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Old 4th December 2009, 09:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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So what if S’pore parents are strict?

So what if S’pore parents are strict?



by Benson Ang


NO kidding, Singapore parents are indeed strict.

So say young netizens reacting to Saturday’s report in The New Paper about Australian producers choosing Singaporeans as the “World’s Strictest Parents’ for a reality TV show.

In the show, the Chua family opened its doors to a pair of Aussie teens and a camera crew for a week.

During the week, the teens, Zaine Edwards, 16, and Memphis Fitzgerald, 17, were supposed to go for a General Paper lesson at Raffles Institution (Junior College) with Ada, 18, the Chuas’ older daughter.

But they played truant instead because they “found the lesson boring”.

Not only that, Memphis rummaged through MrsChua’s bedroom to try to steal the keys to the family condo unit so that the Aussie teens could sneak out at night.

To punish the two, Mrs Chua called off a dinner they were supposed to have with Ada’s friends. The report has sparked a debate online about whether Singaporean parents are among the strictest in the world.

If they are, say most of the youth online, then it is as it should be.

One netizen, Rkuchiki, wrote in an AsiaOne forum that strict rules have helped keep most kids in check.

Rkuchiki said: “I’m thankful our parents are strict enough to keep our profiles ‘cleaner’ than theirs (the Australian teens).”

Catknight said in an online forum that it is Aussie kids that have too much freedom. He said: “(These) kids have too much freedom ... down under..even skipping schools seem to be the norm....”

Hitman 3 shared a similar opinion. He wrote: “Most aussie kids are badly disciplined n lack culture... Most of time, they scold their elders.”

But netizen Sue Qin, writing on her blog, felt that some of the rules in the Chua household (featured on the programme) are overly-harsh, citing the ones forbidding sleepovers, boy-girl relationships and another rule which stipulates that the computer be in the living room so the parents can see what sites the kids are visiting.

She added, however, that most of the rules – like the ones against skipping school, smoking and alcohol – are “kinda expected”.

She felt that Singapore is conservative because we are made up of races which have their own strict traditions about raising children.

“While too much control is not good, too little control is also not good,” she wrote.

Some netizens, like R, think that Singapore parents, being strict, may be overly protective.

He wrote on an ******* discussion board that Singapore children lack independence because they have been “overprotected by the laws”.

R, who admits to having strict parents, said that when he turned 21, he started doing the very things which most parents don’t want their children to do, like drinking, smoking and having sex.

He said: “No amount of discipline can tame a kid for long.

“The most important thing is to teach kids about the dangers of life in the jungle, (and) not over protect them with disciplinary methods... The trick is to teach them to think for themselves.

“Let your kids experience life in the jungle, they will then know self-actualisation.”

And there was the rare opinion that parents were not strict in the first place. Longsiew said in an online forum: “Nowadays, parents are not strict because their children will run away if they are strict. So how (can parents be) strict?? Parents are controlled by their children nowadays.”

Be consistent

Mr Daniel Koh, a psychologist with Insights Mind Centre, suggested that parents be strict with their children “in a balanced and consistent way”.

He noted that most of the time, parents are strict in one area, such as in studies, but are too relaxed in other areas, such as imparting moral values.

While he understood that most parents did so out of guilt, he felt that such “compensation” could lead to students who achieve academically, but who may not relate well to others.

“If parents want to be strict, they have to be strict in a general way, and within limits.

“It should not include physical punishment, emotional blackmail, and threats.”

If a parent is too strict, then the child may rebel. A power struggle might ensue.

But if parents notice that their kids are lazy or are not respectful towards them, it could be a sign that they have been too relaxed.

He added that there is a thin line between being too strict and not being strict enough.

Source: http://www.divaasia.com/article/6339

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