Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The finer points of blogging about kids

It's not lost on me that my recent posts have largely been about my kids' accomplishments of some sort or other. I thought I should clarify the fact: it's not that this blog is veering towards a trophy room for my kids or that I'm trying to paint a picture of perfection.

As my kids grow older, they become increasingly self-conscious. Even as they discover more about themselves everyday, they are gradually sieving out and accepting or rejecting others' perceptions of them as a reflection of their true self. It's part and parcel of growing up.

Both my kids read my blog, so often what I write on my blog about them influences this self-perception. This has been true for Lesley-Anne from the beginning but now, Andre too is becoming more self-aware (even though he's still largely more interested in the photos!) As a result, I've had to exercise much more self-censorship and restraint in writing.

My kids are not perfect - far from it. They still get into scrapes, they still fall short sometimes. But not every incident can be posted publicly. Not because I'm ai bin (I think I've been pretty open in sharing in the past) but because they can be sensitive points for my kids. As long as I feel that the airing of any incident can create an inkling of self-doubt in them, I have the responsibility not to blog about it. For instance, Andre had some issues in school earlier this term but I made a judgement call that it would not be productive to him to write about them. I'm glad I didn't - he has since surprised me with a 180 degree transformation.

Not every "negative" incident needs to be axed though. Sometimes, certain events enable us laugh at ourselves or help us and others learn from them, in which case I will continue to share. Conversely, I try to blog about the achievements of my kids not just so I'll have a record of them but because it positively reinforces their self-esteem when they read about themselves. It's an ongoing balancing act.

So this is my attempt at explaining the direction I've been taking and to reassure my readers out there who may be thinking that I'm leading a charmed life: no, I don't have super kids! They're regular kids with regular problems. And I don't always have the answers. But take it from someone who has lost her temper one too many times and often despaired far too soon, I've found that patience and empathy, peppered with lots of prayer, can work wonders.

You know, nobody has perfect kids but I find that when I make an effort to consciously record my kids' achievements, I usually find more than I expect. In the same way that counting your blessings helps you appreciate them more, recognising my kids' strengths makes me grateful for who they are. You might like to try it sometime.


Anonymous said...

Again I read words of wisdom from you. It is obvious where Andre gets his wisdom from. People often say one gets wiser when one grows older. However, I believe wisdom is built on some fundamentals like good values and beliefs, not age. LOL Way to go..


monlim said...

QX: Totally agree with you that age is not equal to wisdom. Thanks for the encouragement - it's always easier to spout words of wisdom than live wisely! We just need to be focused and sigh... patient.

Anonymous said...

Oh...I so love your blog. Think our encouragement has taken effects and the rate of posting seems to go up.


monlim said...

SC: lol! no lah, still 3x a week :) But thanks for continuing to tune in!

Anonymous said...


You have a wonderful blog here. It's written with such honesty & sincerity which makes reading it really enjoyable.

Keep up the excellent work.


monlim said...

Ng: Thanks so much, it's always great to know that people enjoy what I write :)

kjj said...

in sociological terms: positive reinforcement! it helps that the said kids see you as one of their 'significant others'. (as opposed to 'generalised others')


breve1970 said...

Hey Mon

I feel so much better talking about my girls' achievements now that I have read your entry. Its positive reinforcement if you know what I mean.

Wanted to write about Hannah passing her recent Grade 2 Piano Exam and was wondering if I should.. haha.

monlim said...

Ann: Sometimes we think we're being modest when we deny our kids' achievements but actually our kids start thinking that we don't value them... blog away! I wanna read :)

Mummy Seah said...

Chanced upon your blog and enjoy reading it...

Totally agreed with you that blogging about our kids' achievements does not mean that we are not modest but we just wish to show our children that we value for whom they are.

I am vexed with some unhappy incident happened with my boy in his school. I wanted to blog about it but I stopped myself from doing that as my purpose of having a blog of my boy is to keep fond memories of those wonderful time we have with him.

Keep blogging and I will come visiting whenever possible.

All the best to you and your family!

monlim said...

Mummy Seah: thanks for reading! your blog has some very beautiful photos :)

Rita said...

I keep my blog under password :-) It's more of a journal for our family of seven. My husband and kids have access to it, though and the kids love going back to past entries to see the posts and laugh at their old photos ;-)

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