Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nurturing a Child Today

The world is filled with screwed up people and more often than not, it stems from one’s upbringing, attributed to one’s parents within one’s own home.

I felt for Dave Pelzer in his biography – A Child Called It, A Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave. And following that, his brother’s biography called a Brother’s Journey. I can’t, for the life of me, understand how a mother can empty a bottle of Tabasco sauce down her son’s throat and laugh when he cries and choke. Or put bleach and other chemicals into a bucket and lock her son in the bathroom for an entire day to breathe in those toxin fumes. Or not feed him some for days while the rest of the family members feast at the dinner table. And when the child is desperate enough to steal food to eat, she forces him to puke it all out again.

These are truly horror stories which many children out there endure. Some of them, not knowing any better, feel that this is life.

Many of these children with abused childhood will perpetuate the circle and do those exact things to their own children. And these children will do it to their children. It’s not right but it’s a vicious circle which is a reality.

Yet some of these very children who have abusive childhoods grow up to be loving, responsibly, caring adults. That to me is truly amazing. How do you love again after living out a horror story for so many years of your developing life? What more by people who are supposed to love and protect you.

I have heard stories from friends which I wouldn’t term as abusive per se but it would be close to the start of emotional abuse.

A friend, when she was much younger, had to deal with a mother who was depressed. Of course she was too young to know about that disease then. And 20 years ago, depression wasn’t even recognized as an illness. It’s not like it is prominent now here in Malaysia but at least there is more awareness, info from other countries and more people are not afraid to go to a shrink. Yes, there are shrinks in Malaysia and if you need one, contact me and I’ll refer you to a really good one. I’ve seen her do wonders. Her mother was suicidal and once told her that if she (the mum) died, she (the mum) would bring her with her to the other world. Won’t you be scared if you were a young child and your mother said that to you? Of course my friend was scared but she was close to her mum so she told her mum “Okay, I’ll go with you”. What would have happened if her mum did actually take her own life and my friend’s too?

These are stories which we read in the papers and it’s not that uncommon.

Then I have another friend who’s in his 20s. I find him to be a good, caring, attentive person who has much more filial piety than me. Yet his dad told him that he will never amount to be a good man, a good husband and a good father. What of fucked up thing to say to your own son! Your role as a parent is to discipline your child. And when your child becomes his own man, you need to guide, advice and encourage him. But all the decisions he makes from then on are his own. Don’t chide him for not doing what you want him to do. He may be your son but it’s not your life he’s living.

Maybe I’m not a parent and am should not judge the parent’s of these friends. However, as an outsider from a neutral point of view, I feel that it is just so wrong! If it was a stranger, you can just walk away and choose to ignore their words even though they may sting for a while. But the wound goes 10 times as deep when it’s from a parent.

Being a parent is way too easy. It’s being a good parent that’s tough. There should be classes and exams for potential parent’s before they are allowed to bring a child into this world. The exam should be based on intelligence, love, compassion, patience and competency. And that’s just for Lesson Number 1.

I’m sure there are many reasons why a person would want to become a parent. I have not found mine yet but I know that before I make that decision, I need to be sure and believe that I can be the best parent I can possibly be. There is no guarantee of this of course, but I need to believe and see it happening before I get there.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m struggling with the idea of being a parent. It can take just one word for your mouth or a single action to screw up a child for life. But it takes many to nurture a child who grows up to be an adult who will become an example to society, a good friend and the son or daughter you wanted to be for your parents. It’s not an experiment and there are no restart buttons. Can I bring up a responsible, caring, righteous, kind, loving human being into this world?


Uni said...

Don't worry bubble! If you are aware of that kind of problem, then i guess you have no problem to be a good mum.

Bubbles said...

That's what many friends tell me. But it's still worrying. It's such a huge responsibility that I feel that I've not done justice to my unborn child if I didn't think about this thoroughly.

Hey married woman! Time for u to start thinking eh, ;)

Uni said...

Yeah. But I would like to enjoy my vacations. Probably will start working 'it' out by early next year. :P You Gan bade too ya!!

aruri said...

My mother was suffering from depression for a period of time during my younger days. I kept myself together and developed stone-ears as the result of her constant hurling of hurtful abusive words. I wonder how I came out alive. Must be the prayers.

Now, I am a loving mother, and hope to be one for the rest of my life. I believe nobody is a bad parent unless he/she is mentally unwell. Nurturing and loving your own child is the most natural thing in this world, and the only thing that can change that is a mental disease. Just like any other crimes...

You'll be a great mom, dear!

Bubbles said...

Women can also be bad mothers when they are not ready to be in that position and to take on the responsibility. Sometimes they are forced into it. And sometimes they feel that their bilogical clock is ticking and it's now or never, only to realize that their bodies may be ready but their hearts and minds are not. I've known a lot of friends who had to live with depressed parents (somehow it's usually always the mother. Wonder why that is) or parents who are mentally unstable. There are no easy solutions to those situation and every child or family may deal with it in different ways. I am just thankful to God that my friends who had to endure it, turned out normal and happy. Here's to happy families and good parenting.