Child-led Parenting

Child-led Parenting

Dear Boys,

Your mum and I were chatting in bed and we realised that a lot of kids with good grades are getting what they want. When they get good grades, they are entitled, rewarded, encouraged to have things done their way. If you get an ‘A+’, you can spend all the time you want in front of a computer, and play games all day.

Children are any parents’ gem. I love the both of you dearly, and like any parents, I would do whatever I can for you, and make your world a better place. But please remember, the world was here first, and your world is nothing but a small part of a larger world, and the world do not evolve nor revolve around you.

Let me tell you boys something else, like the world was here before you, your parents are here before you.

Having better grades or being smarter than your parents does not put the both of you in the leadership spot. I am The Dad, and I still runs the house. My rule stands, if you want to run a house, go get your own, go get your own woman, and make that woman your wife. Until then, I lead the pack. Not you, the children.

Parents relinquishing their authority to their children raise brats. Period.

Children don’t rule the world, they never did, and when we let them, bad shit happens when they grow up. They will think that they are able to get anything they want, without care or consequences. If we allow them to have their gratifications as long as they secure a good grade, we are cultivating a very narrow band of life values. And just because children get good grades, doesn’t make them pack leaders. Child-led parenting style upsets the natural pecking order in the house.

It is getting very prevalent, as more and more parents are not stepping up to be parents, but they are simply, Adults with Children. The parents of these adults probably didn’t or failed to impart the right parenting skill-set, or they was exposed to child-led parenting template before and this is what they thinks works best. It doesn’t, but without the right values, adults who grow up to become parents, have no idea how to manage children, with the right leadership and authority.

Ethics Values and Principles (EVP of Life)

Getting good grades does not automatically qualifies one as a good human being. Being smart does not means one is wise. Clever is sometimes turned into deceit, when self-centredness becomes a person’s core motivation. When we parents do not set the parameters right, we are linking the wrong consequences to the action. While we can reward our child with computer game time if they get good grades, we need to bring to their attention and awareness that they get what they got, doesn’t means that they have gotten everything.

By everything, I don’t mean to simply aspire them to get better grades. If in Primary 5, you get 90%, you can have 2 hours of game time, that does not naturally equate that if you subsequently get 95% you can get 3 hours of game time. This kind of rewards structure teaches the exact value that leads kids astray.

Everything means, the value of hard work, having good ethics to help people, weaker classmates, instead of ostracizing them, be principled and argue for the good, admitting to wrong when wronged. As kids, do not negotiate nor bargain with your parents for gains. There is no negotiation, parents give, children receive.

When children gives good results, does the parents receive?

This is crazy and skewed.

I’ve long said, the results, good and bad are yours to keep, boys. I do not stand in the way to bask in the limelight of your good results. Your grades, is not my bragging rights, they are yours. You go to a good school, that is your merit, you go to a bad one, that is also your doing. While I love to be proud as a parent to have kids getting good academic results. I’d prouder if you boys grows up becoming good decent human beings, who are not extraordinarily smart, doesn’t save the world, but remembers to greet the people, show respect to the elders, is gratuitous, still laughs at the silliest jokes, have fun. And enjoys being in our company when we are old.

The conduct as a decent human being is more important than a grade, remembering where you came from is more important than a grade. Remembering your lessons learnt in failures is more important than the celebration of your success. Remembering and honoring those who have helped you,is more important than becoming a champion.



Life-skills: Picking wild mussels

Life-skills: Picking wild mussels

Dear boys,

We had the privilege of using your Ah Ku’s car since they are overseas for the holidays, and we headed towards the west. First to check out SPCA’s new abode, and we serendipitously wander to one of the least traveled backyards of Singapore.

Lim Chu Kang jetty 

It wasn’t really in our plan to go there, after our brief visit to SPCA, your mum suggested that we go to Jalan Bahtera MOE adventure camp which Ian went last year. It was a hard to get to place and since we have the car, we decided to drive in to have a look at the place. It was a quick drive in with nothing much to see, so after that drive, we turn and head back for the road.

Well, we are not done.

Since we have the car, we should go check out Lim Chu Kang Jetty, since we, living at Punggol, has our own Punggol Jetty, at the end of Punggol Road.

But this jetty is a whole piece of work on its own. Firstly, it is not a concrete jetty, it is all makeshift wooden planks, tied to wooden pikes driven into the sea bed. Very retro, and very nostalgic. You boys had a great time running up and down, despite of my repeated warning not to. In fact, 弟弟 felled, stepping on the slippery mud on the Jetty floor.

I wanted to bring you boys there just for the experience, but something else happened. We noticed people sitting at the jetty picking off mussels. I was very well intended to be just a spectator, but it didn’t end up that way. We chatted up a bunch for cordial Malay guys and they were deep down and dirty, with mud up to their elbows, happily pulling out mussels from the sea, while the tide recede.

Your mum asked them about these mussels and how to cook them, one of them gamely passed us a bunch and we couldn’t say no. We took a bunch and since it looked so easy to get them, I joined in, and so did the both of you boys. Well as usual, it was the dad doing the work, while the sons played and pretended to do the work. Both of you got sticks and started poking and prodding into the soft sea mud, much to your glee and joy.


Using hands despite of having sticks, it seems like boys will indeed be boys, with mud being your best friend. In no time, both of you have mud, on your body, shoes and of course both hands. You boys looked as if you did all the work, when all the both of you did was play.

Plucking Mussels

This is lesson learnt, and there is no better place to learn it than the great outdoors, while we do not have magnificent forests like Malaysia, nor beautiful pristine beaches like Maldives, we are still living on the same planet and very much connected to mother nature. this kind of life experiences and skills beats any mobile app, or smart phone games hands down. The virtual cannot fill your tummies, knowing how to go to these places, and pluck food from the wild, is a lesson I hope both of you remember, so that you can fill your tummies in ways only Mother Nature knows how.