Myths about Effective Fatherhood in Asia in Modern Times

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The roles Asian dad play had been diminishing over time as legacy trades had been transformed into contemporary salary earning occupations; pass it down professions such as carpentering, farming, hunters, fisherman, traders and so on which require the primary breadwinners of the family to provide long term guidance and wisdom to prepare the young off-springs to assume their duties in due time was long gone and with the new modern Asian mother being liberated from predecessor profiles with higher social mobility and subsequent embracement of the demanding and rewarding careers of the 21th century had unknowingly assumed excessive responsibilities traditionally held by the man and further reduces the inherent complimentary influences the father imparts to the children and as a results, majority of fathers in Asia had no clues on how to apply effective fatherhood in the families due to structural dissociation.

Being a good enough father in Asia context means first getting few facts straighten up; Its mutually important to being a loving husband and a good father as the most effective and fail-safe way to bring up “good” children. The old way one picks up from previous generations need not to be the only way and adopting new perspectives are crucial to keep things in order. Ultimately, it’s never an easy task for being a decent dad, fatherhood is the corner stone of the family which are the fundamental building block for an overall healthy community as it fulfills couple of the most important functional aspects of the society; guidance, safe harbor, acceptance, caring, unconditional love and so on. This article explores few keys that can help inspiring Asian fathers to become a great dad with the correct perspective and some hands-on tips in the 21th century.

It’s not just about you, marriage bond between the spouses depreciated from the moment of the first born was brought into the family as they’ve begun the long and winding yet divine and rewarding life-long journey to prepare the children to become a useful member of the society, doing so fulfilling something larger than themselves as we are after all not immortal and leaving some degree of decent legacy behind including responsible children rearing fit the picture nicely.

Deploy delay strategies. Asian Man being inherently conscious of face often jeopardizes relationships in heated arguments with regrettable remarks and irreversible damages. An important trick is to hold your breath and avoid direct on the spot confrontation at the peak of emotional verbal exchanges with spouse and children and simply walk away to cool down. The issues with them can be addressed when things are back to normal. i.e. have a word with them before bedtimes, during breakfast the next day and so on for a more receptive audience and attentions. Avoid being hijacked by our emotions and practice to be clear and steady on demand. Acknowledgement of weakness and problems: no family is without issues. The father after all needs to assume the lead for gearing toward the right directions.

Honoring the man, he needs it to excel: Man being genetically simple and easily manipulative just need to be honored and respected appropriately in the family for them to shine and reaching their full potential with leadership in the household for major decisions; relocation, career choice and so on. Many Asian man are willing to sacrifice and do all their might as their born duties for their family’s glory despite their inclination from being expressive about it.  Some new generation Asian women over emphasizes their financial contribution to the household and openly demanding equal if not more says and weightage as half or more sky are indeed held by them nowadays;

Man understood despite incapability of formal acknowledgement and actually appreciate the significant impacts this had on the comfortable lifestyle they are enjoying and never underestimate and look down on their spouse efforts and many man indeed are shouldering on willingly the demanding domestic chores any family with kids have, the key here is to recognize that, biologically, man needs a greater purpose in the family in order to do well not unlike in the past century and continue portraying and treating them as the leader and the head at least in front of the children and outsiders will be the win-win scenario in the long run. 1+ 1 is not equal or greater than 2 but 1 + 1 = 1 should applies here, the kids need both maternal and paternal loves, caring and leadership to excel their full potentials.

