The kid is declaring HER independence, the FIRST step, translated…
Q: Ming-Ming in the fifth grade no longer wanted her mom to pick her up and drop her off at school anymore…
Although there’s no problem with the safety in Taiwan, but, there would still be instances where children are kidnapped. There was a construction site nearby, and, a ton of different people go in and out of the area, Mrs. Huang worries for her daughter, Ming-Ming’s safety as she goes out, so, even if Ming-Ming is already in the fifth grade, she’d still picked her up to and from school, as well as taking her daughter to the cram schools, to this date, the mother had never allowed Ming-Ming to fly solo. But, recently, Ming-Ming started stating how she wanted to head out by herself, and, Mrs. Huang knew that one day, she will have to let her daughter fly solo, but, she’s confused, at when is the right time, for her to let go.
A Not About Independence, But, One Day, the Parents Must Let Go
The CEO of the Professional Development Center for Growth, the elementary school instructor, Lee, from Bei-Hsin Elementary School, pointed out, that now, the families are having less and less children, most of the families only had one child, and, the parents hovered over them, feared that there would be issues of traffic and safety, and the rates of parents picking the kids up to and from school are higher, compared to the past years.
The Distance Mattered
The observations of parents chauffeuring the kids to and from school, and, one would notice, that in the first and second grades, it’s very normal, but, by the time the kids get to third or fourth grades, they can already walk to school on their own. But, all the families are different, there are kids who are in college, and still gets taken to and from school by the parents.
Lee stated, that sometimes the parents picking the kids up has nothing to do with whether or not the children ARE independent, instead, it has more to do with the distance between home and school. She’d sated, that there are small schools in the city of Taipei, most are close to the homes of the students, it would take a short walk to get to school, the parents would naturally, feel securer, to let the kids go to school on their own; but, not in the city of Hsinbei, the schools are huge, and, far from the homes, and, it may take up to twenty minutes for the kids to get to the schools, the parents didn’t want the kids to tire out, and would rather ride their motorcycles, to chauffeur their kids to school, and, there are other cities and counties, with this sort of trend too.
Cherished the Time They Shared in the Car
The parenting expert, Mom Mee said, that from before when they lived in Tainan, there is a long distance between her home and the kids’ schools, she’d played classical music in her car on the way to school, so the kids could feel soothed, she’d utilized the time they shared in the car, to carry on in conversations with her young. To her, as the children grow older, the time they have with each other became less and less, she’d cherished this time together, and, enjoyed it too, the kids also felt very happy, and, became expectant when she’d picked them up.
Mom Mee said, if as the parents picked up the kids, they’d started nagging about homework, or kept ranting, the children may become defiant toward that, and she’d suggested that as parents picked up the kids, they should communicate with their young.
Mom Mee said, some of the kids would want the parents to pick them up all the time, but, when the kids wanted to strike out on their own, the parents can let go slowly, to let the kids fly solo for a short while, to try it for a couple of days first, then, decide whether or not the kids are fitting, to go farther on their own.
Not Letting the Child be Alone on Her/His Own
Mom Mee and Ya-Jing Lee both pointed out, that when the kids entered into the middle school, they’d become insistent on going to school on their own, and not wanting the parents to pick them up anymore. Mom Mee said, the children in the teenage years cared a lot about what their peers say about them, seeing how the other classmates could go to and from school on their own, but, the parents are still picking them up to and fro, the children would not like it.
When her child was in the fifth grade, the other kids of her class started asking her to walk to and from school together as a group, she’d also let go, but, every family IS different, and, letting go is reliant on the parents’ and the kids’ attitude, as well as the distance from the school to the homes.
One day, the parents WILL let go. Lee said, that if you’re allowing your child to go to and from school on her/his own, do remember, to remind the children not to be alone, the parents can take the kids on the paths a couple of times, to understand the traffic conditions, and pick the routes, and, remind the kids to watch the traffic as they cross the roads, if someone is stalking the children, they can duck out in the shops close to the schools, if someone asks the child for directions, the child only needed to point the way, and not lead the stranger to where s/he wanted to head to.
