Tuesday, November 18, 2008


To me, best friends are those who will not judge you even if you are at a naught with them. They will, after voicing out his/her opinions, in the end respect the choice you've made. They will help you out in anyway possible as long as it do not go against their principle. If they do, they will refuse you frankly and politely. If you've made the wrong choice, they will simply accept that it's just a bad choice and then help you out in choosing the right ones after that. If you've made a mistake, they will learn to accept that it's a mistake and help you right what went wrong

I've made a vow.

If and when I have children, my wife and I will try our best to be their best friend and do all the above, so that we will be one they will turn to for advice, for help, for them to share their joys and sorrows and whom they would rather seek to share their secrets.

Because at the end of the day, if your children decide to put you aside in things that concerns their emotional well being, then you're no better than a stranger who only gives them shelter, food, clothing and money. When they can find it elsewhere, they'll leave in an instance, especially if it comes with more than just material provisions. That is when your children starts to avoid you, rebel against you, hates you and make parents' worse nightmares come true.

Like Mastercard's ads say - "There are certain things money can't buy".

And money can't buy a true best friend.


My morning passenger was a kindergarten teacher before she is a principle of a childcare center now. She also does volunteer work with kids suffering from cancer at KK. At her age, there is little doubt that she has an abundance of experience dealing with kids.

The main thing she said that is required when dealing with kids is patience and there is no compromise. That's pretty much common knowledge which is hard to disagree with. Even though dealing with adults requires patience too, kids on the other hand are innocent. They don't have any evil plans. They're just being themselves. In that sense, patience with kids will not be returned with betrayal.

I asked her why are certain kids slower than the rest and she said, although sometimes it is caused by genetics, a lot of times, it is caused by upbringing.

She cited an example of an 18 months old kid who was reserved and spoke little when he was brought in by his parents. His father was almost to tears describing his anguish at how he is not able to invoke much response from his son.

She handled this kid personally. She had him in her office and engaged him while at the same time doing her own work; talking and playing with him. Initially he was as what his father described him; keeping to himself and did things on his own and spoke not even a single word to her.

After sometime and much perseverance, the first word she could get out of him was her own name. From then on, he was a cheerful kid.

Naturally the parents were happy with the change. However, it then turned into a problem because the kid would want to go to 'school' everyday, even on weekends and would turn into his old self when he's not at the centre.

When told by the father of this, she asked about the condition at home.

It was only then that she knew the kid stayed with the grandparents and the parents only visits him and not take him home at the end of a work day, not even on weekends.

Hearing this, it was pretty clear where the problem lies.

So those with kids, or planning to have one, hope this is good read. It may take loads of patience, but like mentioned, an innocent mind has no malice and will only adsorb what's good. That is all they need when at that age. Not TV, not PS2, not distractions from the very thing they need - attention.

The good, the bad, the internet

I saw a TV show recently on how youngsters and teenagers abused their internet privileges and got into a whole lot of trouble.

In my line of work, the internet is more than just a useful tool. The abundance of priceless and practically free information (apart from the internet access charges of course) complements my ability to perform the tasks in the office. The internet is like a huge brainstorming session or a technical seminar where attendees can come and go at any time.

At home, online videos and music makes relaxing after a day's work more enjoyable. News at your fingertips keep you well informed. Alternative medias counter the propaganda by the state news by giving you a better well balanced view.

Of course, that is just the good side of the internet. Gambling, dangerous ideals like racism and terrorism, and pornography (although some might say that is the good stuff ) are abundant too; bringing into the cyberworld sexual predators, sex scandals, exposure of private videos and pictures, spread of extremism and so on.

Apart from that, chat rooms, blogs and forums can become an addiction that is similar to era of Tamaguchi a few years back where people lose their jobs, neglect their studies and even family responsibilities.

While trying to respect privacy, parents have to go through the nightmare of not knowing if their kids are up to something they will regret later on, even more so for parents who don't even know how to turn on the computer.

Education and being open about the good and bad of the internet is vital. Trust between parents and their children will be the base of a healthy use of this powerful tool where kids will prefer to share with their parents on the things they do online and respect the responsibilities entrusted to them. Parents have to play their part too, by taking the game of catching up on this technology seriously.

In the midst of the inevitability of the surge of the use of the internet in the future, together with more uncertainties that will tag along, I feel fortunate it is not something foreign to me and I am glad that more and more parents are getting familiar with the dangers of it. More so, any knowledge gathered throughout the years should prove to be useful in the future, when it comes to my own family. Maybe someday I will do a pay-it-forward by volunteering in educating parents who are lost in this world wide web.