Saturday, May 29, 2004

Seeing opportunities in "problems"

Few days back a friend shared with me some of his strategies in raising kids. Intentionally, all his children share the same room even though there are enough rooms for each. Obviously, those who sleep later will be disturbing those who sleep earlier. This situation is a 'problem' and 'solutions' such as arranging for each child to have their own room. However, to my friend, this is an opportunity to educate the kids about being considerate.

Yes, I agree very much with him. Many a time, too easily we classify many situations as 'problems' while it would be much better to see them as 'opportunities'. Thus, 'solving' these 'problems' is actually 'avoiding' or 'wasting' these 'opportunities'. A common example, when two kids fight for a toy, an easy 'solution' is to buy two toys for the two kids. Apparently, the problem of 'fighting' is 'solved'. However, this natural opportunity for them to learn and experience the consequences of 'fighting' and/or to build up the self-control ability to refrain from fighting is wasted.

Then, hours later, this question came up in my mind: "If someone invented a device/method such that new born infants will not cry for milk in the middle of the night, is it good?" It might be a solution in giving the parents a better night sleep, but the bonding between parents and child would be weaker. What about pampers vs. cloth, walking helper vs. trial and error, Panadol vs. self-recovery, etc. The point is not going to any of the extremes, but be aware of the bigger picture and the pros and cons of each decisions and approaches.

1 comment:

Esther said...

This is great, and I liked how you thought about the possibility of pple taking it to the extremes.

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