Overcoming the Challenges of Parenting Outsourcing in Asia

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Background

Female labor participation stays as highest ever in Asia as many embrace workplace for inspiring lifestyle; satisfying and stretching work has become a psychological necessity. More than ever, we are defined by what we do and Asian ladies had moved up the social mobility with incredible pace in the past couple of decades and both man and women have access to unprecedented equal opportunities although the pace of women’s rise— and man’s relative stagnant had been nothing short of spectacular, with more job opportunities created with the remarkable economic progress among Asian countries, women flooded the labor market.

Ironically, this had created another classical problem of falling infertility within the country. Increasing number of productive and prime age women and men chose to remain single or having a much smaller family size giving in to the demanding challenges of modern parenting. From macroscopic perspectives, the population demography trends of generic growth are of paramount significant to the local authorities to remain competitive in the long run. Man powers are precious raw materials if manage well.

Therefore radical reforms are needed on boosting the birthrates aimed at spurring domestic consumption and taxable employment as the driver of economic growth otherwise allowing influx of much-needed foreign labors risks upsetting local resident voters as they inevitably see microscopic threats of competition for limited jobs, housing and basic infrastructure. The initiative reflects Government’s determination to curtail the momentum of aging population through a formidable mobilization of social resources to make parenting a desirable and feasible ways of life through full fledged of measures; from maternity care of up to 4 months and attractive income tax rebates and options of taking extended 6 to 12 months of unpaid maternity leave, however,  majority of career women impose self-restraints of taking advantages of them due to the misplaced fears of losing out on the competitive edges to their peers during their absent from work place.

Indeed, many working mothers claim workplace intimidation over extended maternity leave where colleagues need to cover the duties during her absence unwillingly or bosses need to go through the hassles of reshuffling manpower to fill the 4 month or longer voids. On the other hand, working Asian man hasn’t been much help in parenting unlike their peers in Scandinavian where man also are expected to shouldered on the burdens as primary care giver taking extensive paternity leaves as its socially encouraged and mandated and subsidized by the state with preference in strong social justice.

As a result, many desperate parents had turned to the most cost-effective outsourcing channels available to care for their young children; hiring a live in domestic maid usually young to middle age women from relative poorer Asian countries who also leave their own children back home to someone else’s care. However, from time to time, there are reported cases of domestic helpers and employers being investigated for abuses; physical, sexual, monetary and so on within the household, stoking parents fears although it’s extremely rare statistically speaking.

This led us to the primary discussion of this article; How to maximize the benefits of parenting outsourcing while minimizing the downsides, what fundamental jobs should be kept in housed? will the relationship with children be strained?  What are the bottom lines? The 3 or 4 years old inevitable grow more attach to the primary care takers and one had to be prepared and put in extraordinary efforts to strengthen the bonding. In other words, be realistic and know what to be expected and take ownership on key essential elements while prepared to make compromises on other area.

In the book of “How to balance the values of your life” quoted e.g. Dell increasingly outsource their computer assembly works to Asus until they ended up losing their main core advantages not unlike parents giving up the opportunities for character shaping, values instilling of their own off-springs to third party, the children could ended up growing up strikingly resembling and bear our own last name but within, a stranger nonetheless. One had to be like Apple, aggressively retaining the core design features in US’s headquarter which commands high premium and outsource the mundane, razor-thin 3 to 4% margin and labor intensive assembly works to China.

Myths of Parenting

Hardware is everything?

Inspiring working Asian couple often place higher priority in financial achievement as a safeguard for their children’s future prospects and overlooked the opportunities to also groom them with right sets of values. It’s often related to insecurities and the fears of losing out. Children needs strong role models within the families and their first idols are usually their parents. Money like any resources needed good common sense for proper management. Instead of leaving a good legacy on values, principles and excellence to their next generation, Asian loves leaving their wealth to their children but too much of wealth often turns out to be a cursing rather than blessing.

Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching youRobert Fulghum

Quality triumph over Quantity?

