There was this news story “Why there’s no other option but to be a ‘Dragon Mum’” about how a mother tried to take it easy with her child to let him learn and develop at his own pace, and how she was scared and pressured into getting him able to read before entering primary 1 (P1).
…the reality is, if by the time a child is unable to read at P1, he won’t be able to decipher instructions on the board, in his textbooks or on worksheets. He will not be able to access Maths problem sums. There is no reading programme being taught at this level, unless your child is identified as a “weak learner” and must then join a special class after school.
And so she concluded, she “bo pien and became a dragon mom to her child to teach him how to read by the time he gets to P1. I am amazed/horrified that “there is no reading programme being taught” at P1.
Anyway, We are still some years away from worrying about Z being ready for P1.
Now we just want her to walk a bit more, instead of asking to be carried all the time.
So over the weekend, we were carrying her during our weekend “excursion” to the mall and supermarket, and we lamented loudly (for her ears) that we forgot to extract a promise from her before we left the house that she would walk part of the time. That was Saturday.
On Sunday, as we were preparing to go for Mass, I asked her if she was going to walk part of the time. She said no.
We said, in that case, we won’t be going with you. She started to wail.
Will she walk part of the way?
“Don’t want!” she said through her wails.
“Then you stay at home, with daddy” (Yeah! Daddy said to himself!)
“If you are not going to walk, then you stay at home with daddy, then I don’t need to wear shoes then,” I said, taking off my shoes.
“I don’t want!”
“You want to walk?”
“I don’t want!”
“Then mummy will go without you.” Mommy starts to leave. Z wails and protests.
“If she is not going, you don’t need the diaper bag then,” I told PL. She puts down the bag, and leaves. Z protests by stamping her feet as well as wailing.
“Can you walk a bit?”
“I don’t want!”
I stood up, she shrieks in protest.
“Will you walk?”
I walk away from the door. She follows shrieking and stamping her feet.
I asked her again. She still doesn’t agree. I walk away again, she shrieks and follows again.
All in, I stopped three times on the way to the kitchen, each time asking her if she would walk (part of the way). Finally at the kitchen, she agrees to walk.
Having extracted that promise from her we prepared to leave.
PL was waiting for us at the lift landing, at the end of the corridor. Z walked all the way there. I told her I would carry her when we were at the ground floor.
It was a 20 min walk and after about 10 minutes, I told her she would walk the next bit under a block of flats. I was prepared for her to break her promise, but she nodded gamely. And walked the required block.
It slowed us down, but we were early, anyway.
At the end of the block, I picked her up and we continued with neither drama nor incident the rest of the way.
I was struck by her integrity. She gave her word and she stuck to it.
That bodes well for her.
Epilogue: The next day as we were preparing to take her to nursery, she declared, absent of any pressure or request from us, that she was not walking. 🙂