Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stress and pressure of today's teens

I know you teens out there are as equally stressed with your parents' nagging, grumbling, lecturing over your daily activities and what’s nots. You will find that your parents do not really understand you and that as a teenager, you need time out to be with your friends, to do what you like to do and to hang out until the wee hours in the morning (which you consider very early) to chill. As parents, we do not understand why you have to spend so much time chilling out and we are worried that the police will arrest you guys found hanging out in a group so late at night as they might think you do not have a home and are up to no good.

Teenage years are meant to be enjoyable and exciting as you are growing up and beginning to see the world in a different light. You must know how to manage and juggle your time between your studies and play. I know for sure that my son will have a lot to blog about how stressful he is for having a protective mom in me. The other day he was saying he is also stressed out due to his dad’s constant nagging of him and I jokingly suggested to him to start a blog about how stressful a teenage life can be and he replied that he will do so if he has the time.

Teenagers go through a lot of stress as they grow up. Some common problems include trying to fit in, relationship problems, stress from school/college and worrying what they gonna do after school/college, etc. This is where parents play a very important role in our teens life by giving them space, guidance and love so that they won’t feel neglected and all alone. I know in this highly competitive society, many parents want their children to excel in everything they do, in their studies, their career and their life to the extend that their children are under a lot of stress and pressure so as not to disappoint their parents. Many parents ‘booked’ their kids for practically every tuition classes including music lessons, karate, etc that their kids are so overwhelmed with attending all these classes after school that they do not have time to enjoy their childhood years. I have seen my friends busying themselves day in and day out ferrying their kids to one tuition class after another.

Some teenagers who have inferior complex or who are reserved in nature may find themselves lonely as they have few friends because they do not like to mix around much. This can lead to teenage depression if the parents are too busy with their career and do not have time for them. Teenage suicide is not uncommon especially when they face problems and they have no one to turn to. Teenagers are still young in thoughts and they may find that life is meaningless as no one cares about them. They will feel that their friends neglect them and do not want to mix with them. They do not have anyone to share their problems with and therefore ending their lives is the only way out. For all problems, there will always be solutions, there will always be light at the end of the tunnel, therefore for teenage who suffers from depression, do reach out for help. You may find that after talking to your parents or someone, the problems you are facing are not that serious after all.

As parents, we have to be there always for our kids and to understand them and guide them through their growing years.

Please do leave your comments, if any.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Parent's stress

As parents, we want the best for our kids and we want our kids to grow up into responsible adults. The old style of upbringing kids used by our parents and grandparents can no longer be adopted by us as kids in this generation are smarter unlike in the olden days, kids were very obedient and dare not go against their parents’ orders. When our kids grow up into their teens, we should use any problem area as an opportunity to teach them the process of making good and wise decision instead of lecturing them over mistakes made. Lecturing them and controlling them will alienate them from parents and they will feel that their parents are suffocating them by overprotecting them. I must admit when my kids made mistakes, I scolded and lectured them at times. My husband is worst, he likes to nag non-stop

I came from a big family of ten siblings, seven boys and three girls (including me). My parents were poor and mom had to go out to work, washing clothes for people. She had no time to take care of us so we were left on our own most of the time when we were small. I used to tell my kids how lucky they are now compared to us when were small. Now they have television to watch, computers to play with, nice clothes to wear, etc. When we were small, our clothes were all ‘hand-me-downs’, school shoes were worn until they were torn but we will still be wearing them because mom did not have the money to buy us new shoes. Luckily we are one big happy family as all my brothers and sisters are very close to each other.

At times when I got frustrated over my kids’ behaviour, my mom will start telling me her stories of how she brought us all up without so much fuss, and I will then told her that last time we were very obedient. Then she told me that even tigers which are so fierce animals can be trained to do shows in circus. In other words we just need to have patience to guide and mould our kids into responsible adults.

