Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When Bad Things Become Good

Cover of "It Could Have Been Worse"Cover of It Could Have Been Worse

I was reading about the Dragon Boat tragedy in the papers the other day and one of the victim's father made a comment that got me pondering. He mentioned how he would scold his son for spending too much time playing computer games and that prompted the son to sign up for the dragon boat activity. He said he wished he had left his son to play computer games. That way, his son would still be alive.

I guess it struck me because I am one of those parents who dislike the idea of my children gazing hypnotically at the computer screen for hours on end. I don't mind them playing for about 1 hour. However, I would also encourage them to do other "better" things like reading books, activities that require some imagination and creativity, help me clean up the house (their least favorite thing to do of course) and physical activities.

Well, this father's comment got me thinking that maybe, playing computer games is not too bad afterall:
  • You know where they are. Having them at home is better than not knowing where they are or having them engage in dangerous or inappropriate activities.
  • They can't get injured playing computer games. Their eye sight may deteriorate a little and they may suffer from carpal tunnel later on, but nothing that will have them end up in the hospital.
  • Some computer games can aid their spacial abilities and hand-eye coordination (I think).
My heart goes out to the families that lost their children in this tragedy. I cannot fathom what it is like to lose a child. I hope I never know. As parents, we try to bring up our children the best we can. We try to guide them in the right way. It's just that we cannot see the future and therefore cannot predict when bad things may actually be good things (and vice versa).

It reminds me of a children's book I once read. It's called It Could Have Been Worse. The story is about a little mouse who experiences a whole bunch of mishaps like falling into a hole, tripping etc.... But all those "bad" things that happened to him were actually "good" things coz' they saved him from being eaten by predators.

Anyway, my point is, we never know when the "bad" things could turn out to be "good" things. I think I shall take it as a lesson to be less harsh on my kids.

p.s. For those of you who don't know, the Dragon Boat tragedy refers to the recent death of 5 students and 1 teacher as their dragon boat capsized while they were training for the Penang International Dragon Boat Race.
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  1. What you wrote makes sense. My kids are hooked on the TV. I have to stop them from watching too much TV. But if you view it on the other side, there are advantages to it. My kids' English, grammar and vocab improved a lot from watching TV programs. They even speak in American slang at times. Staying at home is safer than indulging in outdoor activities. So watching TV ain't that bad after all eh?

  2. Yeah, when things happen, we tend to blame ourselves ... i shd have this and I shd hav that. Can imagine how hurt the parents feel. Feel so sorry.

  3. Ailian, I was really inspired by what you said here. You are very sensible.

  4. Everything in moderation, I say....


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