New year. New beginnings. New adventures. January is the start of the school year here in Singapore. My teenager is now in her first year secondary school. Different environment, more freedom. Her dad sends her to school in the morning but after school she and her friends go to the mall just across the school and hang out at Starbucks. She got her first taste of coffee this year. After hanging out with friends she takes a public transport going home. She’s enjoying her little freedom.
My nine-year-old daughter’s school is just five minutes walk from home and she walks to school by herself. She likes to be independent at her age and doesn’t want mommy to pick her up from school anymore because she can walk home by herself. She is excited to be ten in February. And just last night she asked me to buy her a bra! Pretty much in a hurry to be a teenager! My five-year-old boy is growing up to be a very responsible boy, balancing between playing and volunteering to help mommy with the chores! He knows junk food is not healthy and holding mommy’s hand when crossing the street is “very important.” Recently he asked me to buy him a “Superman” costume! He always shows his little muscles and pretends he is Superman!
Before school opened, my husband and I laid down the rules to the girls that there will be no TV during school days and no computer except for online homework. No PSP too! Thank God there were no “violent reactions” especially from my teenager. Good girl. We were a little lenient last year and we allowed them to watch TV and play games during school days, but now we are experimenting and we want to see what will happen if we stop all the distractions and just let them concentrate on studies and homework. They are growing up and we want them to grow up responsibly.
It’s just been a few days since school started and I have noticed big changes in them. When the girls come home from school they start doing their homework, they sit on one table, talk to each other and help each other. After homework is done, they listen to music together, sing together, share jokes, and have fun! There are no quarrels between them (so far), not like last year when there’s never a day they don’t argue, and the things that are happening now are the exact opposite last year.
Human interaction is very important. Not that I have anything against TV, PSP, or Laptop, but I guess these are distractions that are stopping my kids from interacting with each other. And jealousy arises too, because one will say, “I don’t have what she has!” When there are no distractions, children have no ways to turn to and have fun but to each other, and through their interaction with one another, their social skills improve and develop, starting from home, and this will help them build their confidence and improve their interaction with their peers.
So far our experiment is doing good! This is just the first of a series of my 2009 parenting adventures! I have yet to see the next adventures to come.