When my kids were small, I always wished they will grow up faster. Suddenly with a blink of an eye, they are now in their teens! It suddenly dawned on me when my son started going out clubbing, started dating, started drinking, started coming home late in the night, etc. Gosh, it drove me nuts! That was a very trying time for me and my son as I just couldn’t accept the sudden change in him. It became a battleground for me and him (sorts of). I was worried he will mix with wrong company, he will pick up bad habits like smoking and drinking, I was worried about his safety, so much worries!! He kept telling me he needs some independence as he is big enough now to know what is good and what is bad. Despite his assurance that he will not indulge in all those bad habits, being a mother I still worry. Sometimes during our argument, I asked him why his friends’ parents can allow their kids to go out until the wee hours of the morning. I also asked him whether his friends’ parents care about them. He told me I am being overprotective. Maybe some parents are very open minded and they let their kids go out and explore and get as much exposure so that their kids will be more street wise. It makes me wonder whether I am a good mother and whether my upbringing is right or wrong.

So I learn to let go and relax and also to trust him. I just have to pray that my son will be safe and that he will not betray my trust that I have placed on him.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Some dose of anxiety

What are the things that scare you? Me? The thought of my son riding his motorcycle!!! From the very beginning I have already made up my mind, I am not going to allow him to ride a motorcycle, no way!! Hey what news do we get on newspaper, I mean besides the sensational political issues?? Yes, you said it rightly, accidents happening almost everyday, irrespective of time, location etc etc!!!

Road accidents seem never really happened without involving motorcyclists and most of the accidents were serious if not fatal. So when my son reached the age to get his motorcycle licence, he started to pester me to buy him one. I said no. He kept telling me many of his friends were riding their motorcycle to school and he has to ride as a pillion on his friend’s bike. I relented after my brothers told me that as a boy, it is good for him to know how to ride a bike and also because of our heavy traffic, bikes are easier and faster. My brothers also told me that even if he does not ride a bike, he is on his friend’s bike as a pillion, the danger is still there. Finally he passed his licence and we got him a secondhand bike. Boy, did I regret my decision!

The minute he got his bike, he went out to modify his bike and the engine was so loud that each time he started the engine, my heart went boom boom boom! I do not know how he handled his bike or rather his bike manhandled him because within three months he got his bike, he got into so many road accidents that I developed a phobia whenever he gets on his bike. Each time he went out, my heart will start beating heavily and I will start praying. Can you imagine worrying from the moment he leaves the house on his bike till he returns home. Boy, at times its worrying for hours and too often till late nights!! And each time my handphone or my hubby’s handphone rang and we saw the call was from our son, we started to panic.

One morning he started his bike to go to school as usual. Then 10 minutes later I heard a familiar sound, it was his bike’s noisy engine. I knew something was wrong. So I quickly ran downstairs to see what happened and sure enough, he told me he skidded while making a turn. Gees, he must have been trying to imitate Michael Schumacher . When I looked at his wounds on his knees and his hands, shit I turned squeamish. The wounds were so deep and covered with blood. Of course I have to do the dressing for him lah. He still has the sense of humour to tell me his wound on his knee looked like “bak kua (barbequed minced meat)”. His joke turned me off bak kua because whenever I wanna eat bak kua I will think of his bloody wound.. yuckks!!! Subsequently my husband and I made a firm stand to sell off his bike after so many incidents of near heart attack.

After the bike episode, we got him a car. The first time he took us to my mother’s place for dinner which is about 10 minutes drive. His car’s air-conditioning was functioning well but somehow I was sweating profusely and my hands were gripping the handle of the door tightly. My feet were stepping on the floor board so hard (subconsciously applying the brakes of the car) each time I saw that he was driving too near the car in front. You can’t blame me for being a coward because my guts have shrunk after my son’s so many bike accidents. Though his driving was not bad for a boy who just got his licence and also the fact that he just drove on the road for a few times only . But the problem is at that time he seem to forget how to use the brakes… I think. I guess it was because during his driving lessons, his driving instructor was the one stepping on the brakes most of the time so he had no chance to use them (I am sure you all know that all the cars from driving schools are fitted with extra pair of brakes on the passenger seat where the instructor sits) So when he wanted to turn left or right, he just did not slow down or step on the brakes, he just made the turn with the same speed he was driving like F1 drivers. Can you imagine how the car swerved when he made the turning. Gosh, now you know why I was sweating profusely. When we reached my mom’s place, I told my son that I was sweating at the back seat and my hands were aching (from gripping the handle too hard) and my feet felt very tired (from stepping on the imaginary brakes so hard and so many times). He looked at me with a black face (due to our grumblings in the car) and asked me not to insult his driving.

