Saturday, September 5, 2015

Where's the Balance in Parenting?

We thought we were strict parents. At least, many people told us that we were. However, when I read this article written by a Chinese mother, I realized we were lenient compared to them. What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences.

I absolutely agree with some of the things she wrote. Chinese are known for working extremely hard and not being lazy. When they come over to America, they are usually at the top of their class. They make their children practice their instrument for hours every single day. Nope, no extracurricular activities for them. If they get anything less than an A in school, they are called names and chastised. If their child is overweight, they tell them they are fat and to lose weight. Everything is about their children's performance and Chinese children do perform with excellence!

On the other hand, I believe many American parents are way too lenient on their children. They allow their children to participate in an extracurricular activity and if they don't like it, they can quit even if it hurts the team. If they get a C, they are praised since self-esteem is everything. If they're on a losing team, you still get a trophy. "Maybe we should even get rid of competitive sports since someone always has to lose and it's devastating to their self-esteem." GAG!!! Many parents won't even say NO to their children for fear their children would think they are failures. And NEVER bring up weight; no never! This is completely off limits with your children.

There's got to be a happy medium somewhere in this discussion. I do believe you should have high standards for your children; expecting them to work hard, be honest, love others, and be generous. This woman said nothing about the traits of love: patience, kindness, compassion or tenderness. No, it was ALL about performance. For what? Financial success, accolades, applause? Yes, our children should strive to be all that God wants them to be but there is more to life than getting straight A's, in my opinion.

We must teach our children to be hard-working, productive members of society. We must also teach them to love the Lord, love others, be kind, gentle and patient. All of these virtues will help them live lives that are fulfilling and bring joy to others.

We didn't allow sleepovers for protection's sake; not so they could practice an instrument for three hours a day like the Chinese. We made them do their homework and study hard; not for all A's but to be the best they could be. It was alright with us if they didn't get straight A's. They were still extremely valuable to us. It's a fine balance between pushing too hard and not pushing hard enough. I didn't push hard enough for them to help me around the home and I wish I would have, but they all were great students and were committed to whatever sports they played. We all do our very best and with God's grace, we leave the rest in His hands.

It is for discipline that you endure; 
God deals with you as with sons; 
for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Hebrews 12:7