This, is What You Can Do…Tell Your Worries to Your Children
Mrs. Huang drops off and picks up Ming-Ming to and from school, but, Ming-Ming said she wanted to go on her own, Mrs. Huang could use empathy, to explain her own worries to her daughter, because the roads near her house is under construction, she’s more worried about the traffic, so, that, is why she’ll be taking Ming-Ming to school, and, she can also emphasize to Ming-Ming, that if she heads out on her own, she must watch the roads.
Mrs. Huang, if she is to let Ming-Ming go to and from school on her own, she must watch for her own safety, as well as the traffic.
If Mrs. Huang wanted to let Ming-Ming go to school on her own, she could drop her off close to the school first, let her daughter walk the shorter way, then, after Ming-Ming learns to watch out for herself, then, let go.
And so, we have, worrisome parents, who are unwilling to let the child go, and, the child wanted to go, which signifies that she wanted her own independence, and the mother here, is having troubles, letting go, and, it is NOT about independence at all, it’s about the parents’ inabilities to let their kids go.
An Overly Active Child Became Calmer Because of Reading
The experiences of life, from someone, translated…
My son had always been hyperactive when he was younger, and would not head to bed, until, he’d drained himself of ALL his energies completely every single night, I, being his primary caretaker, often felt too tired to chase him around.
When my child was around two when he’d learned to talk, whenever I’d had the time, I’d sat him on my lap, held on to his fingers, picked up the picture books, and, as he’d pointed to each of the Chinese characters, I’d read it aloud to him, sometimes, when he was playing with his toys, I’d read to him too. Even though, he didn’t seem like he was listening, but, his brain had become a sponge, and started soaking up the things I’d read to him already.
Once, I’d told my son, “Jun-Yi, go wash your hands.” He’d replied, “Clean up the hands, so I can cook”, it was so shocking to me. Ever since, the child who couldn’t recognize the characters can read the words aloud, while flipping through the picture books.
As my child was in his last year of kindergarten, I’d subscribed to the “Chinese Weekly”, and, my son slowly used the phonetic spellings to read, and after he’d read, he’d shared with me the stories, and the comics he’d thumbed across. When he’d entered into the first grade, I’d changed the subscriptions to “Chinese Daily Papers for the Children”, my son could now, read, independently, with the phonetic spellings now. In the second grade, he became taken with “Journey to the West”, and, modeled the Monkey King as if he WERE the Monkey King; in the third grade, he was taken with the Warring Nations, read a ton of the varied versions of the tale, but, he’d still read it for pure enjoyment, once, I’d asked him, if we could give the books he’d read away to someone else? He’d firmly answered, “NO, I’m saving these books for my own kids.”
This overly active child, rather than reading the books for fun, still didn’t focus his mind on his homework assignments, and, in school, while he was sitting in class, his mind was somewhere else, in the stories he’d read already. Acted up in class, wanted all the attention of others, he’d become the main characters of the stories he’d read, to the point that he was seemingly possessed by the stories, he was, the top problematic student of his class. There was nothing else I can do, but to transfer him to another school, and start taking him to school daily, without his playmates, it’d given this child with difficulties concentrating a cleared learning environment.
My child was a changed kid in this brand new environment, everything started from zero. He is now, the teacher’s little helper, the smart child in all of his classmates’ views, and, took up the role of the cleaning master and cultural education helper of his class, compared to the problematic student he was, it’s like he’d become, TWO different persons.
Now my child is in the higher grades of the elementary years, he still doesn’t have any afterschool program, every day after school as he’d come home, he’d done his homework, then, worked on his workbooks, he’d insisted on reading the papers still, and, I’d allowed the newspaper articles to turn into another way of education for him, and, we’d have discussions of what he’d read. Although he’s only midrange in his class in the matter of grades, but, having the good habits of reading daily had helped him become a well-rounded student who knows a LOT outside of the textbooks, and, his character made up for his not doing well on his tests too.
And from this, you can still see how IMPORTANT reading is, it’d helped this kid who was disruptive, who was overactive calm down, and, it’d helped enriched his knowledge base, and, this mom started her child on the reading track, when he was just two years old, by reading the books to him.