I often read articles on child development to see how -with the limited time I have with my child - I can shape my little monkey into a proper adult being. I love reading these articles, they are filled up with good ideas and intentions that are most definitely undoable in real life, like the time I read an article praising that we should stop saying NO to our children. Well, I loved the idea and really wanted to put it into practice. It lasted 2 hours... Are you really supposed to say yes to Coca-Cola and Chips for breakfast?
Like all parents, I want to raise a bright, kind and successful adult. So, I always push him to develop his manual skills with painting, drawing, Play-Doh and Lego construction. I make sure that we spend at least half of the day outside, by the pool or at the beach and I read him two stories every night to develop his vocabulary and imagination. But, I also still resort to set him up in front of cartoons for a couple of hours (if not three) each day so I can go through my emails or cook decent meals without being interrupted every 30 seconds. I must admit- with guilt - that it is an easy solution for myself, but I also know that I am pleasing my child with cartoons, and frankly who doesn't love to please her child?
It is difficult to understand how our modern ways of raising a child are impacting them and what kind of human being we are actually shaping. We are, for sure, definitely more inclined to please our children on a daily basis than our parents were, and we constantly bend the rules we had set for ourselves as a parent to ensure their contentment. I love pleasing my child but am I preparing him for what life will throw at him by giving in? While I have the best intentions, I start to doubt that I am giving him enough challenges to survive in this world. Most definitely, I'm (with his dad) raising a bright human being, he has acquired skills and competencies that I wasn't even close to grabbing at his age. However, I can clearly see that managing emotions and frustrations aren't his key assets, and he's far from being able to be independent. I can hear you say that he is only 4 years old and has plenty of time to learn how to manage his emotions and behave properly. I agree with you he is only 4. But did you know that Japanese do the exact opposite of what we are doing? The first years in kindergarten and elementary school, the little Japanese do not learn any academic skill set. Until the age of 7 years old, their education is primarily base on learning to behave properly and preparing them for the outside world. By the age of 7, they are considered mature enough to take the subway to go to school on their own. Let that sink in... 7 years old alone in the subway...
Our western culture has a different approach than theirs on how to raise a child, I'm not interested in who's wrong or right, I believe we ALL as parents are just trying our best, one way or another...
Anyway, I came across an article the other day addressing how our modern ways of raising our children might not prepare them for school and the outside world and well, it was addressing many of my concerns and making a lot of senses. I could recognize myself in many of her points.
I don't think she was judgemental, unlike many articles, and it's probably why I like her article that much. I know I'm not trying to be judgemental by passing it on, I am not trying to point out where you and I are failing our little ones by giving in or trying to please them. But her approach and bits of advice are fairly sensible and if you are interested to do better, you'll love it.
The article is all about how our children are emotionally unavailable these days to learn at school, but might also be unprepared for the ugly world they will live in once they are all grown up.
Here is the link to the article I read, however, it is in French... but because I'm a nice person and in a good mood this morning, I've looked for the English version and here you go.
Happy reading, and feel free to let me know what you thought of it.
P.S.: the English version slightly harsher and more judgmental than the French one, I'm sorry for that. It is usually the other way around...