2 minutes reading time (498 words)

I watched a Chinese documentary on Channel 8 last night. The program was showing the joy of having many children in the house. For those anti government viewers, they may view the show as a government propaganda to increase child birth in Singapore. For me, it made me reflect on my own parenthood.


The program showed a family with four boys, and when they interviewed the parents, they gave their view of having more children. The mother when interviewed said that she started having children when she was young. Her view of career was different from others. She thought that she should settle her family first and when her children were older, she would try to have a career. She also mentioned that many of her peers were more successful in their careers but when the time come for them to have children, they were too old and at most can have one or two children. She asked the question, "What's the point of having a successful career when you always come home to an empty house?".


I always come home to a lively house. My children were either having a lot of fun playing with each other or having a hard time being disciplined by their mother. I have three children and this number made a very dynamic combination. There can be a lot of different permutations. One day, when I come home, the two boys would be enjoying a book together and my daughter would be alone doing her homework. Other days, my daughter would be reading to his youngest brother while the older brother would be playing his iPod in one corner. 


My wife once commented, "We did not need to watch TV drama, drama is always playing out inside our house." With the dynamics of children, what she said was very true. Sometimes, the boys would gang up against the girl, other times, they would be so loving to each other. It is fun to watch the interaction between children. Their interaction is so honest and without pretense. 


I think the greatest gift I have given my children is the company that they got from their siblings. I had brought my children to the playground frequently and sometimes when I see those single child playing alone or playing with only their maid or parents, I could sense their envy when they see my children playing with each other. You can give your only child all the toys in the world but playing the best toys alone can never beat playing a simple toy with other children of your age. My children can be happy playing at the play ground running around and chasing each other, they do not need any toy.


My advice to youngsters planning to start a family, if you really want to have children, start early and have more than one. You will be amazed at how children can take care of each other.  


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the vicissitudes of life