The other day my husband was asking my daughter whether she wants to learn to ride a bike. I scolded him for giving her such a stupid idea. I am not gonna let my daughter ride a bike and have to go through the anxiety all over again. I think this time my heart won’t be able to withstand the “excitement” anymore and it will probably stop beating.

So you see being parents can be hazardous to health, especially when your kids are full of surprises!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Being a parent to one teenage son and one teenage daughter can be quite stressful and at the same time can also be fun. My son and daughter are 18 years old and 13 years old respectively. Parents in this hi-tech generation have to be all in one to your kids;- mentor (to guide and mould them), close friend (to listen to their problems), nurse (to make sure they take their medicines on time when they are sick and not to mention lack of sleep during the night waking up to check on their body temperature), driver (to drive them here and there), ATM machine ($$$), etc. Gone are the days where kids were very obedient and would not dare to go against the parents' wishes. During our younger days, we did not have the kind of freedom our kids are having now but then again the games we enjoyed were mostly outdoor activities like playing marbles, flying kites, etc which were more healthier unlike now our kids are exposed to all those hi-tech gadgets and devices. Kids now are glued to TV and computers most of the time.

Being a mother to teenage kids, you have to update yourself regularly on the trend like what is Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and also some of the teenage jargons. My children are quite proud that I have Facebook and a blog as they know I am their modern mom.

Do you know that the other day my daughter came home from her school and told me that during one of the lessons some of the students mentioned about Facebook and her teacher (who is in her fifties) looked at them with a puzzled face and asked " Where to get it? Can get it from which bookshop?" After the students' explanation, the teacher asked again "You mean it has nothing to do with books?" The students were laughing away at the teacher's puzzled look and her remarks(sorry teacher, if you happen to read this, no offense ya) . So you see you have to keep abreast with what is going on so that your kids can relate to you in many of their topics and their daily going ons.

After those trying years of waking up a few times during the night bottle feeding, changing diapers, toddlers tantrums, back to school blues, we are now faced with another set of anxiety.... handling teenage issues. Some kids grow up into troubled teens, rebellous teens and mixing with wrong company. As parents, we have to try to understand them and give them advice and guidance as they enter the teenage world. Teenagers can become confused with their body development due to their body hormonal changes. Some kids may develop faster than other kids their age and those who do not show any physical changes in their body may feel that they are abnormal. They will feel the pressure from their peers who have shown physical changes and they may become withdrawn. This is the time where parents play a big role in educating and advising their kids that its normal as there will be some late bloomers. At the same time, kids this age will become increasingly aware how their peers look at them and they will try their best to fit in. They will take on different looks and identities of their favourite actors or idols and also to please their peers so much so that they often result in conflict with their parents.

A few years back I saw my brother in law's son wearing a very big baggy pants which was the craze at that time amongst youngsters. The jeans was so big that it looked like it was gonna fall off his bottom. The jeans were hanging loose around his hips and he was practically dragging the jeans along when he walked. I looked at him and laughed and told my hubby how ridiculous he looked. Little did I know that one year later, it was my son who was looking ridiculous wearing the big baggy jeans. I kept telling my son he looked so ridiculous wearing oversized jeans as if he was wearing his father's pants and he kept telling me it was so fashionable.

After so many baggy pants episodes, thank goodness the fashion finally faded. Phew! The jeans were so big and heavy, imagine washing them was really a chore.