“The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
― John Wooden

Putting 100%: If men can’t 100% commit to a marriage, he usually won’t do well in other major aspects; Career advancement, health maintenance, community involvement, emotional control and so on, many Asian men places too much priority in career and business following the steps of their old man. Many had no choice to avoid over time and time away from home and fail to allocate priority for the family. The common excuse was over committed in the name securing bright fortune and future for the family. However, despite laborious hours putting in, does the man really place importance of family as the first place? Action speaks louder and decision making must have family needs and wants included as essential fundamental consideration.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus

Sometimes, we can’t have the best of both worlds, with globalization and intense competition for decent paying jobs many had to travel or be relocated overseas but sacrifices had to be managed to minimize disruption to the family. The key is putting in extraordinary efforts in creation of plenty of happy family moments, focusing more on experiences rather than materials. Quantity play crucial influencing factors to continue developing close relationship. The myth of pursuit of prosperity should be closely examined again. Having faith, putting in hard works and things will be taken care of. Practice “Never Give Up” and “Family Comes First” as a motto can help man and the women to stay on course. The bottom line is having an all-in marriage will make the wife feels strongly secured and abundantly loved and pampered, knowing that they and the kids are in good hands, preserving and strengthening the psychological health and strength for all.

It’s OK and cool for being humble.  Lead by actions rather words, it’s of course easier said than done. Being able to bring one-self down and apologize for mistakes is crucial as Father does acts as a moral compass not merely an authoritative figure but a humble one too, everyone fails in life from time to time and one should not to be crushed but rather move on with Life. Most Asian man are too proud and incapable of admitting mistakes and to make matter worse, resistance and arrogance grow with ages and one becomes self-importance and ignorant, it’s never too late even as an adult to adult to ask for forgiveness formally to seek for closure. It’s difficult to say sorry to juniors but one need to realize that father as a role model need to teach humbleness to the children and it’s a total package to bring them up in the right context as it will probably pay off in long term.

Learn to express your cares and loves. Being able to express verbal love with words and deeds is advantageous however most Asian man had some degree of difficulties in doing so. Surprisingly social media created an effective alternative channels with frequent sharing and emotion icons exchanged between one another. Kindness and gentleness are also crucial and father need to be kind enough to forgive and handle the grace. Being bitterness is like drinking poison and wishing other person to die. It’s important to explain to children the nature of mistakes which comes with consequences, having grace is helping to explain:” You made a mistake but I still love you and together we can be better.” Refrain from associating behavior and individual together. Children must understand we accept them as what they are. Accepting the person but demand for behavioral correction should be used as a general guideline rather than rejecting them outright. Having the spouse to be on your side helps as soft and perseverance nature of motherly advices and love usually had greater and long lasting impacts.

Assume the leadership in the family: Wife and kids need different kind of leadership from the man as compare to workplaces. Increased level of engagements in child rearing had led to frequent disputes between couple in areas of eating habit, dating criteria, dressing style, academic importance, faith preference and which school to get enrolled and so on. Some mother refuse to accommodate as the primary care taker and person in charge from cradle to adulthood and she may overlooks the complimentary roles the father had as a balancing element with greater importance as the kids grows into adolescent for leadership and guidance while Impacts of mother diminishes, frequent and out of controlled spouse disputes make a dent in effective child’s upbringing. Generally get along couple had emotionally healthier kids are undeniably apparent. They look to father for leadership in difficult times. 4 step of recovering process to be initiated for troubled kids. Reality set in and we all need to face them. Put yourself in their shoes when you were in their age when they commit mistakes. Strong, steady approach, avoid blowing up to complicate the matters

1.     Acknowledge the problems

2.     Take actions in addressing it

3.     Sit down and make sure he or she admit the mistakes, accompanying and share own experiences

4.     Pay repentance for the mistakes

5.     Ask and receive forgiveness

Drafting up and visioning a noble long term 30 years family vision: How do we want their children treat us, interact, how they remember us in 20 or 30 year time. As the head of the family, one can take advantage of the noble role to bless the children. Adopt am optimistic and never surrender altitude, if one give up, the burden will pass on to spouse and children they were not designed to bear. Help them be great at what they good at.

