Monday, December 05, 2011

breaking free

the SPM exams just concluded last week & my daughter got to hang out with her ex-classmates over the weekend. amidst the girl talk, they shared amongst themselves what their study plans were, or rather, what their parents have planned for them. most will move to KL/PJ to pursue A-levels/matriculation. one will go straight to UK for A-levels, another to AIMST in sg petani for science matric leading to dentistry & yet another will stay back for STPM.

so many options & they are spolit for choice. i was relieved to hear none will quit school.

although most will miss home when they further their studies, there is one particular girl who expressedly relishes the separation. she just can't wait to get away from her family. & who can blame her when her overbearing parents control every aspect of her life, even which friends to make or hang out with.

given the environment that we live in, with threats from perpetrators of crime in both the physical & virtual world, some restraint is necessary so that the kids do not wander too far from safe ground. & for parents like us, the wisdom rests in knowing where the limit lies, blur at times as it may be. too much restraint may instill a feeling of imprisonment & the child can't wait to break free; too much freedom results in not knowing where the limits are.

parenting is never easy, is it?

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
prov 22:6


Yvonne Foong said...

LOL! I have read novels with characters in their old age who still curse their parents for controlling and shaping them the way they are, or setting them up in a profession that they do not like but loathe doing but can't quit.

The expression, "The old man still controls me even from the grave".

There was this novel I read recently... when the man was a young boy, he jumped into the creek at the carpark and saved a girl from school from the hands of a rapist. The local newspaper called him a hero. The father, a defense lawyer, cursed it. He couldn't having his son being seen as better than himself and even ridiculed the wife for expressing pride over the son for saving the girl.

Since that incident, the father's treatment towards the son changed. When the boy grew up, the father sends him to law school and eventually made him a partner of the family firm with only two lawyers - father and son - so that the son will remain beneath him.

When the father died, his Wull revealed that the father had ordered for his estate - the savings to be put in trust for his son. The monthly interest that the trust earns to be given to the son for life. But under one condition. The son has to make sure that the law firm generates certain high amount of profit steadily. If the firm fails to meet the stipulated amount of profit in any three consecutive month, the trust shall be absolved and the money be donated to the charity foundation that the father also created with his will.

On hearing this, the son was enraged because his father still controlled him even from the grave. He did not want the old man to continue having a grip on him anymore, so he quit the law practice and became a farmer instead - to finally live as he chooses.

doc said...

that was one father who wouldn't go quietly!

but the son did the right thing to get away from his father's shadow.

reanaclaire said...

My girl also wanted to break free! Not that I chain her to the house.. maybe due to peer pressure and also knowing that once they finish their spm, the next step is college life away from home. Little did they know that they are no more pampered once they stay outside, everything have to be done by them.. actually it is a good experience too.. ok, lets talk about my girl.. sooner or later, she will realize the home is still the best cos almost everything at home is taken care of without she being stressed...
Once she stays outside, she might want to run home again.. or will she not? I hope not.. hahaha.. it is good for her to be independent.. i m not young anymore, i hope my kids will be able to care for themselves and for each other.. then even when I fade away, a smile will be on my face.. :)

doc said...


the grass is always greener on the other side. only when they are away from home will they realise what a great place home is, esp if it's a happy home.

of course your daughter will feel homesick at first, but she'll get used to being away.

it's part of growing up. you've got to sympathise with people who never left home - they don't know what it's like outside.

Yvonne Foong said...

BTW, I have yet to leave home as well.

doc said...


given your circumstances, you didn't have a choice.

besides, you have most of what you need in KL/PJ.

Cara said...

Doc: This post struck a poignant chord. When I was first sent to boarding school, I was ecstatic coz to me, this is it! freedom! However, the feeling soon wore off when I realised that freedom also meant responsibility. This came after being woken up alittle too many times by mates and having to sneak out to the edge of the school compound on freezing mornings to drag in the older girls who were reeking in drunken vomit.

doc said...


that was how the camaraderie was forged, wasn't it? i'm certain the term BFF was coined in a girls' boarding school.

i, on the other hand, felt wretched when i had to leave home for varsity, & always looked forward to the term breaks. home is where the heart is...ah, so cliche!