If you've been reading couple of parenting stories online, you have probably sum up that parenting is definitely not an easy feat. It ge...
How My Kindergarten Failure Almost Destroyed My Kid's First Pre-School Year
If you've been reading couple of parenting stories online, you have probably sum up that parenting is definitely not an easy feat. It gets even tougher when you start to set expectations for your kids. No matter how you distance from that usual parenting pitfall, some of us still gets into that trap, and that includes me.
Growing up, I was always that student who aims to be on that cream of the crop list, with other various achievements tailing my name. Perhaps, the strong determination started back in kindergarten when I didn't make it to the top five honor roll (I landed on the 8th spot instead), and never had any other single academic awards to brag along. Yes, I was an introvert but being awarded as the "Well-Behaved" in class doesn't make me a happy kid at all.
While the top kindergartners bagged the special academic awards (Best in Math, English, Reading, and all other "bests" the teachers could possibly think of), I vowed as I watched them happily receiving their medals on the sideways, to outperform myself and be academically-recognized one day. Yes, I was hard on myself at an early age, but it paid off tremendously. Surely, the teddy-pinky-swearing thing worked somehow.
And here comes motherhood. Wohoo! What an exciting phase to share my self-renowned study habits and some effective tricks to get away with stage frights. My adrenaline hormones were spitting almost everywhere during my daughter's first day of nursery school--enough to ignite a wildfire.
"Hah! This kiddo would definitely be a smart ass in her class," I said proudly to myself (oh well, including some--just some--of my in-laws).
I wanted my daughter to be as academically-inclined as me. ABCs, body parts, colors, shapes, numbers, animals' names and sounds, phonics--I fed her all of that even before she was three. You'll see me often in bookstores when I go to the mall; scavenging from shelves to shelves for some books that I believe will make my daughter a cut above her age. I want her to be on that sweetest number one spot in school.
After-school hours were rigorously spent on homeworks, reviews and advanced study lessons. Little did I notice that I became such a pushy mom for my little one; trying to get away with my kindergarten failure. My very own eyes saw how she struggled to keep up with my expectations; how she later avoided to inform me that she got couple of mistakes during one of her quizzes. I was slowly raising a fixed-minded child. I was taking away the fun that a nursery school would bring. I wasn't letting her be just her.
I was a BAD MOM.
While I was pounding (figuratively) my daughter to do well in school, I was also hammering myself to play along with the competition among parents who had been fighting for that prestige that comes with mothering an honor student. I was again hard on myself.
I stepped back and instead loosen her, US, a bit. Her first school year shouldn't be all about homeworks, advance study and all other stuff that would make an impression that school is the scariest place to learn and grow because I, for one, had enjoyed being in school (although it wasn't really a blast, and I regretted it). Children should be encouraged to be children--carefree,adventurous and happy.
Our role as parents is to discover together with them their inclinations, strengths and even their weaknesses. If they fall, that's where we come in. The best things that we can give to them is a bagful of advices and warm hands to guide and pick them up. Once parents take control of their kids' lives, we are depriving our little ones a possibility of a greater life ahead of them. We shouldn't be the captain of their own ships, instead let them take the steering wheel.
I want nothing but for my kids to be the best that they can be, not as good as me. This parenting course has still a long way to go but I don't want to be remembered as the parent who counts on academic awards,schedules regular advance studies and screams out for a quiz mistake. Being a school achiever is just a part of a larger whole. And I want to be the very first person to rejoice with them when they have completed the puzzle.
I know they'll do well with me on the sideways. I just know.