Teach me, Sensei.
Or rather, teach all the parents out there in the world, and all the parents-to-be. Teach them all Good Parenting 101, and how to be a cool parent instead of an overly strict one. Show them how to achieve the win-win situation of protecting their precious flesh and blood from dangers without a falling-out, just like how you’ve so wonderfully done with your own daughter.
Confused? I’m talking about that one Japanese dad who took Japanese netizens by storm on twitter, when his daughter recounted how he had gently, and rather effectively, showed her how to drink safely in an unsafe world.
The story is rather touching, but for those who would say TL;DR, here’s a brief rundown:
Daughter had always been a bit of a rebel, doing stupid things but nothing that had gotten her into serious trouble so far. Daughter hit the drinking age, and parents started to fret because they knew that no matter what they said or did, their daughter was still going to have her way and drink her fill. Dad came up with a brilliant idea to bring her out for a night of crazy fun, where she could drink until she was dead drunk. Five stops later (which included bars and clubs), after 2 beers and 5 cocktails, she was knocked out. The next morning, his hungover daughter went down to breakfast and read the note he left her. It said: “Remember how much you drank? That’s your limit, so be sure to stop before you reach it. I can’t be around to protect you all the time, so know that limit and protect yourself in this world where bad people exist.” Oh, and he ended off with a gut-wrenching “I know you can do it. Love, Dad.”
Cue melodramatic sniffles.
To be honest, there definitely are a lot of other fantastic parents out there who have long adopted this style of parenting, and this dad isn’t the only “cool dad” there is. It’s undeniable though, judging from the response that this tweet has garnered, there aren’t enough, at least not within Asia, where we’re known to be stricter disciplinarians than our western counterparts.
For what it’s worth, the woman – now a parent herself – who wrote this has never gone over her limit.
Even in Singapore, where it’s understood that people can walk the streets at night without being mugged, many of our peers still have curfews imposed that can be as frustrating at 9pm, or as shiok as 2am. Amazing, right?
Perhaps it could be because of our naturally young-looking baby faces, and the fact that we live with our parents even when we’re well past 21, that makes it significantly harder for our parents to remember that we aren’t that clueless little kid who would stick our fingers into electric sockets because, oooh, a hole.
Is it up to us then, to gently guide our parents to see us for who we’ve grown up to become? To realise that we no longer have to be so sheltered? Maybe we should go home and ask our parents out for some drinks one of these nights, or bring them out on a backpacking trip to a neighbouring country even. After all, to be treated like an adult, you first have to prove that you can (somewhat) act like one, right?
By: Chan Choy Yu