PARENTAL ASPIRATIONS, PODCAST INTERVIEW

A Chin-dian Parent in Singapore

Visit the Learning Parent SG Facebook page, check out Chapter Zero, and listen to our interview below.

Joline Lim comes from both a Chinese and Indian background (Chin-dian!). Living in Singapore, which is a very competitive environment with a huge focus on academic achievement, Joline has embraced Gentle Parenting, but felt that there is much to learn from a variety of experts and approaches. As she embarked on her learning journey to be the kind of parent she wants to be for her kids, she launched The Learning Parent SG to advocate for respectful parenting with a Singaporean representation! She is also an active volunteer for Chapter Zero in Singapore, a social enterprise promoting mindful parenting in Singapore.

The Learning Parent SG with Joline Lim

I had the joy of chatting with Joline and learning more about her very cool background and what brought her to setting up The Learning Parent SG (Facebook Community Page and Instagram). She was a delight to converse with and I know I’m going to have more conversations with her as I continue to learn more about how I can be better parent, more in tune with what my kids need to grow up with resilience and patience. Her intention to share resources, inspiration, comfort and encouragement is a beautiful light, especially during difficult times in the world nowadays.

She recently joined social enterprise Chapter Zero, running their social media, because she benefited from their workshops and now wants to help the outreach to help other Singaporean parents. This is an exciting organization doing important work in Singapore. The future of our children depend on this kind of support for parents.

In our podcast, Jolene touches on numerous topics:

  • Growing up with intense pressure to conform to social expectations, like each generation improving achieving more success over previous generations, can create a lot of anger, shame, guilt, and fear in our lives.
  • Expectations vs Reality! Parenting is like a test, but we really have no idea what it is and what we are doing! Prior to doing it, we may have preconceived notions that get tossed out as we deal with challenges we never knew we would have to deal with!
  • That ‘ah ha’ moment when we know that what we are doing just isn’t working. And it’s not about ‘controlling behaviour’ anymore but meeting the emotional needs of children.
  • A gradual implementation of respectful parenting changed everything. The more she connected with her child through understanding underlying reasons for his behaviours, the more he was willing to cooperate.
  • Parenting, and respectful parenting in particular, is playing the long game. It’s like running a marathon – it can be overwhelming so we need to be kind to ourselves and take care of ourselves so we can do the important work. They then can see what it looks like to value ourselves, so that it becomes the norm that they should value themselves.

Her Key Message: Parenting is hard. Respectful parenting is especially hard because of the all the unlearning we have to do. It is both a privilege and a huge responsibility to break the cycle of behaviour.

FOCUS ON YOU

Not Doin’ Nothin’ This Weekend

According to the World Health Organisation, stress is the health epidemic of the 21st Century. Everywhere you turn, people are stressed. There are many reasons for this, but it mainly boils down to our busy modern lifestyle and the way our reptilian brain is programmed to help us avoid life threatening situations through the fight or flight response. But prolonged exposure to this level of heightened anxiety compromises our immune system and causes inflammatory responses. Chronic stress leads to chronic illnesses and pain. Dude, people are stressed. Not just adults, but youth, little kids, the elderly… like… everyone!

So this has now spawned a billion and one (money making) ways for us to cope with the stress, you know, overcome this challenge, manage our response, because it’s our RESPONSE that’s the problem, not the problem itself. It’s not what happens that matters, it’s how we deal with what happens that matters.

Right?

So we need to work hard everyday on our physical and mental health, eat well (vegetarian? keto?), get enough and good quality sleep (but… insomnia!), exercise (at the gym with weird equipment? rigorously? 30 minutes? 7 minutes?), be positive, be mindful (meditate, do yoga, qigong)… CBT… CBD? THC!? use essential oils, vaccinate, don’t vaccinate, but we have to focus on developing relationships, because relationships are everything, be kind, time flies, the clock is ticking, so we have to seize the day, make every minute count, be a good parent (attachment, authentic, free range, tiger), be a good spouse (thoughtful, organized, do your fair share), be a good employee, manager (get ahead at work, achieve your potential, network, manage up, get along with everyone), learn languages, be good at math, make sure your kids learn languages and are good at math, kids should play competitive sports to develop skills that will help them succeed in the future, travel the world with your kids, if your kids cannot sit still in class, they may have something that requires them to get drugged, be patient, do you have enough money for retirement? make a bucket list, skydive in Paris, eat Wendy’s no antibiotics meat free burger at 11 pm when you’re binge watching all the Must See shows before the Oscars and Emmys, sign up for Oprah’s newly revamped Weight Watchers, while you look at the Must Read Goodreads for your book club piling up by your bed, save your money, make your lunches, but working mothers are happier if they hire someone to clean their houses, every 20 minutes, look up for 20 seconds at something 20 feet away… get fresh air, get sunshine, take your vitamins, blend flaxseeds into your breakfast smoothie, brush your hair and look good, get organized and develop good habits that will make you successful… make a to do list, no don’t make a to do list because it doesn’t work, use a project management approach, break it down into little doable pieces… don’t overshare and don’t forget to keep your kids privacy private because companies make money off of their information… hardwire happiness, make happiness a project, Marie Kondoize your house!

You’ve got this. JUST DO IT!

If you can’t do all this successfully, happily, and through beautiful photos on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Snapchat, Vimeo, Whatsapp, WeChat, you are an utter failure and it’s your own fault that you are stressed.

Because it all boils down to you doing the right thing at the right time…

Now even thinking about things that are supposed to help with stress is stressing people out!

So… I’ve decided… I’m not going to do anything this weekend.

I’m not going to make a list, I’m not going to feel guilty, I’m not going to pressure myself into working on being a better person.