Having double income are critical to remain competitive and enjoying decent lifestyles for all and many highly educated and productive men and women rather earn an income then undertaking the perceived low value added jobs of chasing after the young crying and demanding children, prioritizing qualities over quantity. They overlooked the fact that’s a healthy childhood includes stages where one develops love and security, build attachment, learnt of disciplinary, exercise self-discipline and practice self-learning. The best time to construct emotional attachments are actually during the seemingly monotonous and highly physical and emotional exhaustive chores of exchanging diapers, making infant formula, toilet training, feeding, playing, cuddling, pacifying screaming infants, sleepless nights nursing a high fevers and so on.

How come I do most of the job?

Increasing family disputes in Asia expose a growing rift between the parent over who should assume more commitment and who to sacrifice their careers over parenting. Although the man had significantly contributed in managing the household chores as compared to their dads in the 50, 60s, women still spend twice as much time (used to be x 7 time more) and this had resulted in strong resentment between modern couples. In fact, modern Asian fathers had been involving and engaging the joys of fatherhood never experienced before due to constraint of circumstance and remarkable improvement on living standard, it’s a blessing in disguise man now spend considerable more time with their children. Asia had a long way to go to have Scandinavian’s unbiased, generous and robust paternity system. However, things are getting better over time.

“The way you work is the way you live”–unknown

Not my cup of tea?

Extended maternity leaves give opportunities for mothers to explore the possibility of assuming full-time home maker. One common myth for newly minted mother going through the tedious and laborious chores of providing to the infant ended up opting back to workplace as preferred choice as they found out child rearing are not their calling and strength. As a matter of fact, nobody are born natural care giver but whether one is willing to accept the responsibility going through the challenges , understanding one’s shortcoming and weakness and make the commitment to assume the new roles, complimenting with the spouse to manage the family. There is no short cut here, one had to go through the rite of passage.

How to overcome the challenges of parenting outsourcing?

Therefore, the idea is to have a full-time home maker, man or women to provide for the children as its rather laborious, physical, financial and emotional demanding job but very rewarding in the long run but however, realistic speaking, majority couple works and the good news are one still can overcome the challenges of parenting and  bring up decent children; it’s the management of outsourcing with realistic expectation and claiming ownership of character and personality shaping of the children.

“Ohana” means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or—Unknown

Be realistic as trade-off are normal and get engaged for trust building.  

One must acknowledge Children take after the care takers in the formative years. Talk and behave like the maids or grandpa, exhibiting undesired eating habits and parents should cater allowance for this and accept the facts and focus on relationship building rather than excessive correcting their styles which changes from time to time.

Mutual trusts are important as building blocks. Parent despite outsourcing their children to enrichment and tuition classes still can participate and interact with them. Eg. How does the tuition go, do you understand better now?  Compromises are inevitable, however one should exceptionally treasure the remaining relationship left with the children after they had been outsourced for care taking and skill development. Father and Mother are being admired and worshiped by children and being physically and emotional present at most of the time had it’s own rewards.

Family: Father and Mother I Love You–unknown

Assume Full Responsibility

Correct perspectives had to be in placed when one couple decided to become parents as their relative carefree career and family life will be altered with different expectations and inspirations forever. For example, are dads prepared to live up to true fatherhood? Is everyone ready to live a simpler lifestyle now with heavier commitment? The challenging works of disciplinary, tutoring and complimenting children had to be done by parent themselves avoiding taking the easier way out of leaving them to grandparents, tuition centers, kindergarten, live in maids. These resources are here to compliment not taking over the ownership of parenting; Think of yourself like Apple, a product owner with key design features kept in-house, rather than like Dell going taking the easier way out and lose its competitive advantages over time.

Summary

The myth of outsourcing parenting chores needed to be weighted with opportunity cost, sometimes it just didn’t make sense financially for both parent with young children to work full time, as its takes money to earn a salary; expenses such as transportation, clothing, meals, entertainment and so on, the take home pays often ended up barely enough to cover the third-party care providers. Parenting is not simply about providing the best materialistic comforts for the children, but about fulfilling something larger than ourselves, leaving a decent legacy behind with our next generations with the right core values. Therefore, couples having the same values on parenting are of paramount importance to have common goals established as he rise of divorces cases underscores the challenges faced by married man and women in shaping its common vision for the future of their children. Children who are well taken cared off emotionally and physically understood they are being loved unconditionally with minimum anxiety level and it became easier for parenting and grooming in their later years.

