Truth in Love

I like controversies.

In fact, I think controversies are healthy challenges for a parent to have to deal with. When bringing up children, societal beliefs and practices throw plenty of curve balls at a parent, so the challenge is to conform or to question?

Controversies are also very useful to me as an individual. As it serves to question my convictions and make me ask questions, “Society is claiming this, my friends also believe in what society says. But what exactly do I believe in?”

Beliefs in a society have become a variable these days. One moment, psychology or health experts can say that a conclusion is drawn after extensive research, but a few years later, the conclusion is different after new findings are discovered.

To further complicate things, there are mindsets. The common thought these days is like this, ‘Nothing is really true of false, it is depended on the point of view that you look at them. Even if you believe in your truth, it will be rude to say that the opposite is a lie. You need to be tolerant of others’ point of view.’
LoveandTruthquote1.jpg Disagreements will still exist with Tolerance
I agree with the tolerance bit, except that the disagreement still exists, which explains why there is a need for tolerance.

The definition of tolerance is ‘the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behavior that one dislikes or disagrees with.’ I can tolerate the existence of things that I do not agree with, but it doesn’t mean that I have to agree with it, or not express my disagreement.

Society tells us that it is not smart to make unpopular statements, or to say things that will seem to discriminate a group of people, especially if they are friends or relatives, who have differing opinions from you do. Make too many statements and it will look like you hate, or it is fear that motivates your comments.

We should also not interfere in others’ in their freedom of expression to love. If you point out that the pride of life and lust of the flesh is a problem, then you are being too judgmental and self-righteous. Who made you a judge anyhow, especially since you have your own problems too. We are not to protest against changing societal mindsets, if not, be considered a bigot.

Is Sincerity and Love Enough?

Society will be so much better, if only, there was more sincerity and love.

Let’s put it this way, quoting the words of Charles Spurgeon; ‘If a person traveling North, was really sincere that he was going South, will his sincerity bring him to the destination he wanted to go? Or if a man starved himself, while he sincerely believed himself to be feasting, how long would it take him to get fat?’

You might see that these things are contrary to the laws of nature in the first place. Likewise, many things in nature are fixed, who are we as mere man to want to change nature’s laws to suit our lust and fancies? Love and sincerity in believing a lie, will not change the lie into truth.

Like what I always tell K, every choice and decision we make have a consequence. If we are honest and sincere in keeping the road towards ruin, the natural end of the road will be eternal destruction.
LoveandTruthquote2.jpg Love Means Telling The Truth
As for love. Love means telling the truth even when it hurts.

It’s always easier to keep our mouth shut and not risk rejection or confrontations. But I believe in this saying, ‘sometimes the most loving thing a person can do is to wound a friend with the truth’.

As a parent, there will be no short of opportunities to meet controversies in the face and examine what does truth means to us.

Truth cannot be relative for a parent. Societal beliefs and practices are too wavering and fickle for parents to depend on as the final authority. Who will pay the price of the fickle-minded society, whose counsel for parents and their children, may not be for their ultimate good? So what truth are you convicted by?

Our children will pay the price of our choice.

Truth will be tested by time, and it will endure plenty of oppositions. If you are a Christian parent like me, who holds by the truth and the Word of God, how willing are you able to share your stance, despite much disapprovals? Especially when society is adamant to change natural laws according to their fancies and lust.

Do you fear men approvals or do you fear God? If fearing men is more important, then it is probably time to ask if you were truly convicted by your faith in God in the first place.

Ultimately, the truth will prevail and I have made my choice as a parent and as a Christian. LoveandTruthquote3

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Solo-Parenting a 7 year old Boy

I have to admit that when I found out I was having a little boy, it was with a mixed bag of emotions. I would very much like to say that I was moved by the miracle of life and cried happy tears when my child was placed in my arms.

But the very first thing I said to my hb when I saw K was, ”Why does he look like that?”

Well, this shallow mom have repented since.

