Thursday, 10 September 2015

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What Is Your Parenting Standard? Mine Is to Raise a Prime Minister


What is your parenting standard?

A few years ago, I told my husband that I am secretly setting myself the parenting standard of raising a Prime Minister, and he nearly fell off his chair. And of course, he said that I was crazy.

But that's how I spur myself on. And it hasn't changed today.

Please do not misunderstand. I do not dream of J being a Prime Minister. In fact, the selfish human nature in me does not want him to be one. I mean, look at all the Prime Ministers of the world. Look at Mr. Lee Hsien Loong. How busy they are. They don't have much time for their family and kids and enjoy life. The weight of the whole country is on them. They sure have a lot of sleepless nights. They have to make tough decisions. I don't wish that on J. I just hope that he and his future wife will have time to enjoy his family and have time to raise up their kids, like I do :-)

And besides neither will J meet the criteria of becoming a Prime Minister - First of all, he does not look Danish enough, is not technically Singaporean nor does he come from China.

But I would like him to develop the ideal qualities of a Prime Minister.

And I think it is important to aim high, so that when you fall short, you don't fall so short. And this is what motivates me to wake up, day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-year taking my motherhood duties seriously, with passion and gusto, making meals, preparing lesson plans, doing Montessori activities, heritage education, Christian education, taking J to his activities, etc. since he was a baby.

And what are the ideal qualities of being a Prime Minister?

To me, the most important is character, having empathy and wisdom, to be above reproach. J has a lot of room to grow in this area. So this is where I am working on... and it will be a life-long work to develop these qualities.

And this brings me back once again to Sarah Edwards, the amazing wife of Jonathan Edward. She is my inspiration. I also draw inspiration from Proverbs 31:10-31.

With this standard in mind, my hope is for J is to grow into*:

1. A person who loves and fears God.
2. A person who leads a life with integrity and without reproach.
3. A person who demonstrates selfless service and works for the common good.
4. A person who leads by example to preserve and promote these moral values.
5. A person who endures to uphold the values of justice, equality, progress, peace and harmony.
6. A person who values and protects the life and dignity of the human person.
7. A person who protects and cares for the weak, elderly, under-privileged, and those with special needs.
8. A person who commits to marriage and family for life.
9. A person who works to build an inclusive society, free from oppression and discrimination.
10. A person with a servant heart, who is willing and able to roll up his sleeves, take hardship and to serve with an empathy of heart.

And no, I am not pressurizing J to be a Prime Minister. I am just using this goal as a character check and for guiding character development**. But periodically, I would ask myself:

Is J growing into a person I will be willing to vote for as a Prime Minister, if he is not my son?
Is J fit to be a Prime Minister, based on those standards?

To be honest, although I wish this in J, I have not achieved such sterling character myself. That's why it spurs me on to evaluate myself at the end of each day and to try again the next day to be a better person. I think I have grown as a person compared to 6 years ago (before J was born). Motherhood changes a person, and it has definitely changed me, for the better, I hope.

But even if we do not achieve such standard, it is a standard worth pursuing.

Yes, I am crazy, and I am on this crazy journey. So I want to thank my husband for all his support, in allowing me to simply be a mom devoted to motherhood and to pursue my passion in being a mom.

Now that his post has gone out, I am sure I will invite the ridicule of others, who are going to have a good laugh at me. But I just needed to write my heart out.

What is your parenting standard? Or maybe you do not have one at all? We are all different, and it is alright. There is no right and wrong :-) We are all motivated by different things :-)

But in fact, if I may be allowed to share my opinion, I really do think that all moms should set this goal for their children. I mean, how do you want your country to be governed? I am sure you want it to be governed with justice, transparency, equality and with a heart. The only way for a country to be so, is if its people are so. And the only way for its people to be so, is if mothers raise up their children to be so. If all its people are good enough to be an ideal Prime Minister, then such a country will surely prosper and be in the position to help others.

What is your parenting standard? I hope you will reflect on it.

* Inspiration drawn from the articulation of Archbishop William Goh.

** You may say that many Prime Ministers of the world are corrupt and do not possess these qualities. True, many are not fit to be Prime Minister.

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