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Day: April 24, 2013

Let Them Grow

Let Them Grow

“She doesn’t know how to take the bus.”
“You must be kidding!! Isn’t she in Sec 2 this year?! I went around on buses when I was in Primary 5!!”
“Well, she’s always been ferried around by her mother…”

Oh my goodness…

Overprotective parents. Are we helping or harming our children?? Sure, these youngsters are academically brilliant but completely inept in handling normal day to day stuff.

I even see it in 宝贝. She’s been ferried around so much that taking mrt and bus are treats. I recall that it was the other way round for me. Buses (mrts were only operational very much later) were the norms. Car rides were the treats!!

When I gossiped with my friends about these “lucky” kids, it made me more mindful that I need to stop mollycoddling my children. Sometimes, for the sake of convenience, we “help” them with their tasks. Are we really helping or over helping??

We sometimes underestimate the abilities of our children. They are in fact, very capable of performing many tasks. We, parents, should have confidence in them and let them do it.

宝贝 was able to feed herself at a very young age. Of course, we went through lots of cleaning up and soiled clothes before we reached that stage. It was so tempting to just take over the spoon and shovel the food into her mouth so that I could save myself the task of cleaning up the entire mess!! I shudder at seeing grown up children (even the ones in primary schools) being fed by their parents and maids at the restaurants or even at family functions. Ok, I’d rather go for the mess at home during training than to be caught dead with an academically brilliant imbecile who still requires feeding at an advanced age.

Sure, she wants me to help her with everything, if she has the choice. It’s the easy way out. i usually let her choose – either she does it herself or everything remains status quo. No coercion or begging. Her choice.

Definitely, if the tasks are dangerous to perform at her age, I’d definitely take over. Her grandmas and some friends of mine think I’m too brave. Their idea of “safe” differs from mine at times. :p

There’s no better time than now to let go and let them learn. In fact, I have to constantly remind myself to let go for I can’t take care of her forever.

At the age of 3.5, she can do the following things (which I think all children of her age should be able to do) :
– Use the toilet on her own with the help of the handy ikea stool. That stool is worth every single cent and a hundred times more!!
– Dress herself.
– Prepare her own breakfast. Simple one of course.
– Feed herself.
– Pack her schoolbag.
– Walk home after she alights from her school bus
– Set the table (cutlery and plates) for the whole family at mealtimes.
– Bring her own dirty plate and cutlery back to the kitchen.
– Return her toys and books back to their original places after use.
– Do her own laundry. (Just putting them into the laundry basket and then into the washing machine, turn on the washing machine at the right setting).
– Use the phone, dial the correct numbers and “buy” groceries, (She places her grocery orders with my Dad. Haha.) or simply chit chat. She remembers a few people’s numbers for this purpose.
– Send whatsapp messages with single words.

Quite a long list! Next one on the list – bathe herself adequately.

Of course she gets treats when she does her chores. I just have to take the risk of cleaning up the mess if she fouls up. But hey! It’s for the long term benefit. Think of the amount of time and money you can save when she can help out with the household chores??

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Meanwhile… Here’s my little housemaid in her Hello Kitty apron. That’s extra incentive. She likes to look good when she’s performing household chores. :p