 “Now we‘re just memories for our children” – Cooper, Interstellar

Therefore, while parenting outsourcing becomes indispensable for couple with children to cope in modern Asian communities and one must understand its pros and cons and willing to accept some form of compromises and prioritize on what’s are the bottom lines; relationship, characters and key values had to be retained in housed no matter what. And over the long-term, man need to adapt to a changed work and family environment in which the management of the household and children development efficiency primary  fall onto the women are no longer unquestioned priorities

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Depression Looms in Asia.

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For many, living in fast-growing Asia cities has inadvertently join the rat race fighting for limited resources and embracing the dilemmas of run always properties prices thanks for the Qualitative Easing and unprecedented high rate of inflation where many were caught in structural imbalance of seemingly widening income and resource accessing inequalities. As a result, individuals suffering from depression are getting a lots more common nowadays in Asia, its randomly in nature and had no specified tendency for certain individual’s profile. In fact, some were just more susceptible than others to succumb to depression and increasing demands in one’s lifestyle is one of the key inducing factors. Significant number of them were trapped and stranded helpless without sound supporting infrastructure from the local authorities or friends and relatives due to insufficient proper awareness and personal biases on depression.

To make the matter worse, Asian normally doesn’t disclose openly on family members suffering from some form of mental conditions, they also self- impose strict rules forbidding them from exploring more on treatment options due to cultural biased perceptions of shames, guilt, social norms, peer pressures, taboo and so on. Many held perception of labeling depressed individuals in poor light.

The heighten awareness and proper knowledge on depression are therefore the proven effective ways offering an additional path into acknowledging and deploying timely helps to one of the World’s top 3 of 21st century modern illness after it was slow to recognize the hidden hefty prices the communities pays for being ignorant and complacent. Divorce, breakdown, hospitalization, suicides, downtime and so on are just some of the social consequences when the conditions worsen. It jeopardizes the foundation of informal and otherwise strong and indispensable family supporting networks which thrive in Asia. Local relevant authorities has pledged to tackle rampant depression cases reported in the escalating competitive society, which have been a major source of social problems for many families in Asia and Its had been proven its related to dysfunctional of our brains triggered by range of complex stimulus yet to be fully understood.

Increasing number of Asian seeking helps on mental distress offer a glimmer of hope that’s economic progress and prosperity are the solutions to these problems. Materialistic success had been grossly and improperly exaggerated as the ultimate antidotes to all problems. The mental challenges presented by continued competitive Asian lifestyle call for a change in new perspective on depressions as Local experts do not expect an easing of mental stress to break out in the Asia in near future even though many are cranking up education on awareness and supporting resources.

Understanding Depression From 3 Angles 

There are three primary perspectives; emotional, physical and circumstances. Contrary to popular belief, depression is actually hereditary in nature and at times runs in family across generations.

Emotions, Circumstance and Physical

Many Asian had no clues in managing our own emotions not to mention helping others in this regard. Some turn to substance abuse to overcome or rather self-meditate these symptoms. Tell tales signs of alcoholic and drugs abuses often associated with some kind of mental conditions. Some fails to express, manage and channel out their emotions, some pass on them to others and end up depressing them instead, some chose to hold within without proper addressing and led to physical and mental breakdown and from time to time unpredictable eruptions.

For example, assuming the challenging role of full time housewife although being honored as one of the greatest profession on earth despite lack of conventional recognition of wages, promotion, days off, material gains and so on wasn’t every one cup of tea in the modern era, some Asian career women couldn’t adapt and plunges into depression, same goes for welcoming a new life into the family for newly minted mothers and so on, there simply too much a gap in reality and expectation.

In addition, those who are of “A” personality of being naturally aggressive and perfectionist had difficulties in accepting life inevitable more down then up. Others are paranoid and unreasonably sensitive, worrying excessively, constantly fearing for the worst for all events and accumulate the tensions generated within waiting to be unleashed anytime.

True happiness is … to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.”– Seneca

Major events such as accident, getting married, divorcing and death in the family and so on are all categorized as triggering factors, these events will inevitably have us overwhelmed with helplessness, reinforced by other’s social biases, drastic adjustment in recognition and values. For example, high achievers who experienced traumatic worse turn of events got themselves in depression and couldn’t accept the outcomes and chose to take their own lives. We all need to learn to cope with major stresses in a proper ways, having access to a strong supporting network of religious faith, fellowship, close friends and families and don’t hesitate to demand helps when needed can means a different in life and death.

