Who is robbing us of our kids?
I really enjoy fetching Ann by myself although it is exhausting. It is a 15 minutes walk under the hot sun when fetching her. You see, our home is near school yet far. It is near yet there are no direct buses to bring me there. To get there, I have to take two buses. It is less than a five minutes ride for each bus but the waiting time can be long. So in the end, it makes more sense to just walk.
The fun part about fetching Ann is that you hear people talk. It can be very interesting. It’s kind of like watching a movie or listening to an audio story book. These people are not even aware that their lives are being revealed. The maids will be talking about their lives with their employers, some good, some bad. The mothers will be talking about tuition, teachers, schools. The grandmas will be taking about their children and grandchildren. The grandpas will engage in kopitiam political talks. So, here goes one…
Boy : mum I didn't do well for my Math test
Mother : (didn't say anything)
Boy : I just got 92%
Many times, we hear parents complaining about how our kids are being robbed of their childhood by technology, by the systems, by the society. Recently, it dawned on me that parents themselves are robbing themselves of their kids.
Think about this…do our kids really want tuition and more tuition? Do our kids really want enrichment classes? Do our kids really want to go for that music class, swimming class, Science enrichment class etc….How many parents consult their kids being signing them up for all these classes? Is it the fears of the parents that have made tutors multi-millionaires? It sometimes drives me nuts looking at the way parents drive their kids to every single classes that they can ever find. Do they even know how exhausted are their kids. These are kids, young kids who want to go to the playground, who want to watch cartoon, who want to sleep… Do you see the amount of homework that they need to do each day and if that is not enough, there is supplementary class to attend and CCA to go to. My friend’s 10 year old son’s schedule runs like this 7.30am to 1.00pm school. 1.30pm to 3.00pm supplementary class. 3.30pm to 5pm badminton. Some days end at 3.00pm. When he gets home, there is homework to do.
Kids, these days, are very stressed. Kai came home from his CCA and told us that one kid actually broke down during his CCA. Kicking chairs, crying about failing his Math test…my heart was so broken. Parents need to stop outsourcing child rearing. They need to stop pushing their job to teachers, tutors, student care centers, child care centers and gadgets! (That's another thing worth blogging about).
Ann came home one day (less than three months into the first term of school) and told me that her Chinese teacher asked her if she has tuition. What’s wrong with these educators. Do they have to meet some KPI? If they teach enough and teach well, why do kids need tuition? Hmmm...if kids need tuition, then you have failed as an educator.
Kids need to sleep enough, their body needs to rest and repair. There is more to life for them other than chasing after classes of various sorts.
This was a true incident. Some time back, when we were at the zoo, we saw a boy, chubby little boy, no more than 10 years old. He is a stroke patient. You know how easy it is to spot one. Their affected hand’s and leg’s movement are always able to let people know that they had suffered from a stroke. It was very sad. It will not be a silver tsunami that we are looking at if we do not love our kids enough.
When Kai was in pre-school, he had a classmate whose mum was always feeding him with enrichment classes. He attended Montessori class, Shichida class, piano class. Then they bought the Glenn Doberman aid. She made flash cards all the time and proclaimed that her son has photographic memory. Recently, we met them. The boy is now 13, just like Kai but he is such a shy and timid boy who hides behind his mum and whispers to his mum. Comparing him to Kai, I think Kai is much more confident than him. I did nothing to Kai but brought him to the library once a week (she tried to convince me that this and that is really good. Your truly, the vocal and rebellious mum just refused to buy any of those stuff).
Give space for your kids to grow and bloom. Help them to find their passion. My motto to my kids now is “Do what you LOVE and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
So, you see, who is robbing our kids, it’s us, parents. WAKE UP!!!
I once read this book and I would like to recommend it to all parents…
Yes, we parents are really stupid sometimes.