How to shine as a Parent

25 05 2021
Shine

Parenting is not an easy task, sometimes it requires more courage and right thinking than any other endeavor thus little wonder that many people shy away from having children.

In the film, Shine, child piano prodigy, David Helfgott has a father, Peter Helfgott, who is overbearing and turned their little family of four into tense and anxious place rather than a house of peace.  Peter Helfgott’s anger stems from his difficult childhood, a polish Jew and holocaust survivor, and having to struggle against great odd to fend for himself,  thus he never fails to remind David how lucky he is, often asking him to repeat the words, “ I am a very lucky boy”. Furthermore, he pushed the boy to win at all cost, and would shout and hit the table with his fists if he didn’t and even asked his tutor to teach the boy to play Rachmaninoff, a complicate piece music way above his age and yet would not permit him to accept a scholarship to the London school of music.  Consequently the adolescent David rebelled went off to London on scholarship prompting his father to repudiate him and break all ties with him. Nevertheless, at the London school, he finally leans enough to play the Rachmaninoff at an orchestra, monumental effort that triggers his psychosis. The entire plot of the movie leaves very little doubt that Peter Helfgott parenting style is not the right way to be a good parent.

The most importance lesson to be drawn from Helfgott family tragic history is that parental authority is not all about imposing your will on your children, or a kind of obedience at all cost attitude, in which children obey because they are terrified of the consequences of not doing so. David’s father threw the weight of his authority around every decision he made about David and would no broach a no for an answer and hardly even bothered to ask David’s opinion. For instance when David got the scholarship, despite his misgivings, He should have sat down with his son to discuss the pro and cons and listen to his son opinion after all it his future.

Although David true siblings has refuted the claims made in the film,  arguing that their father was not like that and that he was mischaracterized in the movie for commercial gains, it is still pertinent warning for other parents who perhaps may have toe that line

On the opposite extreme of Peter Helfgott, are parents who cave in to every demand of their children, we can call this defect permissive parenting, where the parents feel the need to cater for every whim and caprice of the child.  This is because, according to this article, ~ “parents fear disciplining their children due to some negative consequences they themselves have suffered because their own parents imposed things on them. Yet, to give to a child everything it wants is to lie to that child. Hence as a result we could conclude that the virtue of a good parent lies in the middle of both extreme. It is a balance between allowing them to act freely and teaching them how to take responsibility for their actions, because freedom and responsibility are inseparable. Furthermore, exercising authority comes from offering children the knowledge and tools they need to grow into responsible adults  and this lies precisely in giving them a good example which they can emulate since children generally observe and learn from what they see their parents and other adults do.  This website has videos explaining the common problem that often arises when bringing up children and it might be worth watching.


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