My primary school was located on a hill. The building is still on the same hill but my primary school no longer exists.

On the hill, there were a couple of frangipani trees which bore pink flowers with yellow centres. I’ve lost count of the times I played under the trees, collecting the blooms or simply chatting with my friends.

Back then, I never thought that there was anything special about frangipani trees. In fact, I quite disliked the flower’s musky fragrance, which I though smelled like a cheap perfume.

I’m still not a great fan of its scent but over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the graceful beauty of the tree and the exquisiteness of its blooms.

Hence my ecstasy when I saw that there were some frangipani trees planted in my estate too.

Frangipani Trees

Then came the storm. And I saw this post-storm:

Fallen Frangipani Flowers

But even as I felt sorry for the fallen flowers, I realised that the same storm that has torn them from their tree brings life-giving water to exactly the same tree.

A parallel in life is that setbacks may seem like disasters when they happen but if we look at the other side of the coin, aren’t they actually tests that nurture, mould and strengthen us?

Parents tend to rush to the aid of their children when the latter come up against an obstacle. Please don’t. Take the time to observe and analyse the problem your child is facing.

You may be pleasantly surprised. Your child may be able and resourceful enough to solve the problem himself. If that is the case, give him a pat on his back and tell him, ‘Well done!’

If he can’t, don’t be in a haste to solve it for him. Guide him, give him clues so that he could do it himself. The advantages of this approach are three-fold:

  • It teaches him the skills so that he could solve similar problems when they arise in the future;
  • It will also help him to become more confident, a vital trait; and
  • It will enable him to be more resilient, to be able to take on challenges instead of crumpling at the first sign of trouble.

And this does not only apply to our children, but to us, adults too. So parents, instead of getting stressed up by the difficulties that crop up in life, approach them philosophically for a tempest may not be a bad thing.

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