In a nutshell, new modern era of family management had challenged the status quo of the legacy roles many Asian fathers had for generations and whereas women had made significant and admirable social progress, man are mostly left stranded and only through recognizing these and adapt to the new rules of engagement can the man play catch up and remains an influential and functioning figure for an enviable, decent and effective fatherhood in the making. In other words, father needs to seek active participations and seize all opportunities to be an indispensable part of the home as many had regrettably realize his wife and children will still live on a respectable life even without his presence at least in the early stages but with a hefty disobedience disciplinary issues in the horizon.

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The Day I Wanted My Wife to Shut Up

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Family relationship management is not simply about having frequent conversations with one another during the inevitable major family events where the essential core family members of whom their attendance are almost can be taken for granted; birthday party, festive holiday, baby shower, funeral, wedding, house warming and so on, but more about one’s capacity of holding your tongues for a range of sensitive and touchy forbidden issues; therefore silence is gold as a standard modus operandi remains a popular option especially among Asian man whose love and care were often shown rather than verbalized.

Letting loose one tongue aiming at spurring verbal exchanges as the driver of interrelationship growth within the close members of the family; sibling, children, parents, in-law and spouses carries serious repercussions if it’s not properly tamed and often becomes a source of growing rift over the ties with one another. It’s not uncommon for one to hold grudges for certain insensitive remarks others had made decades before without the so called “perpetrator” even being made aware of, most often than not, it’s could be as trivial as an off-hand casual and no ill-intention innocent remark. Asian had a general tendency of choosing to accept the perceived insults as it is rather than confronting them for clarification for proper initiation of sequence of addressing toward closure in order for life to move on decently.

Therefore one should pays extraordinary precautions for 3 known categories of issues within the family as they had been proven as emotional draining and disturbing in nature. How to speak your mind without degradation of integrity within the family properly in Asian context while observing the hidden rules of engagement and what are the alternative options available are therefore crucial for a healthy and beneficial lifestyle, after all no man is an island and good families ties do pays off for everyone in the broader perspective. Followings are the matters one has to tread with cares;

1.     Monetary affairs with one another

2.     Gossip/controversial issues of family members;

3.     Sexual temptations one come across

Money: It’s difficult to ask for a monetary loan or sponsorship from immediate family members without suffering some degree of face losing, it’s even more challenging to either turn down or giving in when you are the one being asked (usually you won’t be the only one in the family network). Its inevitably involves soliciting the hard to get consensus with the spouse if the amount is within one means and one has to ask whether one can live on life with a peace of mind parting away with the financial resources assuming the worse case scenario of ever seeing the money again if one decided to extend the helping hands. It’s quite common to have a family loan deal go belly up and goes into delinquency resulting in relationship breakdown drawing concerns across all family units under the same clan as the incident signal a new phase of emotional discomforts in the relationship and threatened to erode ties with multiplying effects. Money affair can be the beginning of sizable family distress for many years.

Gossip: The rise of family disputes underscores the challenges faced by many inspiring individual man and women tying the knots in shaping their vision for a meaningful future relationship of the extended families ties. It’s ever complicating when in-law was kicked into the pictures as it becomes a union of 2 separate independent family potentially with distinctive different values and upbringings. Many has turned to bare minimum visits to their in-law in an apparent attempt to assimilate the spouse and minimize potential disputes and unpleasant scenario with one another to avoid stoking one fears of mounting sour relationship with the immediate relatives.

Rule number one is to refrained from criticizing and making opinions and comments on their in-laws, blood is always thicker for direct offspring with rooms for navigation, however the same didn’t applies to the in-law. Tips number 2 involving appropriate rules of engagement with older Asian elders, one must had the right altitude and patient tone when interacting with the elders as most of them had lesser confidence and lower threshold of tolerance and felt insecure and highly sensitive as compared with their prime time or else as a result they will simply clamp up and refuse for further socializing. Marital struggles should also be kept from elderly for a fair chance of recovery process to take place.

