I would like to consider myself rather lucky when it comes to having the freedom of doing what I want to do without my parents constantly hovering over my shoulders and giving me the “why aren’t you studying” stare of doom. Not all Malaysian parents are as open as my own parents are. I’ve got many friends (of whom shall not be named) whose parents control almost every aspect of their lives until the point that it seems almost as if their only sole purpose of living is to cram every single SPM book into their heads.
So what if you were thinking of doing some good for your society? Many Malaysian parents put such heavy emphasis on studies and education above anything else. Anything else their children do that has nothing to do with education is deemed by them almost as a complete waste of time.
I would like to remind readers again that I am 100% aware that not all parents are like that, but because WE, the DSG crew, care about YOUR needs, we have compiled a list of seven things you can tell your more controlling Malaysian parents when trying to convince them to let you do volunteer work:
1. My teacher asked me to do it.
Now, I’m not asking you guys to lie but when it comes to handling Malaysian parents, you have to be smart about it. I’m sure at some point in your lives during your everyday classroom adventures, your teacher MUST have said: “Oh you know you guys should consider yourselves lucky that you can go to school and get a good education. Why don’t you guys put your blessings to good use and help those who are less fortunate than you…” or at least something to that effect. Thus, when the time comes when you’re trying to tell your parents that you’re going for volunteer work, tell them your teacher asked you to do it. See? That’s not lying.
2. Tell them you want to take an academic course where volunteer work is compulsory.
I don’t need to tell any Malaysian kid this but its almost common knowledge that if you want to make your parents happy, then talk to them about your education. Want to give them a bigger smile? Then tell them you want to take up a CHALLENGING academic course! I know MY parents were bouncing off the sofa when I told them I wanted to take the IBDP (worst decision ever). What they didn’t know at that point in time was that the IBDP required a certain amount of hours invested into community service work if you wish to graduate. I may not have signed up for the IBDP specifically for the volunteer work (in fact, I’m not sure why I did), but if you wish to do volunteer work out of the goodness of your heart, by all means go and join a course where volunteer work has been made a compulsory aspect of your graduation process.
3. I’m going for a study group.
This should be fairly self-explanatory. Asian parents love to see their kids studying. Now if parents get excited from just seeing their ONE child busy studying, imagine the euphoria parents will go through if they see a GROUP of kids studying. Works like a charm.
4. Tell them your volunteer work is going to aid you in your future career.
When I say future career, I don’t mean just any career. Being part of the Malaysian kid community, I’m sure we all know the three golden career paths:
Anything else other than the three career paths above is simply not acceptable. Based on this, you have to put your convincing skills to good use. For example, going to help out at a disable children youth support group. If you think for a minute, you can actually link this to your “Doctor” career path. Maybe tell your parents: “This volunteer work will allow me to work with children who are disabled and this will help me in the future when I become a doctor and have to work with other disabled patients”. Trust me; parents love to hear things like that.
5. I’m doing what God has asked.
For those whose parents are slightly more religious, you could tell them that it is the will of God. There is no way to counter-argue this. Checkmate.
6. I’m going out to sell drugs. Oh wait, I’m just kidding I’m going out to do volunteer work.
What parents fear more than their children doing badly in school and their studies is the fear that their children may become involved in all things illegal: gangs, drugs, human trafficking. So the next time you are trying to tell your parents you are going out to do volunteer work start out by telling them that you are going out to sell drugs. When you realize that your parents are on the verge of breaking into tears, burst out in laughter (to lighten the mood) and say: “Oh I’m just kidding. I’m actually going out to do some good for the world through volunteer work!” Your parents will be so relieved they will have no choice but to let you go.
7. Mom you always asked me to go out and find a good wife. I’ve found the perfect chance.
Perhaps your mom has always been reminding you to find someone who has good values before you marry that person. So the next time you go out for volunteering, tell your mom that wherever you’re going for your volunteer work, there’s going to be plenty of fishes with good values. Mom will be ecstatic.
So there you go. That’s our list of seven things to tell your parents if you’re having trouble trying to convince them to let you go out for volunteer work. Hope this helps!
If there are any suggestions you DSG readers out there want to be blogged about, just email me at [email protected].
– Ryan Chan (Your loyal DSG blogger)