It also related to upbringing, most of us we fail to impart children effective ways of channeling their emotions. Most avoids the problems directly or deploy authoritative and no nonsense tone when children got emotional and come to them for advice and guidance and they ended up growing up with minimum emotions management life skills.

Early Warning Signs of Depressions

Two major signatures are extended 2 weeks or more of derailing from one standard lifestyle which are emotional in nature, feeling extremely upset and lost hold of enthusiasm on all kind of favorite activities, difficulties in maintaining well balance rest and diet, exhibiting strong negative and pessimistic outlooks and consistent self-blaming across all matters.

Too often than not, limited understanding of the true nature of depression puts friends and relatives suffering from the condition in a fix. Asian typically associated misfortunes with bad “karma” and instead of extending practical supports, some aggravate the situation with inconsiderate hurtful comments: e.g. “Don’t dwell on it, tomorrow will be better!”, “Take it easy, you can overcome these conditions”. “ Don’t worry too much.”, “Have you stumbled across something “dirty” lately?”. Some even seek out alternative local folk religious “Guru” for spiritual cleansing treatments. Many fail to comprehend their friends or love ones simply cant stop their depression on their own, otherwise they would had done it already.

How to recognize, prevent and helping other suffering from depression therefore play an important role for reasonable healthy living.  3 critical practical tips one can consider helping someone who are depressed; 1. Listening. 2. Companionship and lastly 3. Interacting, avoid being dragged down by handling this alone as it’s a uphill long term battle lasting no less than 6 months on medication and one ought to summon a couple of others to dilute the loads of caring for one not unlike being admitted and taken care of in a hospital by a rotating team of nurses and doctors.

Fellowship and regular lunch date and tea break with colleagues, friends and families represent one of the best ways for emotions management, talking and sharing is an indispensable part of the therapy. In fact, Physicist reported 60% of their patients are having non-physical related illness but rather mentally and emotionally associated. We are after all a complicated being and multifaceted approaches toward managing depression yield the best results, for example deploying counselling together with medication and engagement in self-help group. All three aspects are critical before one can reasonable be well and productive again.

How to Prevent?

Having sufficient rest and proper diet are fundamental, being enlightened and capable of physically active are also the key pillars for sound sanity. Regular exercises with “3+3+3” helps; 3 times a week, each session 30 mins and getting heartbeats go beyond 130 per minutes. Workout emits endorphin our brains crave for emotional balancing. Most importantly, adopting a positive life perspective by helping others also do us great favors.

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”– Mother Teresa,

Summary

For more than a few decades, Asian especially Chinese has pursued materialistic physical gains as a major focus of conventional success, however people diagnosed with some form of mental conditions has also picked up markedly over the past year with a spate of tragedies in family, workplace, school and communities. This led us wondering what else are missing in the formula of pursuit of  happiness?

As it turns out it’s just a matter of recognizing depression as a form of mental condition needing the right treatment as we all had mood fluctuation as we carry on our daily life and handling the challenging primary issues such as marriage, parenting, career change, , new life style arrangement and so on. Some ended up getting depression as a results not unlike some fall gravely physically ill.

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”– Henry David Thoreau,

As depression had significant leverage on the society well-being as a whole. We need to avoid being judgmental and critical of others, social tagging on one having depression didn’t help the matters. Just simply physically being there is all it takes sometimes. It’s not the context that’s matters but the emotions behind it. Emotions are fluid and can move around. Prayer, listening rather than one sided advice dispensing without addressing the core emotions underneath are common mistake we make in Asia.

Many Asian tightens grip on denial and refuse to ask for helps due to prides, fear and improper understanding of depression. It’s brain’s imbalance of certain functions rather than merely mood swing or having different perspectives. It’s known to be induced through genetic, extended physical discomforts and stresses and other factors. Asian need to treat depression as mental illness as gravely as we regard life-threatening physical illness and seek proper helps

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you careTheodore Roosevelt

 

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Unlock Doors in China the American Ways– Humor

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As most of Asian find themselves trimming down to the bare bones of the glorious contentment they enjoyed 30 years ago, some of them has shifted focus and continued to thrive through deploying an effective alternative perspective: Making themselves more interesting and humorous. We are not inevitably happier with a lots more abundant wealth accumulated in modern times where 2/3 of us actually felt worse compared to our previous generation. Putting income inequality, a growing problems aside, we had indeed accomplished impressive progress since the 60s where access to resources are widely more available; Opportunities for higher educations, better paying jobs, affordable domestic and international flights, better sanitation and healthcare, accessible transportation and so on which was limited to only the much richer segment of the world in the past.