Sexual temptations: To share or not to share with the spouse on the sexual advances one encountered bothers almost all married man and women and some wife is very particular and could overreacted unnecessary if the man fails to pacify and lay the foundation out front, one can choose to keep to yourself on the ground of strong confidence and trust level thus avoiding many messy complicated unjustified feelings and suspicions. Man obsessive addiction of porn surfing from time to time, if being stumbled across on the spot, the wife should avoid instant confrontation and hold the breadth and allocates due privacy and address it at later time when both are in a more receptive atmosphere finding out the reasons for such behaviors and in what way one can accommodate to each other.

In a nut shell, spilling the gut out on things that are bothering you is one of the most effective ways of emotional expression for sake of keeping sanity in check and the wide adoption of wide variety of social media platforms had brought this to an unchartered territory, the rules of the game have changed and the environment is no longer as rigid and resources draining as before, social media networking can be deployed to address the emotional needs with appropriate smiley and sharing if one use them wisely applying the principle of thinking first act later; For anything that’s are on your mind; we should hold on to it first and cool down before sharing and liking and ask what’s are our motives behind by sharing? Are these based on known facts? and had they been validated and lastly is it really necessary and helpful for others other than just wanting to getting them off your chest for instant personal gratification dispensing and hurling our emotional garbage and burdens unto our loves one either physically or through social media channels.

There was a notable level of dissatisfaction and resentment among those who are at the receiving end of negative and meaningless verbal emotional disposal. With clear boundary drawn as described above, true freedom of speech within the family is truly exhilarating and indescribable. it’s what belonging to a family all about. It was only the determination of biting the tongue in the right context that saved anyone from the fate of soured family ties, one can always walk away from a loud mouth and loose tongue colleagues or friends for damage control but not so between our own family members as they are here to stay, for better or for worse.

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How Does Shifting of Level Playing Field Impact Marriages in Asia

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Most of us spend considerable amount of time in solitude as it’s challenging to come across friends and colleagues who are on the same bar as you for a rewarding conversation and nourishing exchanges. As one can only accommodate to different level when situations demand to certain extents, therefore It’s not unexpected for us to have new batch of friends at different stages of our family and career lifespan as we move on with times with varying needs with the exception of most old classmates with the inevitable same if not similar upbringings. Contradict to popular beliefs, we do change and adapt well over the time horizon.

As a matter of fact, the same applies to our other half, its ever rarer for a mature adult to be able to identify and engage a potential mate to embark a life long journey as the gap has to be   negligible to begin with for both to dive into the uncharted territory where both could experience the joys of growing up in wisdom and experiences together with manageable differences in one attitudes towards life major milestones, first house, children rearing, education and so on…

Strong commitment to one another in a marriage is beneficial, but that even more desirable is both having the similar or the same level of intellectual, values and frequency: a solid core of refuge for each other emotional and physical needs, an abiding sense that you had found your exclusive soul mate and the relationship is precious and worthwhile even when you fail or fall short from time to time to each other expectation.

Having incompatible values increase the odds of man compensating the shortfall with women’s youth and beauty but however it didn’t work quite the same the other way around with the exception of abundant wealth and robust security as the primary compromising factors as it’s the norm just one of two generation before. Contemporary competent and financial independent Asian women now places higher priority on man’s superior intellectual properties as this could well be the only few primary reasons they are attracted to them in the first place. One of the worst outcomes for man in any marriages is being despised and losing the respects in the family. Unlike friends and colleagues where one had no moral and legal obligations to interact,having  been caught in an agonizing marriage with no rooms left for breathing had led to the increasing cases of divorces being filed in Asia.

Family distress, already pervasive in Asian community here, is on the rise with increased competitive lifestyle where demographic shifts had fundamentally altered the traditional roles of the husband and wife and the corresponding paternal and maternal responsibility.Notably, women had gained remarkable progress in the past few decades on education, career and lifestyle where man more of less remains status quo.

