where nicster rants on issues of local interest, global interest and of absolutely no interest at all...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Parents Taking Responsibility - My take on the letter to minishorts

I was going to blog on this article in The Star today with regards to the Sothinathan case. As I logged on, I popped by PPS to see whats new with bloggers in Malaysia today, and came across this post from Mack's site, which lead me to minishorts' site, and this letter.

It's too early in the morning (10.30am on a Sunday IS early) but I'm a tad bit irritated. So excuse my rant.

The letter in question summarised. A 'concerned' mother wrote to minishorts expressing her dissapointment in the use of explitives and vulgarity in minishorts' site, which she discovered when her children visited the web site when minishorts.net was featured in The Star alongside other popular Malaysian bloogers last week. (Damn, what a clumsy paragraph).

Now, while I acknowledge the mother's motivation - the love for her two children, and for being 'there' enough to know what her children is up to, I question the mother's motivation in writing the letter in the first place.

What could possibly be the reason behind sending minishorts that letter? Does the mother expect minishorts to quit using explitive, or give up blogging?

And then the mother acknowledges that maybe the letter was more suited to the Editor of The Star instead.

The way I see it is this. The blog, and the newspaper, is essentially like a product. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Across the world, newspapers are known to tow certain political lines - people pick and choose which newspaper they want to read. Essentially, the paper one purchases is based on one's choice of content. The same may be said for this case. If you're upset about the content choice in The Star, start reading the NST.

Do what you need to do - but please don't impose your values on us.

I've always believed that a child's behaviour reflects that of the parent. It's heartwarming to see that in times when parents have little time for their children, that a mother like the one who wrote the letter is so concerned about her children's life. I truly believe in the presence of a parent in a child's life.

That said, I also believe that it is very easy for parents to brush off responsibility by blaming other factors in their child's behaviour (or misbehaviour).

This is not different to the issue of racial discrimination (or national unity, as we call it in this country) and sex education. Many people would agree that the youth of today are misguided (doesn't matter that those making these claims were probably pretty misguided in their own days), and many blame the education system, and that's exactly all they do: blame, blame, complain, blame.

No one ever thought to do something about it at home.

Yes, complain by all means - every system needs it balance and check, so if something is unsatisfactory, you need to make your voice heard. That is very important.

But until something is done, other alternatives have to be looked into. Because otherwise, that complain turns into blame - you're criticising someone for not doing something, but you're not willing to do anything yourself.

I guess I'm lucky to have been brought up by relatively progressive parents. My dad's philosophy has always been to be honest, tell us everything and how they feel, but to let us know of the consequences as well - and make sure we know that the only one who HAS to deal with the consequence is ourselves.

So yes, for example, my parents know that I use explitives, but I've been respectful enough (well, there was one or two incidents) not to use it in front of them and know to only use it with friends who can 'take' it. My parents know that I drink lots of alcohol, but know that I'm responsible now to not drink and drive *anymore*. And the list goes on...

Essentially, what people like the mother who wrote the letter need to realise is that a parent cannot change the world, but they can prepare their children to survive in it. Please, don't go around censoring people, or condemning, do something about it.

Sit your children down, talk to them and tell them why you think that it's wrong for them to view such sites. And let them make their choice. Teach them to differentiate what is right and what is wrong - instead of hiding things from them. God knows that there are much 'worse' sites out there that you don't know that they are accessing. Who knows what else they are up to (and if your children are too young to understand these things - there are a variety of child protection stuff on the net that you can use - but please, please don't think of your children as babies forever. If they know what sex means, they're probably ready to understand the consequence of it as with many other things).

It's not just charity that has to begin at home, so does education (and by this term, I don't mean purely academic). No one is more responsible for your child's education than you - not the Government, not the media and definitely not the schools. Do something about it instead of just complaining, your children will grow up to appreciate it more, trust me. My sisters and I are living proof.


Anonymous apcc said...

well said

1:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said.

There are many finger pointers in Malaysia, who do not know thier limits.

Are they going to thumb down everyone so that everybody have to satisfy thier expectation?

We are not letting them taking away our freedom of speech

a blog reader
-Life Feel
(am I the only xanga blogger on PPS?)

11:15 AM

Blogger KinkyPugKevin said...

found ya! :))

2:02 PM


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