It was proven that relentless pursuit of materialistic gains is no sure route to salvation. Tremendous tensions could arise over peers expanding affluence in China where decades of economic progress had opened opportunities never experienced before. The overwhelming majority of satisfactions did not come from within but come from endlessly comparing and competing with others. What inspires the most of us is not so much the improvement on personal social mobility  as a thrilling cause but  accomplishing the generic goals of wealth accumulation that promise glory and esteem in the eyes of friends and families.  Achievement on better living standards must be celebrated but it would be callous to ignore the impact of increasing flaunting of materialistic gains on feelings of identify and belonging of the masses.

“If you want to live a happy lifetie it to a goalnot to people or things” - Dr. Seuss

Many scholars also are convinced that self-enlightenment with right level of humors and positive outlooks on life can contribute to the current vacuum of balanced values in China. At the core of this search is to search for the qualities of integrity, courage, wisdom and sincerity. As priority got shifted away from relentless exclusive pursuit of prosperity more happiness can actually be unleashed. In fact, one of the greatest compliments one can possibly receives was not the talents nor the wealth but rather on their enthusiastic personality; the capacity to influence, care and engage with one another.

Being interesting and humorous play an increasingly important roles in unlocking doors to many opportunities as positive social perceptions, enthusiastic attitudes and open minded non critical interesting individual attracts liked minded people; One find better liked minded spouse, better paying jobs, more satisfying work, rewarding relationships, abundant favors being given and so on, generally higher level of life satisfaction across all level as we progress through different stages of our living years. The entanglement of many in china social discontent highlights a key concern of lack of higher self-fulfillment along the Maslow hierarchy law of needs. One didn’t need a bigger house, better car and so on to climb up the levels.

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” — George Washington Carver,/ American scientist and inventor

The ways one carries himself also give us a glimpse on his or her positive and resilient mindset and whether greater responsibility and legacy can be delegated and achieved. Like the former US president Theodore Roosevelt once replied in the letter after his resident was being vandalized: “Thanks for your concerns, actually I am surprisingly at peace with myself. 3 reasons; 1. the thief only gotten away with my possessions and didn’t harm me.  2. He only stole away some but not all my valuable belongings and last but not least, 3. I’m glad I am not the one who needs to steal for a living.  One’s highest honor, feeds off a deeply held convictions in Western society: “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but rather on its content.

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So what does it takes to be an interesting individual? Simply having some jokes readily to share to diffuse awkward moments wasn’t a bad idea to begin with but the best is a an inherently mature and positive outlooks transforming hard lessons learnt in life’s challenging moments, presenting a presence of confidence, passionate and empathy, with suggestions and enlightening stories for sharing and most importantly, a tendency to pause and listen to others from time to time. One should remains neutral over others flaring fame and materialistic focus in Asia.

The interactions between sand particles offer a way to explain a relatively new science that tries to identify and understand the underlying principles that lead to complexity. What happened to the pile of sand on the beach can also be applied to a society facing new challenges in a turbulent world that will rocked by shocks and changes. They show how an interesting and humorous individual, can interact with others which can lead to unexpected positive outcomes.

The common popular perception of only the riches have the capacity to become an interesting individual was blown out of proportions. In fact it’s extremely low entry barrier and comes with zero cost. Change your perspective and you can change your life as a slogan used by a popular radio station on “Slice of Life” as finally we start moving upward the hierarchy of needs rather than being trapped unknowingly in the bottom levels. Enlightenment can be accomplished by gaining superior insights into the dynamics of the way the world is changing and accommodate it with personal belief and experiences. After all we are social beings, being an interesting and humorous individual will be an added advantages for yourself.

