Friday, September 22, 2006

Cool mum Vs My Mum

Its unbelievably unfair that some mums are cool and some mums are not. I am talking like this because I have just met one of the coolest mum in the world at my friend's place just now. She is really cool. I don't know how many times I going to reiterate that but she is way better than my mum. I wish my mum was half as good as his mum and I will go to church everyday and praise God.

I decided to analyse this issue in depth here on my blog. I came to a conclusion after an engaging talk with my friend. That is, Singaporean mums just cannot make it. Singaporean mums are fussy, out of touch with their kids and adopts a very top-down approach towards the treatment of their kids.

I wonder why. Firstly, fussy. When my friend's mum(who is from Taiwan by the way came over to his place, the surrounds were in a mess. When I say mess, it means the Singaporean Mum definition of mess. A piece of clothing out of place, cups lying around in the kitchen, beer bottles accumulating outside in the balcony etc.. Surprisingly, when my friend's mum saw all these she didnt say anything. In fact, she was so cool about it, she praised my friend for being a master cook in the kitchen. She striked up small talk with us like we were her best friends. No interrogation, no smart ass remarks and no criticism.

Even when it came to food, never once did she volunteer to help. Instead, she allowed us to run the show and ate whatever we cooked. Super remarkable. I can already imagining my mum kicking us out of the kitchen the moment she enters the house and whipping up the meal herself. Or, criticizing our food heavily. Saying that it is not up to her standard, not the way to cook it, taste like shit or like my friend's classic example, 'eh, I send you to Australia to study or to learn how to cook?'

Thats how sad the situation of Singaporean mums are. Of course, I am not generalising but most Singaporean mums are like that. They are fussy, interrogative and dominating. They are never receptive or even appreciative of their children's work. Small talk is a big no-no. Conversations are always on the line of 'Study already anot?', 'How's your results today?', 'Why did you do so badly?', ' Where is my kitchen knife?'

I assume that is why Singaporean kids fare worse than their overseas counterparts in terms of life skill. Yes, we are smart and we can thrash all of them in maths and science olympia. But that is only because we are coerced, whacked and scolded into doing so. We are slaves and driven by a demanding slave driver where failure means no playstation, no going out or basically no civil liberties. Unlike my friend's mum, cool as she is, bringing all the tidbits and Jay Chou posters. My mum knowing who Jay Chou is? Higher chance that I will be president of Singapore.

Which brings me to my second point about being out of touch with their kids. Which mother in Singapore actually goes out and buy Marmee instant noodle snack for their kids? Which mum actually drinks wine before dinner? Which mum actually condones swearing? I know my mum doesn't. But my friend's mum is cool about it. I am not sure if she is being diplomatic(it doesn't seem so), but in her eyes we are just children. Independent and capable children that can't put a foot wrong. She takes the effort to close the generation gap. She is assertive but never demanding and we respect her for that. For that, we listen to what she says, we learn from her experience and we enjoy her company. How many of us can actually say that we share that type of experience with our mum back in Singapore? For our mums, it's just arguing, scoldings, whackings and 'I am your mum, you are my son/daughter, you must listen to me' treatment.

This is where they are too top-down in their approach. You are my son/daughter, so you must listen to me. What type of warp logic is that? No matter if I am wrong, my word is the bible. Does that ring a bell? Of course it does. We are condemn to a life of kiddie treatment. Our intellect are constraint and the government wonders why there are so many A*star scholars but no famous Singapore scientist. Ask yourself, when was the last time your mum praise you? The day you actually took the first step as a baby? Very likely. Like that you tell me how to nurture as a famous scientist? That is why their expectations is contradicting in their manner of treatment towards their kids. They expect that harsh, top-down treatment is the best for their kids to develop into the ideal adult that they envision. They don't give us space to experiment, explore and learn. Everything has to be their way. Their way can only bring us this far, the rest is up to us but by time we reach that crossroad, our minds are too retarded to further progress and we end up treating our kids the same way.

It is sad really. How Singaporean mums have failed their kids. They are fussy, out of touch and too reliant on the top-down treatment. With no space to grow, kids will end up as retards and you don't need a psychologist to tell you that. Sadly, my mum can't understand that. 'You can't cook', 'Your results are so poor', 'Don't waste time playing soccer', 'Study, Study, Study, poor results will get you nowhere', 'Don't smoke, Don't drink', 'Lead a life of a monk', 'What girlfriend. No girlfriend, you are still young.'

Those lines ring loud and clear. I am still young. Yes, I am. You are the old and experience. Mum knows best. But why doesn't she know how come her son is not succeeding in life? Typical Singaporean Mum.

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