One should understand it’s the inevitable positive and encouraging shift and both should adjust their expectations accordingly before engaging into a relationship as the consequences of divorces and separation are simply bitter and could had taken a heavy toll on anyone to lead a decent lifestyle subsequently. We can’t have the best of both worlds without some compromises being made for both sexes. Man needs to commit to shoulder the burdens of running a household and be fair and respectful to the modern spouse who isn’t quite the same as your obligatory mother in the formative years growing up. 

Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.

 

New Family Justice Courts to better resolve family conflicts

Judge-led approach aims to ease the pain and protect the vulnerable

PUBLISHED ON AUG 5, 2014 8:51 AM
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The new Family Justice Courts will oversee divorce and other cases relating to painful and personal matters such as family violence, disputes over wills, adoption and guardianship, and custody and other family issues involving children. — PHOTO: ST FILE

A new court will be set up to deal with family disputes in less acrimonious ways under a law passed in Parliament yesterday. The aim is to ease the pain, better protect the vulnerable and cut costs and delays in cases of family conflict.

The Family Justice Courts will oversee divorce and other cases relating to painful and personal matters such as family violence, disputes over wills, adoption and guardianship, and custody and other family issues involving children.

The new system seeks to replace the old adversarial approach – dominated by duelling lawyers – with a judge-led one, where judges specialising in family matters will lead and control the pace and direction of cases.

Among measures being introduced: Parents who plan to divorce must attend a “pre-filing” consultation with state-appointed officials unless they are able to agree on all matters concerning the divorce. Newly appointed “court friends” will assist those not represented by lawyers. And the court will appoint a representative where necessary to protect the interests of the child in bitter divorce disputes.

- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/new-family-justice-courts-better-resolve-family-conflicts-20140805#sthash.cNg6bh4O.dpuf

 

The 3 Myth of Pursuit of Ever Higher Wages in China

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More often than not, the hidden prices we paid for engaging a seemingly higher wages job were brought vividly home only after things we valued the most were taken away or being compromised. Therefore, having the right perspectives on wages one earns would shift our priorities like never before if we understand its misleading nature better. Some values we hold dear to ourselves shouldn’t be easily traded with wages without serious consideration and comprehension

 

China is a country with sizable influence in the world’s economy and its accompanying dynamic domestic job markets require huge number of aggressive and extraordinary individuals to deliver results is not unexpected. The remuneration of a high ranking executive position could easily double or triple of a similar job opening for the same qualified individual and if one decides to go for the higher paid position as a means for a meaningful life will often led to poor results as the former will inevitably requires excessive dedication, commitment and long working hours on the expenses of other pillars of sensible living such as marriage, health, well-being, children, social, community and so on. As a result, ceaseless job hopping solely for the ever higher salary in the competitive job markets in China would undoubtedly carry considerable risks.

On the other hand, one’s unilateral actions asserting his or her justification on the compromises due to higher wages have driven family tensions to a new high never seen before as the judgment of success in contemporary China had shifted to materialistic achievements for the past decades ever since She opened the forbidden gate to the world’s trade. Comparing, flaunting off and admiring wealth had becoming mainstream life goals against the backdrop of influences of increasingly materialistic mass media and relatively lack of strong religious practices which focus more on faith, commitment, devotions among other spiritual pursuits.

How would it tamp down similar impulses elsewhere should the single minded pursuit of solely high wages gain traction, the key lies on amortization of the annual and monthly salaries into hourly rate taken into consideration of extents of overtime, commuting, travelling and level of anxiety and stress associated with the job natures, the 2 job offer could had the same amortized hourly rates. In other words, the myth number 1 clarifies that salary package on paper strictly isn’t real and until it was broken down into adjusted hourly rate one should refrain from jumping into decision. i.e. Higher paid job could be just equivalent of squeezing 3 years of labors into one and many demanding  positions do comes with irreversible personal damages such as mental strains, health degradation, extended oversea posting and so on.

