Disclaimer : This entry seems to be a bit of a heavy stuff. Just sharing what I feel on this issue. That's all. I am not asking people to agree or dis agree with me. If you have a comment I would appreciate it being done in a positive and constructive way so that we all can learn from each other.
A few days ago, in fact on the Maal Hijrah day (1 Muharram) when I took mak to see her regular doctor, we met with my arwah ayah's cousin (I think). I have known all my life as Mak Long and she knows me too. Her youngest son sent her to the clinic, took the number and left her with his youngest daughter. My mak had a chat with her while waiting for her turn to see the doctor. My second daughter Angah accompanied us so that she can walked the maktok into the clinic while I park the car etc. There were a lot of patients so it took us quite a while before mak's name was called.
While mak was in the doctor's room (with Angah) I had a chat with Mak Long. She was relating to me that she is staying with the youngest son who took her to the clinic. I know him too. He has 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. Apparently, Mak Long's grandsons had been drop-outs since after their SPM exams. They failed and didn't try to repeat. In the end they are just at home "lepaking" around. Sad isn't it. I did asked why were they not try to go and work in a factory, at least it should relieve the burden from the parents to feed them. When she told me the answer, I was really taken aback and speechless. She said the grandsons were SHY to go and work in the factory. I have no word for them except that they were plain LAZY.
No way I could accept such excuse. I was flabbergasted beyond words. As far as I know the father (my 3rd cousin - I think?) is not a salaried worker, he worked in his family paddy field. But then again how much is that - sekangkang kera as the expression goes. It baffles me, how the children (not only these boys, others as well) could have such a LAZY attitude.
A friend of mine (not a Malaysian), told me not too long ago that he had to bail out his eldest son from debt. The son entered the University, taken up student loan, never paid the college fees and on top of that uses the credit card to maximum limit. He and his wife just couldn't forgive the son for doing so. Although he is now working with a shopping mall, now and trying to pay for his debts, the relationship has now a bit tense. Why the son did what he did? I guest peer pressure or even culture shock maybe.
I have also known of a family, they have 4 daughters who are smart girls, highly educated. 2 of them are graduates from the local universities. 2 are still doing their degrees. The elder 2 sisters, are always known to be "kurang ajar" with their own mother. They would ridicule her in front of their father over petty things like the choice of curtains etc. The eldest had just got married recently, all the arrangement (even the colour of her bunga telur and hantaran) were kept secrets by her from the mother. The 2nd daughter, had refused bluntly to take her mother to the bus station when the mother was returning home to KL from Penang. She would rather go dating!!!.
Whose fault are those? Is it the parents? Or is it the kids themselves?
I believe that character building is important. Parents have to instill the positive attitude into the children. I tend to agree with MakAndeh through her recent entries. So that the children can grow up to become useful people, to themselves and the family. But again, did the parents in those example failed to do that? I don't think so, maybe the kids themselves cannot get the ideas into their head. We can always bring the horse to water but can we force it to drink? Surely not right? So what is it then? Communication ? The way the parents communicate (verbally or non-verbal) is important.
In my family, my daughters have their freedom to express their views. They are not geniuses but then again we have been stressing why a good education is important to them. They can see that we take great pain to make sure that they can study comfortably. But then, if ever any one of them would be rude to hubby, mak or myself, they also know that they are in for a hiding. They are taught to be respectful, and to appreciate what are being given to them. I have had my daughters apologized to me for missing tuition classes due to their own carelessness. The reason why I do not employ another maid after bibik went home is also to "teach" them to be responsible people. To share the chores around the house although they have school work to be done.
I am NOT saying that I am a perfect parent. We learn along the way from seeing examples around us. I didn't come from a happy home atmosphere, but, I had made a choice long ago that I would not subject my children to similar situation. They will have a happy home environment. They will have open communication with me and their father in order for them to build a positive attitude towards life. I can say so far Alhamdulillah, I have been blessed with such a "useful" responsible family. We have to embrace the real meaning of Hijrah from bad attitude to positive attitude.
There are many more things which we can do as parents to make our children responsible people. I would appreciate your view.
I have found this quote from a newsletter which I subscribed to. I do tend to agree with the author.
If you are willing to do only what's easy, life will be hard.
But if you are willing to do what's hard, life will be easy."
* T.Harv Eker *