If I was a parent now…

Prologue

I always believe that one of the greatest thing or close to being a superhero is being a Parent. I really want to be a father to two beautiful children with my wife in the future, it would be a blessing.

Raising children is like ushering in the next generation that would surpass us indefinitely but one question has been pondering my mind, What should I do when I become a Dad? wait what? Why should I even be thinking about this? I’m only 22, I have my whole life ahead of me.

I always always believe that we should live in the future and not the present to understand how our present actions could impact the future, therefore; observation plays a key role.

Before moving forward, these are my key observation of people around me and parents that I have unconsiously or conciously observed and a little bit about myself growing up.

Introduction

If I were to put myself or you in a situation where you are currently a parent to two kids, how would you raise them up? ever thought about that? I have. There are 3 strong things that I absolutely want to teach my kids.

Number 1.

Learning to code. Coding isn’t merely a mean to build products but it ultimately makes us think logically, it will make our kids ask Why?, a lot. Many people associate coding as boring and nerdy, even some people I know can’t read codes, let alone understand the importance of it.

Coding is pretty daunting to the average adult because it is counter-intuitive for us who don’t know what it is and its something really hard to digest but it should be second nature to our kids.

You might think I’m going to be some crazy Dad that will push my kids to learn coding everyday? Answer is NO. Coding is much like math, it requires the usage of the left brain. The left brain represents logic, critical thinking, numbers and reasoning; coding allows us to jog our left brain therefore, coding just 1 hour a day is sufficient to jog our left brain.

Number 2.

Restricting any technological devices. This might seems confusing because it contradict with the first point which was learning to code. I will allow the usage of computers only for the purposes of coding and that’s it but you may ask why restriciting any technological devices? wouldn’t it be more intuitive, learning when you have iPads and iPhones?

Yes and no. Yes, only because it will gives our kids more intuitive animation of everything and no because it will literally destroy our kids.

How does it destroy our kids?
First, it generally reaps curiosity and imagination. Tablets are so simple and addictive for any child, it is like smoking but it damages mentally. When children engages into tablets their mind are fixated with what are shown, there’s no need for imagination and curiosity because everything, literally everything is on the tablet. Reading books ultimately becomes obsolete but books are the very best way to learn and imagine.

Second, it makes the child anti-social. We adults are glued to our electronic devices, what makes you think your child wouldn’t be an electronic zombie? Being a kid is all about socializing with other kids not being glued on the tablet; the tablet will ultimately consume the child.

I will not allow my children to succumb to anything that limit his/her imagination, intuition and curiosity because as we grow older these things are seemingly fading behind us as we hit a reality wall and if our children can’t imagine or have the curiosity to learn, then we have truly fail because they wouldn’t know how it feels to imagine or be curious about something.

Third, this point backs the first, restricting electronics allows the right brain to develop. The right brain is everything about imagination, curiosity and intuition. If the right brain doesn’t develop to it’s fullest potential, then our children will be really rigid to many things.

Number 3.

Think. Thinking requires patient and thought and most children are impatient and does not fully think through certain circumstances. It is our duty to teach our children to think. If your child makes a mistake or does something wrong, the ideal Asian way is to beat. Here’s why beating only goes to some extend. First, beating establish dominance over somebody, Second, it much easier to turn to anger and start beating and Third, it creates a rift between relationship.

Instead of beating, make them think. Thinking allow us to understand between right and wrong and it doesn’t mean that you ask your child to face the wall or go to their room and think about their mistake. It doesn’t work that way, I know because my dad does that to me and I generally just sleep. One must take the time to sit down and explain why certain action will results in concequences.

Establishing order rather than dominance is crucial to create an environment where a child can think. The more you make your children think, the faster they will mature.


Number 4, applies to me generally.

Understanding art and design. To me the understanding of art and design is as important as learning to code. Learning to code fills the left brain but understanding art and design fills the right brain. It is a perfect marriage between 2 fields.

Every design and art possess its own integrity, allowing the understanding of that will allow your children to understand good design and to appreciate how things are done the right way and not taking shortcuts to complete something.


However, we have to adapt to our children needs and interest. We cannot force them to learn something they don’t want to because it will be counter-intutive for them. We need to generally allow freedom to choose but instilling discipline and order in their lives.

Being a father is a life changing journey and that journey for me is still a long way and I hope by that time, I will be able and ready to welcome the next generation.

Kit Neoh

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