Friday, January 16, 2004

preparing them for the world

read in yesterday's Zaobao about how a GP's daughter is running thee hawker stalls before leaving for her medical studies in Melbourne. Her parents wanted her to experience the real world and prepare her for hard knocks.

19 yr-old Shi Yun, singled-handed run wanton mee, chicken rice and chinese rice stalls in a Geylang Rd kopitiam. Her doctor father subsidised her stall rentals. Her two other sisters (in JC and Sec4) would help out after school. she has been doing this for three months. She even plans to open a restaurant or food business in Oz to raise her tuition fees.

now Shi Yun can roast char siew and chop up chickens professionally. and she has the battle scars to prove it. the reporter went through the list of cuts and burnt marks on her.

I'm really impressed by Shi Yun's parents and the pluck and sensibility shown by their daughters. I think there are few parents who are prepared to "educate" their kids in this way. rather than sheltering their kids like plants in a green house, they are introducing them to the world out there. by letting children interact and experience the tough and sometimes, unpleasant aspects of life, they will be stronger and more adaptable. They will grow up with their head screwed on right and with a good dose of humility and some cow sense!

the lessons they learnt will be valuable and cannot be found in tuition classes. however, their upbringing and parents' thinking showed that they are probably in the right track in the first place. they are probably "trained" from young to be independent and self-reliant. the amount of molly-coddling and pampering dispensed to the kids nowadays is unbelievable. it's good and reassuring to know that sensible parent begot sensible kids! there may be some hope yet...


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