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Agree to Disagree Agreeably in Asia

08090ANo Man is an island

Few would argue that relationships plagued with frequent unresolved disagreements which often sparked outrages between individuals and couldn’t stand on it’s own in the long run are counter-productive and even health hazardous. And a timely shift in perspective in the right direction could herald years of fruitful interactions maintaining a decent level of healthy and robust social ties which increasingly play an important element for our overall well-beings as It’s not uncommon to have man held grudges hidden or openly of past arguments with one another without taking an initiative to seek closures and some even brought these regrets to their graves. It’s like drinking a dose of poison potion and hoping that someone else will suffer. As a result, these ruined associations had left many of us vulnerable and feeling bruised which when multiplied with wider time horizon, tends to make us bitter and unapproachable. We after all as social being needs to maintain a sizable healthy dosage of uplifting human interaction as we are all inter connected with more or less the common destinies.

As a matter of fact, swirling debates and conflicts in opinions have never been far from our daily conduct of routine life, talking to one another on a variety range of topics; weather, office politics, traffics, schooling and so on, the list is unlimited so long one had an urge to speak their mind. No man is an island and meaningful verbal communication could be as enlightening and nourishing as we want them to be. However, things will go south if one can’t agree other’s entitlements to different perspectives and make a mistake of having aggressive attempts to convince others to conform to our own opinions, the key is to able to distinguish the fundamental difference between conclusion versus the actual latest facts.

Agree to disagree agreeably is the bottom line

First thing first, any conversation consists of 3 essential elements; facts, logic and conclusions. Logic becomes the indispensable links for one to draw their own opinions on any subjects or facts, it’s just an individual ways of connecting the dots based on their own unique diverse background and motivation and of course the inevitable inherent personal bias, so refrain from deploying authoritative and win-lose manners is the first step of achieving personal harmony. We are at a juncture in its social ties development when it is trying hard to strike a new balance between mutual personal enrichment and fueling the ego of persuading and overshadow own values onto others. Proper interpretations of any conversations should be viewed as the opportunity to improve interpersonal relationship across all different social levels in a background where ego seemingly never fails to outstrip humbleness. The failures for constructive and meaningful meeting and verbal exchanges can now be viewed as a measurable hurdle to achievement of decent productivity improvement for the organization as well as on individual level.

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”
— George Washington Carver,

For example; Charlie told Tom, “Its rather chill today, don’t you think? Yesterday wasn’t so bad.” “ I don’t think so, it’s kind of the same, maybe you got a cold of something” replied Tom. Charlie got offended right away, “No, don’t you get it, I am feeling great today, I can’t believe you feel nothing”. Chuck and Tom exchanged their personal views on how they felt about the weather and neglected to shift the focus back to the facts. Instead Tom should had offered: “Really? the weather forecast indicated 2 degree higher today as compared to yesterday, would you like to put on your jacket if you feel cold? I am OK”. They can then move the conversation to the next topic on their mind. Tom had simply stressed on the changes in weather and provided the logic behind it and take a step back to avoid confrontation and shift the weights to facts; what was yesterday weather and how much had changed.

One must also focus and respect on the logic how one comes to a certain conclusions and diligently seek to clarify or offer them when necessary. Everyone can establish a distinctive feeling and thoughts based the same facts, we can’t even deny our own inclinations to form a drastic different conclusion on the same topics as we grow older. We need to be constantly on the toes in identifying and strive to avoid the temptation of being boasting, judgmental, criticizing and so on as there are plenty of room for a mutual benefiting interactions to take place.

Summary
Disputes inevitably arises from conversation from time to time, however how to avoid being caught in conflicts and having the relationship dented can be learnt. What’s your perspectives and agree to different views, bottom line is refocus on how does it arise, what are the background that one comes to this conclusion. There are no winners or losers in true relationship; winning in an argument exults us temporary but risk losing the core ties. At risk of simplification, one might say it needs to balance between meeting head needs and heart’s needs. Desired to be understood coupled with motivation to be accepted at the same time seems like the recipes for disasters in the brewing. The long term viability of the relationship management is to adopt the proper perspectives, separating facts, opinions, conclusion and logic from the individual, accepting them as what they already are and practice to shift the focus to facts, taking advantages of diverse comments for enrichment and confirming the trains of thought of the logic behind it. In doing so, both side walk away and pocket the gains. Discover the many emotional faces of an individual, be accommodating and helpful rather than being critical openly, everyone needs to have their emotion needs fulfilled primary through meaningful conversations.

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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