Lately with the recent adjustments at home, I have been reflecting about my part of being one-half of a parent to K. I used to think that the relationship between same-sexed parents and children; i.e.. mother-daughter or father-son, are extra special. However, I found out that the relationship that forms the child, are the mother-son, father-daughter relationships.

I am not just saying this since I have a son, nor do I want to downplay the importance that Dads have on their son being role models. But this combination it seems, is the ideal parent-child combination for single parents.

I may not fit into a profile of a single parent, since hb and I are still happily married. Nonetheless, the solo-parent status applies to my parenting life right now.

I asked K this question recently, “Do you think you have a brave-heart?”

His response to me was, “No, I have a chicken-heart, as I cry easily when I feel hurt and I am sometimes afraid of insects.” Hb used to say that K was being ‘chicken-hearted’ when he got too sensitive, or don’t show enough courage for challenges that he encounters.

My reply to him was, “Not chicken-hearted. You have a tender heart, that can be brave and courageous as God is with you.”

I believe I still can be the parent who will let him understand what I see and admire most in men. Build his confidence, demonstrate that actions have consequences, help him gain a tender heart, and teach him how to love God with all his heart.

7 year old 1

I am K’s mom, I am not his dad. And I will never expect to be both, as I think I will fail quite miserably.

My focus as K’s mom is to build a heart connection with him, and will never try to be the dad that I can never be.

I guess I am still in a good place when it comes to being a parent. Even if I means that I am the one who has to pick up dead lizards and get rid of any insect that find their way into our room.

Felt Bunny Softie 1

P.S. When K was a baby, I used to be so envious of people who were able to make beautiful quilted blankets for their babies. I still haven’t got around making a blanket for K, since he doesn’t have a need for one anymore.

I have found the next best alternative; softies. This isn’t the first softie that I have made for him, as he still has the wonky-looking cat softies I made for him 3 years ago. But it is the first personalized softie complete with glasses and his first name initial.

Just one of the many reasons why I love to do hand-mades, as this will be the only softie bunny uniquely like this one.

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The Problem with Technology

I am worried about how children deal with technology.

As a blogger mum and someone who spends half her life in a day online multi-tasking checking Facebook, updating statuses, emailing, texting, googling, while working online all at the same time. Technology has been a very useful and helpful invention, but a dangerous one as well, if we do not make an effort to regulate our usage of it.

The past week, two challenges have been thrown in my path to highlight the problem of technology and to test how I should manage it with my child.

Screen Shot 2014 04 10 at 6 39 30 PM

Minecraft or Nightmares?

The first one was a call from the teacher who called me one evening, to ask if K was going through any difficulties at home. Her feedback was K seemed listless and could not focus in class for the past 2 weeks. He didn’t used to be like that and she wondered if his changes in behavior had anything to do with some issues at home.

My first assumption was, his mind could be distracted by plans for the upcoming weekend, thinking of things to build in the ‘Minecraft’ game on PS3.

After the call, I told K that I just spoke to his teacher on the phone, and he burst into tears. I calmly asked him why he was facing this problem in school and probed if it was his obsession with Minecraft that he was distracted with, or was it something else?

He told me that he wasn’t able to keep up in class as he has been feeling really tired, since he has been waking up numerous times at night due to disturbed sleep. I recalled that the past 2 weeks, he has been going to bed close to 9.30-9.45pm daily. And deep into the night, I have been woken up by his sleep talking and watched him tossed and turned in his sleep.

So was it his distraction with Minecraft or disturbed sleep affecting him in school? We prayed to give him restful sleep that night, and I will be evaluating his time spent on PS3 and iPad on the weekends.

He spends an average of 1.5 – 2 hours each Saturday and Sunday playing on games PS3, or watches Mindcraft videos on iPad. On weekdays, he is not allowed to play games and watches about 1.5 hours of TV a day.

Should I be reducing his time spent on the weekends on the gaming console and iPad further? It is tempting, but I think I will be exploring other measures before deciding.

