Words of Wisdom ...or so it seems...


Monday, 19 November 2007

Hey!! Parents!!! Leave us kids aloooooneeee.......

I never thought that I'd live to see the day, that a child, in malaysia, would commit suicide because she did not obtained the anticipated 5As in her UPSR. The very thought of it gives me the goosebumps. Subashini, a 12year old girl from Nibong Tebal appeared in The Star todays issue (Monday 19th Nov 2007), for the wrong reasons.

In case you are wondering, how come a supposedly busy doctor like me have time to read the papers on a Monday morning, when the clinics are normally busy attending to people who are:

1. Genuinely sick( a rare thing) and not fit for work(i call them "pesakit"/ "the diseased")

2. Pretending to be sick and extort doctors for MC, as though it is their birth right (I call them "penyakit"/ "the disease" because they make ME sick)

3. Not really sick but don't really want to go to work. Just try their luck for MCs anyway. (smarty pants)

4. Sick yet even given anMC insist on going to work (workaholics and irresponsible to others' health, because they are the disease carriers)

4. or have planned weeks ahead, to get sick on Mondays, Fridays, Federal Territory day, Thaipusam and Hari Gawai.

5. or come end of the year, have used up their annual leave and have no choice but to extort doctors for MCs, to cover up for their holiday plans. (notice the word "extortion" that comes up twice? We doctors get a lot of it our occupational hazard. )

So how come I am free on a Monday morning? (bear with me for a moment of side track)
Well, our clinics cover mostly offices. If you can crawl out of bed, get dressed (and most women can still bother about appearances), get in the car, have the energy to drive on the Malaysian road, and come see us, I guess you are fit to go to work, which only requires sitting down on your asses and try not to fall asleep from the tiredness of the weekend's excitements. So, we do not really get that many patients on mondays because they tend to go to clinics nearby their houses and not risk getting medical attention from sadist doctor like me.

Back to the context of a girl who commited suicide just because she did not score 5As ( she got 4Bs and 1C , which, if you ask me, I'd pat her back for getting the good results), it is a wake up call for us Malaysians. It's been going on for years now. The parents would be the ones boasting about how their children had obtained straight A-s for any major exams in Malaysia, albeit sometimes they themselves never did get pass primary school during their time. It's the parents competing against each other, more because they probably felt that they had not done that well in life, for whatever reason and that their children end up paying for the continuation of that dream and of what they could not achieve when they were children themselves.

I am sure every parents should be proud of their children's achievements, but let's not try to go overboard. For god's sakes, it's just UPSR and 12year olds sit for them. They are merely children!!! Let them have their childhood , at the time they are still children. (remember what happened to Michael Jackson??)

I see parents sending their children for tuition at a very young age,for very long hours, so much so, the weekends are jam packed with studying instead of just busy being children, and spending quality time with families. It's a form of child abuse if you ask me, depriving children of their childhood!! Don't let me start on how heavy their school bags are. One day 4 generations from now, Malaysians would probably not have a national basket ball team, because everyone becomes a midget or perhaps self induce scoliosis, no thank you to that heavy school bags.

I can understand if you need to push those sitting for SRP and SPM, or whatever it is they call it hitherto. Life has been competitive lately, and children need constant encouragement, some pushing.(okay, some, more of shoving..) But UPSR................come on Malaysian!! We can do better than that!!

According to scientific research, children's creativity is 5fold more than that of the adults. (Some of my patients would comfirm this lack of imagination amongst adults when they come to me for problems concerning their "bed time stories". Sigh. Another one of my occupational hazard.) It is us adults who dampens and supress this gift. I'm no longer talking about bed time stories, just to keep you on track. One of the toy for kids to play are boxes. Yes, you heard me right. Boxes. To children, boxes can become spaceships, Barbie doll house, a transmorgafier (a machine that demolecularizes and remolecularizes in order to transport a person from point A to point B). What? Never heard of transmorgafiers? Well, that is because you are an adult and you've forgotten where human imagination can take you. Get my point?

A waste of time you say? Well, the geniuses and scientists of the past created their invention by first, imagining them. Have you ever wondered how come Malaysians do not come up with any geniuses or mavericks? You are correct. It's because malaysian kids have not time to sit and imagine because they are busy rushing for Kumon and tuition classes? There, I rest my case. Another reason, if I may point out, is probably because children below the age of 13 are prohibited to enter the adult section in our national libraries, or most libraries, I dare say. We tell them that they cannot comprehend adult literature.We insist that they should stick to kiddy books. We set the bar lower than what they themselves believe they can achieve. Who killed the potential geniuses again? Can't hear you..say it louder...yes, we did.

I remember a fellow student of our Medical faculty. She was caught just in the nick of time, when she sat at the edge of our hostel rooftop, crying, " I can fly........". She was Trengganu top student SPM during our year. Turned out, she never did want to enroll into Medical School but it was the parents who had forced her into it. Top student folks. She dropped out of medical school after obviously making her sentiments heard, and today, she is a very happy mother of two and a successful bussiness woman.

What should we parents do then? Our job is not to tell them what they should do, instead, nurture and guide them towards discovering their fullest potential as a human being. Oh sure the title "Dr" sounds impressive added ahead of one's name, but there are some people who carry these titles with a heart that repents. Ever heard of doctor's killing someone, or selling legal drug combos, then being murdered by the addicts? I guess these are examples of individuals who are unhappy with what they are.

My daughter doesn't really know what she wants to become, yet. But she told me that she may not be sure of her ambition, but she is pretty sure it is not to become a doctor!!! I respect that. I know I will support her decision once she comes up with it. In the meantime, I've got to work hard to equipt her with the wisdom of determining what she wants to make out of herself then support the whole process of getting there (and quietly pray that she would not want to become a criminal of sort, although a genius hacker may come in handy in view of wiping my credit card bills).

Amongst adults,we keep saying "keep your inner child alive". So let us not kill that "child" in our children. Let's not rob our children out of their childhood. Perhaps, they will grow gracefully into a wise adult. Wisdom is something we could use more in our lives. Stop putting unnecessary pressure on our kids. Be nice to them. After all, they are the ones who will probably determine which old folks home they would want to send us to, sometime in the near future.


walski69 said...

Reading this sort of crappy news (the post-UPSR suicide, that is) really makes my stomach turn... Sad, ain't it?

Yeah, parental pressure can be damaging sometimes... and there's no one party to blame, really. It's partly (sometimes a BIG part) the parents, partly this A's crazy society we live in, and partly the outdated and progressively degenerating education [sic] system we have...

What's important, though, which I feel most parents don't do enough, is to instill self-worth in their children. Perhaps it's a trait of the so-called "Asian Culture" that our autah-rities (to curi your term) keep harping about... In fact, we rob our kids' self-esteem by continually comparing them to other people's kids, putting them down, etc.

I dunno... but it sounds like you're doing it right with your daughter...

BTW - thanks for dropping by myAsylum lately... appreciate your feedback!

Have a great day and hope you don't have to deal with too many "penyakit"s...


Aunt Dot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
pah nur said...

Thanx Walski, for dropping in here. You know what I think? Maybe,we should encourage soon to be parents to sit for some courses on parenting,like,"How not to become terrorists...parents..." or we should encourage the Milo company to change their advertisement to "Besar,bagai Naib Johan...". Here's to becoming a well behaved adults and letting our kids be kids!!!