Saturday, 11 July 2009

The letter

I had an argument with YK last Sunday. It happened after I heard him chatting with my friend. Through my observation, he sounded like a discontented person. Everything, from his house to the school, is either useless or not good enough.

In the car, I questioned him about his negativity. He denied he was being negative, then he gave me the cold shoulder the rest of the night.

I'm easily affected by someone else's moods. His displeasure made me very uneasy. When he left for school the next morning, I sat down and wrote him a letter. I knew that I could put in all my thoughts in a letter, words that you can never get across during a fight. True enough, my letter was 6 pages long.

I spoke of many things, about how I'm always advocating positivity yet I seem to have an unhappy kid at home. What happened to that sweet, loving and compassionate boy I once knew.

I sat and admired my untidy but lively handwriting before placing the letter strategically on his computer keyboard, the first thing he would see when he returns home.

I felt ill at ease the entire day at work. Had I been too harsh? Teenagers like him are supposed to be angsty afterall.

When I got home, the letter was still there. He wasn't back yet. By then, I was no longer angry, maybe I should chat with him instead. I folded the letter and kept it in my handbag.

He was chatty during dinner and the letter was forgotten. Three days later, he spoke to me, "I've read the letter. I saw it earlier while I was looking for the camera in your bag."

"Oh, it was meant for you. Can you tell me why teenagers are so full of negativity these days?", I asked.

"Some of my friends in school are much more whiny than me!" Then he looked remorseful and asked, "How do you want me to change?"

For a start, I don't want to hear him saying the word "useless" again. He may use it appropriately on an object but not on a person.

I appreciate that bad habits can be hard to break. That day, I caught him telling his friend, "This Rusty does nothing but sleeps all day! He's so not useful."

Well, I can see that he's trying to change. It made me smile.

Anyway, his friend replied, "Rusty is useful, he makes people happy."


Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

it wasn't easy for us to get here (fully matured in oak casks) in our years with loving tolerant parents, so i think we shouldn't ask of the kids to grow up overnight.

my folks spilled tears many a times when me + siblings were in tat growing up years.

u all will make it, sister. *MAJOR HUG*

huier said...

it's often, tempting and easy to loose focus at times...some of us adults sway a little when problems occur...staying positive and optimistic is a challange then...nevertheless, YK shows fine maturity and attitude when he chooses to face the issue instead of walking away.

Petunia Lee said...

Unless one has gone through intense and prolonged pain, one almost never develops the emotional musculature for focusing on the positive. Such emotional discipline comes from training and practice. Both you and I have had a lot of training, it would seem. I used to make my daughter sit down EVERYDAY and write out a list of 10things that made her life beautiful. She was only 8 and already a big whiner. It's good that you train YK up in that way. Research in psychology shows that optimistic people go further in life, achieve more success, are more stress resilient and physically healthier. Way to go Ting, you're a very very wise mother.

Amel said...

I still remember being such a cynic in my younger days. Not all the time, but when it hit me, it hit me hard. Plus it didn't help that I was more an idealist than I am now...but I've outgrown my cynicism though it's still latent (have to be careful still) he he...

Glad you had the talk with YK. :-))))

The Real Mother Hen said...

If there is anyone who is so ready to acknowledge his fault and change, it will be YK! Yes I've a great deal of admiration for that young man. He was the one who was readily acknowledged and suggested to change when I told him that he had used the word Stupid on someone for more than a decade.

Blur Ting said...

Fry - Yes, I appreciate that we were once rebels too. I gave my parents lots of attitude growing up too.

Blur Ting said...

Huier - To be honest, trying to stay positive takes alot of effort even for me.

Blur Ting said...

Petunia - Very well said.

Blur Ting said...

Amel - I must say you're a very positive girl and I know you always try your best to keep it that way. Way to go!

Blur Ting said...

MH - Good thing you brought this up because he is really nice to him now. No more teasing or name-calling. YK has really done me proud in this area.

Amel said...

THANKS for your compliment, Blur! But the positive thinking thingie has been a learned thing. I was a rather pessimistic kid who kept everything inside. It helped having a very positive mother...but what also helped me the most was reading and practicing Zig Ziglar's "The Power of Positive Thinking"...I think it was when I was at the uni. He said that whenever a negative thought comes out, you have to come up with at least ONE positive thought. Your life can't be so bad that you can't even think of ONE positive thought.

So it's like a game of tennis...when one ball of negative thought comes to hit you, you have to hit it back with one positive thought. I practiced it...and the more I do it, the easier it is to find more positive thoughts. :-)))) That was my turning point. :-))))

Jenny Eshjey said...

Dear Blur Ting,

Sometimes we can't be too harsh to our kid and sometimes can't be too soft to them. It's hard to teach kid nowadays but I assure you, your boy still a good boy. Don't worry. You must be positive always and not think of the negative side. My kids sometimes drove me up the wall but when I'm think their positions they in, then I will not angry with them anymore. We must buy books that taught us how to communicate with the kid nowadays...Last time I also bought some books but all the books were in flood! So I forgot what the name of the books...sorry.

Stay Happy To Stay Healthy!

by Jenny Malaysia.

Blur Ting said...

Amel - You're a source of inspiration!

Blur Ting said...

Jenny - Thanks for your advice. Yes, we are constantly learning and changing as we go along. Always look on the positive side.