We live in a time of exceptional opportunities and overwhelming resources. Ideas bombard us, and our children, from all directions. But which ideas can we trust? Can parents have tons of information, yet little increase in their parental effectiveness? It seems so.
Many twenty-first century parents feel like rats in a maze— running, doing, achieving, earning. But even with all that rushing about, many also feel confused and unfulfilled. As American comedienne Lily Tomlin said, “The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you still feel like a rat.”
If you don’t live in Southeast Asia, you might not be familiar with kiasu. But here we know it all too well. It is a Chinese word for a win-at-all-costs attitude. It defines Singapore, and has quickly spread into other Asian countries. Kiasu means you must be first. Second place is no place.
If that attitude controls you, you risk becoming a hyper-parent. Here’s a brief description of hyper-parents. See how well it fits you.
Are You a Hyper-Parent?
- You often negatively compare your children with other children. That means you may never allow yourself to see the good in your child, only the problems.
- You feel you are in competition with other parents to raise the best and brightest child.
- You can always find time for one more tuition class but no time for sitting with your child, talking, or playing.
- You never turn off your smart phone, and that’s a dumb idea. Some people have more than one. How electronically connected do we really have to be?
- You are always doing two or three things at once. Multi-tasking is necessary, especially for a busy mom. But the danger comes when our lives are stuck in the spin-cycle, like a broken washing machine.
- You are often distracted, seldom focused on the present moment. Sure, every life has distractions. But some of us let them shape our entire life. When that happens we try to squeeze the important things into the tiny spaces between the distractions.
- You have no energy to discipline your child. Saying yes is always easier than saying no.
- You value your child’s achievements more than strong character and healthy relationships.
- You often feel you are not doing a good job at anything.
- You buy new programs, new methods, new products, whether proven or not.
- You scold and bully often, but listen seldom.
Are you a hyper-parent? Then the rat race has you in its grip. You could even be raising little rats that will grow up into big rats, racing through mazes without any idea of what is really important.
Have you had enough of the rat race? Do you want to get out? It can be done. The material in this series has helped thousands of parents find a better, more effective way to love and nurture their children. It is not meant to answer every question, about every possible challenge. There are shelves of books and thousands of internet sites that will do that. This booklet is designed to give you just three ways to look at your child. It is small enough and simple enough that anyone can read it, but powerful enough to make a positive difference in you and your children.
The great news for parents is this: God can make you a better parent than you are, and you will love the changes! So will your kids, and so will all the people that interact with your kids: teachers, neighbors, extended family members, now; employers, spouses, neighbors and friends later. All will thank you for taking the time to make a positive difference in your child’s life.