WHEN I was invited to attend two seminars recently, I was quite hesitant as my schedule was rather tight. Even up to the day of the event, I was still debating about it. In my mind, I was rationalising that there would probably be nothing new in the programmes.
But fortunately, the call of learning was stronger. My curiosity grew and I decided to take some time off and join the sessions. I’m glad I did. In fact, I thank God for giving me the wisdom to choose learning over other things. Yes, I have heard some of the materials before but there were also new lessons. Even those that I already knew, the sessions served as a reminder, and showed them in a different light.
CULTURE OF LEARNING
As we grow older, it is easy to fall into the “I know it all” trap. At work, some may not prioritise training anymore because of this attitude. Even when they do attend the training sessions, it is usually because it is compulsory. Some even treat training sessions as just a way to relax and escape from their daily routines. With this kind of attitude, they may slowly lose their culture of learning. This is risky because the world is producing better, smarter, and yes, cheaper talents. If we are not on board the learning train, we may be left behind. Just like popular computer software, our previously acquired skills and knowledge need constant polishing and upgrading.
UPGRADING PARENTING SKILLS
Our kids too are more sociable than previous generations because of the advancement of technology as well as the free flow of information in cyber space. Coupled with increased interaction between parents and children, kids today are generally better at expressing their thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Many parents would agree that their kids seem to have a higher emotional quotient (E.Q.) than they did when they were younger. The higher E.Q. can bring both joy and pain to parents. The joy comes in the form of a better, more interactive interaction. Many funny moments have been created in their efforts to convey a message to us. A parent recently informed me how surprised she was at the vocabulary used by her seven-year-old son. He wanted to make sure that his mum took him to the playground over the weekend. His words: “Mummy, I have made an appointment with my friends to meet this Saturday afternoon. Please don’t make any other plans because it is confirmed already!”
The mother was speechless for a moment. How could a little boy use such big words? Well, times have changed and so must we. It proves that parents need to upgrade their skills in order to keep up with changing needs. Modern kids will not stop asking questions until they receive a satisfactory answer. Because of this, the Generation Y is also known as Generation “Why”.
KEEPING UP WITH THE TIMES
Parents who refuse to learn and keep up with the times will find that their parenting styles may not meet the needs of their children. They can no longer ask the curious minds to keep quiet because the little ones will find ways to get answers through other channels such as the Internet or from friends. When they use such channels, there is no guarantee that they will get the right or appropriate answers.
From time to time, our lives need upgrading. However, instead of upgrading the car or the house, it is much better for parents to upgrade their knowledge and skills instead. Read parenting books and journals. Network, talk and discuss parenting issues with other parents. Share success and failure stories positively so that we can learn from one another.
Attend parenting training and seminars organised by your office or schools. Even if you think you have “seen it all”, you will still be surprised that there are always new things for us to learn as long as we keep an open and curious mind.
We owe it to our children to stay ahead of time. We must never stop learning; instead, we must make it a priority over other activities.