STOP AT ONE, OR NOT

When it comes to cars, the more the mer­rier for this petrol­head, but when it comes to kids, she is happy to have just one.

Torque (Singapore) - - YOKOHAMA SPECIAL - LYNN TAN

DIF­FER­ENT types of cars have dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties. For folks who can af­ford it, they can have dif­fer­ent cars for dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions and moods. When you have more than one child, you can bet your last dol­lar that each of them will be as dif­fer­ent as a con­vert­ible is from an SUV.

This means that there is no one-size-fits-all par­ent­ing. You will have to adopt a dif­fer­ent ap­proach with each of your kids, while main­tain­ing a base­line fair­ness. Try jus­ti­fy­ing to one child why his or her sib­ling gets to buy a new pair of shoes, while he or she doesn’t be­cause his or hers still fit and are in good con­di­tion.

Cars will not com­plain when you drive one of them more of­ten than an­other, but a child is un­likely to un­der­stand why you need to spend more time with, or give more at­ten­tion to, a sib­ling sim­ply be­cause he or she needs it more.

It is all right for the car with the high­est horse­power or the quick­est zero-to-hun­dred sprint to not be your favourite, for what­ever rea­son, but good luck re­as­sur­ing the child with the best per­for­mance in terms of re­sults and be­hav­iour who some­how feels that he or she is not the ap­ple of your eye.

As par­ents, we are pleased when the straight-A child who al­ways does well does it yet again, but when we are ec­static over that sin­gle A which his or her less aca­dem­i­cally in­clined sib­ling scores, you can­not blame the for­mer for feel­ing just that lit­tle bit of re­sent­ment.

It is un­der­stand­able when you love a car be­cause it lives up to ex­pec­ta­tions and per­forms ex­cel­lently ev­ery time. It is also nor­mal to ap­pre­ci­ate an old ve­hi­cle for its an­tics and quirks.

Ev­ery mother tries to love the child who is al­ways up to mis­chief as much as an­other who can do no wrong.

I be­lieve that all par­ents love all their chil­dren, but never equally. And that is per­fectly fine be­cause par­ents are hu­man too, and hu­mans are sus­cep­ti­ble to favouritism.

Just as long as you are truth­ful enough to ad­mit it to your­self and do every­thing within your means to pre­vent any bias from man­i­fest­ing it­self, so as not to hurt your chil­dren’s feel­ings. Maybe it is due to some of th­ese rea­sons that my hus­band and I de­cided to have just one child. I am in no way ad­vo­cat­ing a one-child pol­icy, for that would make me an en­emy of the state in the face of de­clin­ing birth rates and a rapidly age­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Nei­ther am I ad­vo­cat­ing not hav­ing kids at all in or­der to re­duce our car­bon foot­print and save the planet.

All I am say­ing is, let the par­ents de­cide on their num­ber of off­spring.

As for cars, it is a mat­ter of fi­nan­cial pru­dence. There is no right or wrong when it comes to how many cars or kids you have. Have as many cars as you can or need, and have as many chil­dren as you can or want.

LYNN WOULD LIKE TO OF­FER A PIECE OF AD­VICE: NEVER LET ANY­ONE TELL YOU HOW MANY YOU SHOULD HAVE, WHETHER CARS OR KIDS.

APRIL 2018

Only one child/car or one child/ car too many, it’s up to the par­ents/ mo­torists.

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