 

The One with the Naked Women on Youtube

The second one was with a neighbour whom K has been playing with for the past week, a Korean American boy, J.

It is a routine for K to visit the estate’s playground 3 times a week from 5 – 7pm, however since mid last week, J (who rarely joins in with the rest of the children in the playground) came to our door on evening, asked if K could go to his house to play. Seeing that he was a year younger than K, I allowed K to go to his home twice last week, without supervision

Yesterday early evening, J came to our door with his domestic helper. His domestic helper said that J’s mum was very angry as she found a video on her iPad of ‘Naked women’ and implied that K was the one that influence J to see this, since J cannot spell.

A convenient assumption as the older child will always be blamed for influencing the younger one, and what a way to acquaint yourself with your child’s friend’s mum…

Nakid

I questioned the boys, both denied it. The exchange between the two boys consisted of K’s teary and worked up response of, “He was the one with the iPad, why would I want to see naked women. He went to the closet, ask me to go inside with me and watched the iPad. I want to vomit when I see that!” While J, said with a straight face said, “It is not me, I am not lying. He is the one.”

I told J’s domestic helper that the iPad cannot be used by a child unsupervised and moving forth, K will not be visiting their home and vice versa for J. If J wants to meet K, he can see him downstairs at the playground.

After they left, I asked K when this happened and why he didn’t tell me about it. He said the incident happened when he was in J’s room. J got the iPad, climbed into the closet and told K to go with him. Then told him, “This naked woman video is so cool.” According to K, he closed his eyes while J finished watching the video on the iPad. K didn’t tell me about the incident as he was afraid that I would scold him for that.

Now, as a parent, will you choose to trust your child? Or someone else’s report of your child? Hearing K’s side of the story, he is either telling the truth or a really good liar.

 

Could this be my child’s problem?

K isn’t an ‘angel’ but I understand him well enough to know that ‘Naked woman’ pictures will have no appeal for him. I don’t think he is even curious about this, since he has seen pictures of this nature through paintings and art. We have a barely dressed woman picture on the wall in the bathroom, another statue of the same kind in our weekend home, both of which we have discussed about before.

And supervising his use of iPad and online, the ‘viewing history’ for the device has never shown that he has ventured into videos or website of this nature.

His time online is so limited, that I think he would spend his time seeing the blocky, half naked Minecraft characters in their ‘printed-hearts’ underpants, than real-life photos of barely dressed women.

Nakid1

I chose to trust my son and this incident confirmed that K should stop going to J’s house.

If J’s mum thinks that my child is the one with the problem, so be it. I just hope she manages this with her son and not conveniently sweep it under the carpet. I don’t think she would accept any form of advise from me to supervise J’s usage of her iPad, since her conclusion is that K is the one influencing her child.

 

The Problem with Technology

Now I wonder, why would 6-7 year olds be interested in pictures of naked women?

Unsupervised use of technology is likely the culprit for this issue, since video pictures of naked people can be randomly featured in Youtube without a child knowing how to search for it in Google.

In a poll done in October 2013 about the use of internet, 94% of parents interviewed said that they allowed their kids unsupervised access to at least one device or online service like email or social networks. Most parents allow their kids access to gaming consoles and computers at eight eight. When it comes to kids under the age of seven;

- 41% of parents allow them to use a gaming console unsupervised

- 40% allow unsupervised access to a computer

- 29% of parents unsupervised use of a mobile apps

Spending half of my life online daily, I am fully aware of the dangers that lurk online for a child, as well as the risk with children being addicted to gaming or handheld devices.

Apart from limiting his time spent on the gaming console or iPad. It will be hard for K to get rid of me while he uses any technology device, at least for the next decade, since I will be watching him with eagle eyes to ensure that he never dabbles with questionable sites or videos.

 

Do share! Do you supervise your child’s use of technology? How many hours does your child get to be on the iPad or on the gaming console daily? How old do you think the child should be before parents can cease to supervise their online / gaming usage? 

 

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