Can high wages alone fill the overall well-being gap in the face of spiraling work pressure, a growing demand of enterprises on workers performance and an aging population? The illusive respects and dignity one derives from comparing one another added an additional layer of strong motivation to accumulation of wealth in China where sales of highly visible and eye turning luxurious automobiles gains strong momentum every years with no signs of receding. Many are behaving assertively because wealth is treated as with privileges and it’s what everyone else believes in too.

The massive obsession on pursuit of higher wages overlooks the right balance in our lifestyle and there is no clearer expression of the kind of liberties enjoyed by an individual than one who makes career decisions based on correct appreciation of potential opportunity one could enjoys with the precious free time make available despite perceptively lower take home pay, the prices we pay are our limited free time left over to ourselves, indeed, free time are one the few finite resources we had which may bring unlimited potentials.

A high proportion of young and aggressive Chinese fails to grasp on this and exhausted all their physical and emotional capacity on the jobs in exchange of monetary returns and leaves no room to groom on the available free time which was the one thing the creator had given them abundantly to spend, waste, enjoy, explore and escalate its values in whatever ways they desire. This sums up the myth number 2; Wages = real time adjusted hourly rate + Potential value enhancement of the available free time.

There are fix and variable costs associated with any regular jobs; transportation, meals, entertainment, nursery requirement, income tax, clothing, miscellaneous allowance and so on could easily contributed 30% of the overall wages meaning one needs to incur RMB$30K in expenses in order to earn a RMB$100K annual salary and sometimes the formula didn’t work out to seek employment at all as a full time home maker not on regular payroll assuming the domestic chores including but not limited to foods preparations, home improvement, nursery of the young, sanitation and taking care of the elderly in need and each could potentially add up to a significant expenses if not more than the take home pay if they are outsourced accordingly, it’s the priorities and values majority of Chinese held which restricted the ranges of choices as many tends to place lower values on the inevitable chores and preferred activities that earn a decent salary the American way as compare to European who place emphasis on gaining more free time for their own discretion.

The third myth is regarding having higher wages and wealth will naturally lead to life-long inspiration of happiness, such anticipation is unrealistic as they have no bearing on their own built-in strong ability to achieve reasonable level of happiness just with the right perspectives. The country is facing a looming confident and ethical crisis. Without a fresh influx of highly robust fair for all welfare network for the truly misfortunes, more balanced redistribution of resources, demographic trends stand to endanger the community and family future of a country whose economy is built not only on massive abundant of natural and human resources shifting from agriculture to industrial transformation and also on thousands of state controlled enterprises responsible for much of China great leap towards superpower status.

With the empowering of internet and mobile platform, a majority of rumors swirling in major cities and towns targeting officials and the rich, underscoring popular resentment at society’s haves amid deepening inequality in China. However, with vast majority of Chinese already achieving middle income status, physical living conditions had improved in leaps and bounds, hundreds of millions had begun to appreciate both domestic and oversea holidays as part of recreation activities. In other words, except for the few blown out of proportion manipulated extreme deprived families and individuals. Everyone with their respective places in the society earning a decent living with reasonable wages can be as happy as they always desire if they knows what true living are all about.

In conclusion, salary shouldn’t be the sole purposes and it should be evaluated in adjusted hourly rate before making a decision to take up a job offer, wages should be treated as a means to achieve what one desires in life in their respective stages and it had to be predetermined upfront otherwise it risks becoming a bottomless and meaningless pursuit and having too much of the wealth can destroy lives and families if not tamed properly not unlike the obesity running rampant for young children in cosmopolitan Chinese cities where excessive protein intakes had become a normality due to increasing affluent lifestyle and sometimes indeed, less is actually more.

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”

Mahatma Gandhi

 

Healthy Moral Compass Needs Strong Self-Esteem

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Authority in China is rolling of a slew of measures to restrain the seemingly uncivilized behaviors of hundreds of millions of China tourists both at home and abroad as reported in global medias.  Indeed, high profile incidents of Chinese tourists … Continue reading