It was more possible for us to find our way during our time. We has a steady influence from the MYF, friends and adults like Mr. Ling, Mrs Tan, Mr Leong and so many others who came through for us. It's hard to get such a 'condition' like that today. People do still care but don't have that kind of willingness to go that sort of extra mile cos they are too comfy in their world, have too little time, want more time for themselves.... We were blessed, put it simply. The malaise which plagues the boys have also affected the girls lately too, I feel.