Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A path less travelled

Posted by Dawn at Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Since late last year in December when I started my children on swimming lessons, so many thoughts and images ran through my mind. My children are 5 and 6 years old now and for the longest time, I have been hesitating to sign them up for lessons. One of the reason was I had way too much on my plate and too tired to take them for classes when I was still working as it takes commitment not only for the children but more for the parents as they are the one who is going to drive it.

And the other reason for this hesitation is because of my past. I have started swimming at the age of 3 and started competing since I was 6 years old. Represented the Republic when I was in Primary 4 till I was in JC1. Life as a swimmer from young was not an easy path. It was gruelling, and many times, I just had to either play sick (which most of the time didn't work) or just grit my teeth, wipe my tears away and just do it. I remember there was this one time I saw lightning through the water I was swimming in and also another time when I cut my finger really deeply that I still had to just wrap it up and continue training by swimming with one hand. That was the kind of discipline(if you like to put it) and commitment we had.

Training in Chinese Swimming Club where everyone of your friends also went through the same thing.Waked up early for training at 5:30am till 730am. Rushed to school. Allowed to skip the first lesson of school. Then training again from 4pm-7pm. Then rushed for tuition. My meals were mostly in the cars as I gulped down breakfast and dinner. Of course, there are benefits to what I went through and how I have turned out but would I want this on my children?

So most of my friends who knew me since young all wonder why I have not started my children on swimming and why am I not teaching them on my own? Since December, I signed them up for lessons at my nearest public pool which I found to be reasonably priced for my pocket and my children's experience now is so different from what I went through. Whenever I see them, I start to wonder what kind of children I want them to be- enjoying what they do but end up maybe not as good as they can be or just get a fierce coach, force them to train so that they can be stretched and be good in something...

To be honest, on the contrary of what my friends think, I am not a good swimmer. I just end up doing well because I swim so much. I am sure any child who went through what I went through, would also end up being good in swimming.

Aside from swimming, the other thing was which school should my children go to- branded or neighbourhood? I had the ability to send my children to a branded school since I was from there and I thought it would be fuss free as I do not have to go through any balloting.

Coming from Tao Nan, Raffles Girls' and then Temasek JC, obviously I would send my children to branded schools. Right?

I have never felt stress being in those schools even though I was not a bright student. I enjoyed my education in all those schools- the environment was good and conducive. That was what I wanted for my children too.

So for the longest time, I was dead set to send my children to Tao Nan since I had the opportunity...so why not? But when crunch time came, I opted for a school nearest my house- a neighbourhood school. I do not have a car so it is just a way more practical decision since it is just 10 mins walk from my house.

So the key question that has been asked- is every school a good school? In my opinion, no but all schools do strive to be a good school but I think given the culture and bad reputation of some neighbourhood schools, it is quite difficult and challenging for them to be a good school.

Do I worry now that I placed my child in a neighbourhood school that he may end up bad? On the contrary, I am happy and glad I did. He is a happier learner in this school and hopefully with the teaching and values I have been imparting at home, it is a good foundation for him to withstand most obstacles or temptations he faces in school.

As for which secondary school, I already have in mind but once again, when the time comes, who knows what I may choose?

So the questions I have been asking myself is whether I am short changing my child by sending them to a public pool for swimming lessons with some coach who most likely swim slower than me or when I am sending them to a nearby neighbourhood school where most people would not even have known the existence of such a school in Singapore.

In conclusion, all I want to say is this-no matter how hard I try or not try, we will never be perfect and we can never dictate how our children will turn out as a result of what we do now with them. All I can do is trust the One who created them, who loves them more than I do as I surrender myself to Him.In His time, God will make all things good. So why fret and worry so much?

For the record, my children is happy learning swimming in a public pool and enjoying their school!


Like to end off by sharing what I read one day during my quiet time.


The parenting journey is full of mistakes. We will never be perfect. But, we can be comforted by the fact that God knows us, He knows the mistakes we make, and He loves us just the same. He doesn't expect perfection.

God expects us to offer our parenting as an act of worship. When we renew our minds by internalizing His truth, and parent according to His plan for success, He is pleased. You know what this is like — when your child presented you with a project ...they made you hung it on your wall or refrigerator because it represented their love for you. It wasn't the artistic excellence you prized, but the motivation behind it. It is no different for God.

Renew your mind and parent your kids as a spiritual act of worship to please God.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:1, 2 NIV)


Mamabliss on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 said...

well said, Dawn! Thanks for sharing.

Dawn on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 said...

Am glad I finally let this out my chest..have been thinking about this so long to find a time to think and pen it down. :)

Anonymous said...

Have been a silent reader. Love this post very much n i understand what u mean by ' happy childhood'

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