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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Parenting

I was on yet another "talk show" recently and the discussion topic was about the motivation behind girls whoring themselves out as social escorts or participating in model wannabe activities, in light of the recent underage prostitute scandal.

It's greed or fame, both the root of folly. I can't judge because i've my fair share of greed.

In the discussion panel, there were 2 young girls who allow themselves to be shot in lingerie, in a hotel room with an unknown photographer. One shared her experience of how the photographer had a hard-on while shooting her and even proudly reenacted her nonchalant wave to the photographer to go settle himself, she'll wait.

The host then asked about their parents. If they knew what they do (no, they don't) and if they become parents themselves, how will they monitor their children.

The girls said they would check up on their children more frequently than their own parents do.

I beg to differ.

As you grow older, having experienced childhood and life yourself, it is natural to want to pass this knowledge on to a mini-me.

If i am to have a daughter, this is how i'd parent her differently from my own upbringing:

Love and Affirmation
As a young child, i remember my dad was carrying me in the pool and God knows what possessed me, i kissed my dad on his lips! I got scolded and told not to do that again.

Born and bred in an Asian culture, I are not used to being hugged, kissed and told I'm loved by my parents. They do love me, but it is often shown in an unconventional way like nagging, belittling and demanding. Asian parents are not communicators, although that is changing with modern parenting in Asia these days.

Monetary Generosity 
As a child, i was taught to earn my own keep. With 50 new words i learn, i earn a new book, i was quite a bookworm. Then i was given a dollar each day for the school canteen, $2 then more as i grow. But i remember that my allowance is deducted each time i didn't wash my shoes, iron my clothes or do the dishes. This made me very frustrated to be penalized and it made me yearn for financial independence as soon as i can.

So i started my entrepreneur skills in school. I was 9 and i would buy country erasers, comics and all the things children like, brought them to school and sell it at a premium. At home, i even made my brothers pay me $0.50 for membership to my library. They actually hate reading but i used snacks to entice them. Get a membership, get a free Wang Wang.

At age 13, i started managing my own allowance by the month. By age 19, i stopped receiving allowance and started contributing to the household with my first salary of $1600.

A "hard" life with financial struggles, it made me very money-minded. My one and only time accepting a ModelMayhem request to shoot in swimwear for a fee was because i wanted the cash not for a new handbag but because i was flying out of the country to see my overseas boyfriend every month. Money really is a huge temptation.

Therefore as a parent, while i would teach my child financial management and to appreciate wealth, i will not penalize my child by deducting allowance.

Support
My family never came once to my Judo competitions nor any other competitions i participated. Neither did anyone send me off when i represented Singapore overseas at the age of 14. I was the youngest competitor yet the 19 year olds had their parents hugging them good bye at the departure gates.

That taught me independence at a very young age but scarred me in some way.

Later on as i joined the beauty pageants, i got to know to win, you need to invest. I didn't dare ask my parents for monetary support, knowing how frugal they are. My down-to-Earth parents don't believe in carving a future out of beauty pageants.

Both winners of Miss Singapore International and Miss Earth winners invested a minimum of $5000. The family support they had was enviable.

Children are considered to be our future, yet are denied power and influence in the present.


I think i'll let my child cut my hair some day!

By the way, the "talk show" i was in can be viewed in Singapore's first mobile news magazine app.
The mobile news magazine app called "Vice Ring Probe" (《新闻大事件系列~名人嫖雏妓案》), will present a complete picture of the recent news on the Singapore online vice ring in an easy-to-read news magazine format for the mobile smartphone platform. As a special promotion, the app will be sold at an introductory price of S$1.24 (USD0.99) for the first month, S$0.44 more than a print copy of Lianhe Wanbao. Promotion rate ends on 22 June 2012. For more information on download, click here.

The mobile news magazine app will also be available from the Apple App Store soon.

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