Wednesday, March 24, 2010


All of us have an innate passion for learning. As the saying goes, the purposes of man in life are to live, to learn, to love and to leave a legacy. That goes without saying that everyone of us has the need to learn new things in life.

The need to learn is the most expressed when we are children. As children growing up in this multi-faceted world, we are curious about almost everything else and want to learn what we are curious about, childhood is hence the period when we are the most inquisitive and most experimental. Hence, as children, we love to play games where we exercise our creativity to the fullest! (actually, as an adult, I also love to play free online games, to admit!)

Parents have a pivotal role in helping their children to learn. The duties of parents, in facilitating the learning of their children are not just limited to ensuring that their charges receive a formal, good and proper education in schools, parents should facilitate learning of their charges in all phases of life outside school. By this, I do not mean that parents send their children to extra tutorial lessons, enrichment lessons like piano lessons, which is typical of what parents in Singapore do. What parents should give their children is simply the freedom to learn things from all facets of life on their own.

If parents are over-protective of their children since they are young, executing all the things for them, this will ultimately kill the joy of learning of their children. When these children grow up, with every chore taken care of, they will never learn to do these things and worse, they become overtly dependent on their parents. With the enthusiasm of learning being stifled from young, these overly-protected children eventually grow up, without any zest for learning and without any zest for life. Being dependent on their parents, they will consult every decision they need to make in their lives and worse they would even let their parents decide or even implement each and every matter they face in life.

There is a myriad of things to learn in life outside a formal education. These span from cooking, sports, leisure, socializing, arts and craft, music, technology and so much more. Overly protected children will grow up, to be fearful of new learning. They may grow up to be reclusive of the society (since their overly protective will most likely limit their socialization since young). These children may grow up, to be proper and prime, but they may lack an exciting life as they no longer want to learn new hobbies and skills.
Since overly protective parents may exert a tight rein on their overprotected children, it will really take a fair bit of struggle and courage for the overprotected children to make a stand and tell their parents that ‘enough is enough’. Overly protected children may know it is heart-breaking to defy their overly protective parents and to engage in tiffs with them but if they do not do so, their lives and development will be at stake!
I do not have official statistics for Singapore and for the world on the number of children who feel the pain of being overly protected, but if you are a parent reading this post, please do note to give your children some liberty to learn things on their own. And if you are children who have bored the brunt of ‘over-protectionism’, it is time to stand out and make a choice on how you would want to live your life NOW!

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