“Just noodles Ma’am, and the vegetables separately, please”

“Just noodles Ma’am, and the vegetables separately, please”

A while ago, I went to a restaurant with some friends. While I was there, I observed a family that consists father, a mother, a 5-6 years old girl, and a babysitter. At first, I was interested in paying attention to this family because the little girl is cute and loves to talk. From the moment they entered the restaurant, this child kept asking her babysitter. The babysitter also looks patient in “answering” her questions. However, after they were seated by the waitress at the restaurant, I started to feel the tingle. The girl said to her babysitter, “You sit next to me (pointing at the chair next to her), and Mom sits there (points to the chair across her).” Not only that, when her mother asked her, “What do you want to eat?”, the girl was silent and didn’t answer the questions. Then, her mother asked the babysitter, “What does she want to eat?”. Without asking the girl, the babysitter immediately answered, “Just noodles Ma’am, and the vegetables separately.”

What do you feel when you read the story above? It feels sad, right? And of course, you really hope this will never happen in your relationship with children, right? However, this event actually happened in the life of the community around us and might be considered a natural thing by our surroundings.

The changing environment and times have had a profound impact on the pattern of parent-child relationships. Parents are faced with a big dilemma, on the one hand, they really want to try to meet the physical or material needs of their children, but on the other hand, they faced the fact that children also need parental attention and assistance for their growth and development. As a result, a situation is created where parents try to provide other companions in various forms, for example, nanny, gadget, iPad, games, TV, extra lessons, or others, and without realizing it, the relationship between parents and children is getting faded and parents are increasingly unfamiliar with their children.

Bonding or a close relationship between parents and children is very basic. Dr. Henry Cloud in his book “Changes That Heal” states that bonding is the foundation of life. Bonding is the basis for the formation of character, morals, and values. So, bonding is the basic process of educating children. And without bonding, the individual quality of life will actually move away from a noble character. So, how is the quality of the relationship or bonding between the children and you as the parent?

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.
1 John 4:7 (KJV)

Mutiara, S. Psi.
IPEKA Counseling Center

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