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My Children

My “kampong-style” of parenting

At Ta Prohm, visit to ancient temple in CambodiaAt Bayon, Cambodia

Fireman Clement
Fireman Clement

Today, I can afford the luxury of time and read a book. Very nice, title: Interpersonal Edge by Daneen Skube. I completed 2 chapters and picked up many pointers. One of the sections “Making lemonade out of lemon” intrigues me to write again. It says:

“Jacob thought that the most painful part of his childhood was that his parents seemed too caught up in their own lives to notice him. He felt invisible and like an inconvenience to them. As an adult, Jacob was a top-selling salesperson with an amazing knack for figuring out what people wanted. He could see that he had developed his extraordinary skill for reading people as a kid, when he tried to figure out how to make his parents happy with him. Jacob now celebrates his lucrative sales skills as the lemonade derived out of the sour disappointment of not having more attentive or empathetic parents.”

True. This is perhaps what some people call this kind of children “street-smart”.

Children are such passionate creatures who are nonverbal, socially unskilled and impulsive. I would say my little Clement possess some qualities which his 2 brothers Robin and Dominique did not have when they were at his age. Most of the time, I will not interfere when Clement argues with his two elder brothers. They have 8 to 10 years age gap. I let the children settle issues in their own way. The only condition is no physical abuse is allowed. We are always surprise at the way Clement argues with his brothers. He uses a mixture of English and baby language, very entertaining just by looking at his action.

My domestic helper, Eni said my parenting way is very kampong-style. I agree. It is not my choice.  Everyone wants a piece of me and there isn’t enough to go around. I admit I don’t devote a lot of time to be with Clement, however I am not a negligent mother. Because Clement is my youngest child, I told Eni not to spoil him. That perhaps trains Clement to be street-smart, to be bully-proof.

The most enjoyable activity with Clement is going to market every Saturday morning. Sometimes he will sit quietly in the market trolley, sometimes I let him roam about however still keeping an eye on him. He always request me to bring him to see the aquarium at my neighbour’s house before we continue our journey. In the supermart, he will follow me closely. This two-year old boy always get attention from the aunties and uncles who find him very independent. Playful he seems, he helps me and Eni with simple housework and know how to sweep the floor. Every morning at 7am, he will cycle outside our house. He’s a familar sight in our neighbourhood and many people like him.

A kite cannot soar without string.  You control its movement. Gradually you let go of the string little at a time to let the kite soar farther and higher.  Then danger comes along –  trees, cable, other kites, you reel in the kite to keep it closer. Regain control again and slower you let the string out again. This is what parenting is. Tough, isn’t it – especially dealing with 3 boys.

Below is an excerpt of an article from newspaper cutting which I find very meaningful, it was in 我报 July 29, title: 放心让孩子学习. Sharing with you all.

当一个父亲看到孩子端了一杯水,他第一个反应就是担心杯子会被打破。这时,他会突然把这个杯子看成一件宝贝,非要从孩子手中夺过来加以保护。潜意识中他认为清理杯子的玻璃碎片比儿子尝试拿好杯子更重要,更有价值。

他也许是个好爸爸,但是在此时,他却选择“损坏”孩子的成长去保护一件微不足道的东西。事情经常就是那么滑稽,可能连当事人都没有察觉到。

当然,我们不需要恓牲杯子来保护孩子的成长,但有没有想过要重视孩子的自尊和学习机会呢?可曾想过父母的态度和行为会深深的影响孩子?

想想,一个对周围充满好奇的小朋友,在经过无数次喝止和训斥之后,他会意识到什么?孩子的心灵其实很敏感,虽然父母以为这样做是在保护孩子,但是,孩子感受的却是被父母瞧不起,然后产生一连串的挫折感。自卑的心理于是开始慢慢滋长。

当你还在奇怪为什么孩子这样也不敢,那样也不愿的时候,不妨回头看看自己是不是在无意中伤害了他的自尊心?

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About Pamela's Online Journal

Working mother of 3 boys, loves travelling & writing.

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