Thursday, 5 March 2009

Communication

This week, we were jolted by the news of a brilliant undergraduate who slashed his lecturer and then jumped to his death. News later revealed that he had lost his scholarship. Once friendly and cheerful, he became withdrawn and kept the bad news from his parents and friends.

It had me thinking about communication. If he had told his parents about his problems, would he still be alive today? In his mind, he probably thought they would fly into a rage but to commit the ultimate act of suicide? His parents are devastated. His mum was inconsolable. At this point in time, they would rather have a dropout (in the worst case scenerio) than a dead son. They will be filled with regrets for the rest of their life.

I have always kept my channel of communication open with the kids. I don't want them to hide anything from me. Afterall, I've been through quite alot in life and I tell them no problems cannot be solved. Hence, I'm not that easily shocked.

Maybe they know my threshold is rather high, they don't keep their secrets from me. I know what they're up to, who their friends are and what they chat about. I don't snoop. They are quite happy to tell me. When it comes to bad news, they will warn me to brace myself first. After they have blurted out, I remain calm and give my opinion. Usually, what they deem as a 'huge' problem is a manageable one. Kids sometimes blow things out of proportion because of the lack of life experience, that's why parents are there to guide them.

Some friends think I'm too friendly with the kids that they climb all over my head. Well, in a way, they're right. But then again, their kids don't tell them anything. They keep their secrets from the parents. Maybe they fear their parents' reaction but it's a vicious cycle. They grow further apart and when the problem goes out of proportion, it becomes a ticking time bomb.

Of course kids must learn to manage and solve their own problems but there is no harm in knowing what they're going through. Sometimes a different perspective can be very helpful.

The parents must take the lead. Afterall they are the ones who bring up the child. They should listen and not pass judgement, over react and push the child away. Because once they've strayed too far, it becomes very hard to bring them back.

17 comments:

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

totally agree with you on relationship with kids. however i've different views about other parents.

many pushed the kid too far to forget that losing a child is worse than losing a job/scholarship/making them lose their face (in whatever way) etc etc. and in the end, the Ultimate happened and then they cry. my cousin, now the mother of 3 is so envious of my folks of having a doctor + scientist kids tat she kept pushing her kids to excel in studies. now 1 of her kid just completely gives up studying and she increased her storms. i asked her, wat if she goes suicide?

she paused, mulled for a moment, said, "i'll take note in future," and guess wat? she was back to her normal self 2 weeks down.

our dear human race. ha. ha. ha.

k@Ye_ said...

Me hope i can do the same with Claire too like what you do with ur boys!

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

k@ye_,

u boh-bian, u gotta do it. your claire too tok-gong liao! ngiak ngiak ngiak.

tell me next time she siong another kid, ok! i cant wait for the day she smacks some bully! kekeke.....

** me folks never taught us to stand up against bullies, so me siblings all learnt the hard way. =(((

Nick Phillips said...

I have to agree. Communication is the key factor to everything. If only people communicated more, the world would have a lot less problems ...

ckl said...

Totally with you on this one! When I read on my daughter's blog: "My mum is my best friend..." I can't stop smiling to myself :-)

Blur Ting said...

Fry - Yah, I must agree you all have done your parents proud!

Many parents get carried away with their expectations forgetting to put themselves in the kid's shoes.

Then again, it also depends alot on the nature and personality of the parents lah.

Blur Ting said...

Kaye - As long as you are able to keep check as you go along, she will be fine. Just ask yourself would you be happy if you were in her position, then you would know the answer.

Blur Ting said...

Nick - I sometimes fail to communicate properly with someone and let the bitterness fester inside me but once I start talking, the problem just goes away.

Blur Ting said...

CKL - You have done a great job. I understand that feeling too :-))

auntielucia said...

Hi Blur, May I make one correction? NTU said the 3 letters of warning were copied to the parents in Indonesia. Perhaps they couldn't read English or the letters never got to them. The real tragedy is that this kid didn't have family support when he needed it. Of cos most can survive without family support but this one couldn;t and didn't.

Blur Ting said...

Auntielucia - They may have received the letters and spoken to the son but they're there and he's here... he could make them believe everything's fine and keep his problems all to himself. Poor thing.

k@Ye_ said...

Blur ting, the day Claire is born, I told her that i want her to grow up happy & healthy... But i m just afraid that along the way, I might impose my unrequited hopes & expectations on her!

Will keep ur advice in mind! :)

Blur Ting said...

heh heh, that's how it always starts.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Oh what happened to the undergraduate is really sad.

auntielucia said...

Apologies fr extending this conversation but since u commented on the poor kid and so did I, I think it's only fair to alert you that friends of the deceased have complained abt the inferences generally drawn..

here is the link: http://wayangparty.com/?p=6033

Feel free to delete this post if u think it doesn't add to the "conversation".

Have a good week-end!

Blur Ting said...

Yah, best is to know the real truth. But still, the message about open communication between parents and kids remains loud and clear. I am also trying to work hard on that because I am also human and sometimes I forget.

Amel's Realm said...

Yeah, I've just heard from a friend about this incident. It's crazy indeed. And I totally agree with you about kids...after all, parents are parents who should guide them.