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Breaking the Stereotype: Why We Shouldn't Scare Kids with Blue-Collar Job Warnings

Breaking the Stereotype: Why We Shouldn’t Scare Kids with Blue-Collar Job Warnings

Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Parentology

If you grew up in Singapore, chances are you have heard lots of tongue and cheek things from your parents that were supposed to serve as a warning, such as talking to strangers will cause you to get kidnapped and sent overseas to become a beggar.

These things were meant to be a way to scare us into obedience for our own safety or so we become successful but they may actually do more harm than good. There are other ways to help your children not only remain obedient to you but to also grow up to be a good person. So, here are three things that we’ve heard as children but we should not repeat to our own kids:


“If Your Teacher Does Anything to You, I’ll Handle Them”

It is important to protect your kid if they have experienced actual abuse and they should definitely know their rights and exercise them. However, telling your child that you’ll deal with their teacher if they do anything to them is a recipe for disaster. This can create a sense of entitlement that will make your child feel like they can do whatever they want and get away with it. They may stop listening to the teacher or they may even begin giving the teacher a hard time and they will feel like you will be there to bail them out whenever they want.

Not only does this cultivate disrespect and arrogance but it will also reinforce that your kid won’t need to deal with the consequences of their actions. This is something that will only get worse in time and it can even follow your child into adulthood, where they may find themselves in real trouble due to their attitude and you won’t be there to help them out.

Instead of telling your child that you’ll deal with their teacher, it is better to have them be responsible for their own actions. Teach them respect and how to be humble and your child will never find themselves in trouble or needing you to bail them out.


“You Need to Be Rich to Be Happy”

There is absolutely nothing wrong with showing your kids the finer things in life and working hard so they can live comfortably. However, telling your children that they can only be happy in Singapore if they have a lot of money, can backfire on you. Even though the intentions are good, it can lead to raising kids that feel like they always need the latest and greatest things to have respect or to feel successful. It also can cause them to disrespect or look down on people who do not have as much money. They may become haughty, arrogant, and even insecure when they grow up.

As parents, we want to make sure that we can teach our children how to be financially responsible, so they are able to thrive and find financial success on their own. Show them the value of money and how hard it is to make. That way they know the effort that went into every single dollar they spend. This will help them become prudent with their funds and lead them to a more successful life, even if you help them out financially.

It is also crucial to let them know that they can have a fulfilling life without a lot of money. Instead of pushing them to become rich, help them chase their dreams instead. After all, your kids are already stressed out enough trying to get through school, let alone worrying about making a ton of money after they graduate.


“If You Don’t Do Well in School You’ll Become a Street Sweeper”

This is something that many of us heard growing up. Not only is this offensive but it cultivates a culture that looks down on respectable blue collar jobs such as being a street sweeper or garbage collector. These jobs literally hold up our society and are nothing to be ashamed of, yet parents constantly use them to scare their kids into doing well in school.

This is problematic in many ways. First, these kinds of jobs are actually quite well paying. But when you tell your kids they are not good jobs to have or they are something to be embarrassed about, it creates a society where children do not want to do these blue collar jobs because they don’t want people to look down on them or disrespect them. They will feel like this is work for the poor and low class.

This forces kids into trying for high paying jobs, even if they are things they are not passionate about or even outright disdain just so they can have respect and a good salary. This only leads to unhappiness, stress, and eventually depression. Rather than trying to scare your kids into doing well. It is much more prudent to sit down with them and discuss their future and their dreams.

Find out the things they are passionate about and show them jobs and careers that relate to that. You can even show them the kinds of salaries these jobs make, your kid may be pleasantly surprised how high they can be. This way instead of pushing themselves to do well because they are scared to do a blue collar job, they’ll motivate themselves to do well because they want to achieve their dreams.

Our greatest wish is to see our children thrive and achieve their fullest potential, yet it’s easy to lose sight of what truly matters. In our pursuit to ensure their success and wealth, we often overlook the essence of life. Guiding our children towards becoming doctors or lawyers might seem like a path to success, but true success lies in their happiness. As parents, our role is to nurture their dreams, instill the importance of financial wisdom, teach them respect, and keep them grounded in humility.

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