Author Liwen Y. Ho

Taking the “Chinese” Out Of Parenting

So … don’t you hate it when someone speaks the truth in love to you? 😉 Especially when said truth is kinda true? Yup, well, I had one of these moments recently when hubby said, “You sounded kind of harsh when you were talking to E. Like a Chinese parent.”

Argh. Okay, let me back up and explain the scenario. We were at Lowe’s looking at outdoor patio-type chairs. One of our family’s favorite pastimes is sitting on our front porch together eating snacks while playing Plants vs. Zombies 2, watching the hummingbirds come eat at our feeder, and meowing at stray cats.

Here’s our newest feline friend. 🙂

To do so though requires us to drag 4 of our dining room chairs outside, which then get left in the living room when we’re done, unintentionally creating an obstacle course. That’s why I had the brilliant idea of buying either a bench or foldable chairs for us to use outside. But as any parent knows, most kiddos don’t have the same definition of “brilliant” as their parents. So, there we were at Lowe’s browsing around when 5 minutes in, E started saying he was bored and could we leave, like 5 minutes ago? To which I replied in a frustrated tone, “There are times in life when you have to do things you don’t want to do. How are you going to survive if you’re not patient?”

E’s response? He flopped down in a chair and said, “I won’t! It’s okay if I don’t!”

Dramatic, much? 😉

Okay. So, maybe hubby was right. I did kinda have a “tiger mom” moment there. In hindsight, I realized I was playing the wrong hand or choosing the wrong strategy, however you’d like to call it. Instead, I should’ve said something that appealed to E’s relational nature, such as “I know you don’t want to be here, but it makes me very happy to see you trying to be patient. We’ll be done in ten minutes” and topped it off with a side hug (’cause kissing a 10-year old in public is not allowed!). I’m sure that would have been more effective, don’t you?

Sigh. So, lesson learned. Even though I am Chinese, I’m going to try to take the “Chinese” out of my parenting. That means saying no to being prickly, growly, and mean. And saying yes to being gracious, kind, and long-suffering (emphasis on the long!). 🙂

I’ve been obsessed with the singing group Voctave and their covers of songs. This one, “You Have More Friends Than You Know”, is just beautiful … except that there was one part that confused me until today. It’s the phrase, “Those who love you the most may need more time to grow”. I think that sums up my role as a parent perfectly. I do love my munchkins oh-so much, but I still have so much more growing to do as their mama. I don’t think I’ll ever be done growing this side of heaven, but I’m thankful God is not done with me yet.

What ways do you still need to grow?

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MzChele

Wait, thats what my mom sa… Ohhhh. XD Just kidding… 😉 I think you hit the key about responding from a relational perspective. The modern Chinese parenting is very task oriented, which often makes the kids (and adults) feel that they are not heard. This is definitely a good way for me to communicate also. 🙂

MzChele

Oops, I meant for me to learn to communicate relationally also.

Susan K. Stewart

I heard a speaker say that we need to teach our children to be patient, which most of the time means they are waiting for us.

How many times have any of us become impatient waiting in line at the grocery store for the person to get out a checkbook, write the check, get out the ID, …. or when traffic is slowed because of an accident, …. or when the pastor is droning on after lunchtime about the Sermon on the Mount AGAIN.

I really think a two prong approach is appropriate… a combination of “tiger mom” and the relational side. “There are times in life you have to wait quietly. This is one of those times. Thank you for waiting so patiently.”

Each of my examples has an element of relationship and patience. 1. The person in front of us is an elderly person who hasn’t succumbed to instant gratification. 2. Someone’s loved one is in that accident and appreciates the care and concern of others. 3. God put someone in that church service to hear HIS message.

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