ST Nov 27, 2006
It's not the money that counts but the parenting
I REFER to YouthInk's discussion on family ties (ST, Nov 13).
I applaud Ng Chuin Song's philosophy that leaving kids in the hands of care-givers is unfair. This shows that she would be a responsible parent.
Hui Min wants to 'provide the best' for her children - she wants the assurance of a good balance between time and money before she 'can be convinced' to start a family.
I want to tell Hui Min that the best person to provide this assurance is herself. She is spot on in pointing out that 'it all boils down to the lifestyle we choose'.
We can spend all our lives chasing material luxuries - pursuing a Dink (double income, no kids) lifestyle in the fast lane - and end up lonely in our old age, regretting bitterly about the decision not to have kids.
Our parents raised large families on small, single incomes - but we turned out pretty okay, didn't we?
I want to assure Hui Min that not being able to afford 'musical or sporting activities' for the children does not make one a bad parent.
Think of parents who are too busy with material pursuits, and have no time for their children. Is that what kids want?
Being constantly chauffeured from school to tuition and enrichment classes?
Wouldn't they prefer to return from school to a home warmed by mum's presence?
Many well-educated women lament that their education is wasted because they have become stay-at-home mums.
But that is shallow thinking: Employment is not the ultimate goal of education.
The most important aspect of education is character building and value inculcation, which is so important for bringing up kids.
We need to be good role models for our children, and we need to impart good values to them.
Finally, there is nothing wrong with the woman holding the domestic fort while the man concentrates whole-heartedly on his career.
If he is successful, financial stability will be assured and the kids will also be well taken care of with mum around.
And don't wait until the children become older; research shows that a child's intelligence is largely set by the age of five.
Tan Chor Hoong
Mother of three children aged 12, 15 and 18
My wife has agreed, provided that I also learn to cook.
Technorati: Singapore; family.