Due to the preparation of school exams, I had been rather busy and have been putting off many many chores at home. Yup, home is a mess on some days, as if a typhoon swept through it. Of course, on tuition days, I’ll scurry to sweep the hall to make it look more presentable. 😅 Oops.
Now that exam fever is over for my students and I have some down time, I thought I had better get back to sewing back buttons on the school uniform of my elder boy.
As I threaded the needle through the button, it kinda reminded me that parenting is more than just a means to an end, aka, getting good grades, landing oneself in his dream job.
Parenting IS a journey and at every step, guidance in the form of instiling values, showing love, demonstrating care, teaching skill and thought is crucial. If you’re thinking what I am, at the end of the day, these will culminate to preparing the child to be an independent and self-assured individual, confident and values-driven. It takes time, never a one-off effort. ‘Being there’ is probably what the child will benefit most from his parent.
It may seem insignificant to thread a needle through a button, just like how ‘small’ an activity it is to spend 15 minutes with a child each day (for working parents). But in every thread, it only serves to reinforce the button onto the shirt, over and over again. The threading (bonding with the child) only gets stronger and the end product would be a shirt with buttons sewn on that would be lasting enough to last through school. Never underestimate the power of that 15 minutes.:) With stronger bonding comes a smoother channel of communication between parent and child, and hopefully more teachability as a result.
In parenting, it involves threads and threads of reinforcing and reminding a child of sound values as well as acceptable norms. Such is modeled by the parents day after day. The child picks them up through observing their parents and ingrain some of them into their personality.
While the buttons on a uniform are presewn when bought, one has to always check if they’ve been fastened properly, whether they are coming off, whether they’ve dropped off. Children are impressionable and lose their way from time to time and if we are out of tune to their lives, it becomes difficult to intervene. I don’t mean to say we should be helicopter parents but keeping tabs and knowing what goes on in our children’s lives feed us information on how to guide or advice them on in the choices and challenges they face.
And I end up knowing that all buttons on his shirt will remain secure for a long time.