Do parents regrets at the choices they made for their kids?
Should kids be trained as early as 2 years old and does it mean that they will lose all their childhood?
What is the definition of childhood? Is it all fun and play?
These questions toured my mind several times last week.
It all began after the meet parents session of my firstborn. Frankly, I was rather relaxed with her. That was my first meet the parents session (hubby attended few but most of the time we just depend on the write out given by her teachers and her report book to know how she is doing and feedback from teachers when we fetch her home) and she is K2 now. I only registered her for abacus when she was around 5. She started ballet, speech & drama, computer lessons and 第子规 & 三子经 in the childcare when she was 3. That's the age where hubby and me thinks its appropriate to enrich her academically.
During the meet parents session, teacher commented that she does not recognise English words though she speaks well and sometimes uses bombastic words. She has to brush up her vocabulary as well. Her Chinese teacher said otherwise for her Chinese but my brain chose to register negative ones and harp on it.
I felt that it's a wake up call. Something is telling me that I should work harder and I am not doing enough as a mother. I begin to hate myself for not reading bedtime stories every night, not consistently making her do the assessments I bought etc...
Well... I searched through webby to see what I can do to help her and myself (myself cos I felt that I was not attentive to her and her needs sufficiently - basically self blamed).
This website gave me alittle comfort -
It told me that I wasn't too late. 6 months before primary 1 is actually sufficient to prepare her for primary 1. Phew... I felt i saw a glimpse of light in the tunnel.
I went to many nearby enrichment centres and did a tabulation of all those we could afford and tried not to overdo it, fearing it will stress her out and she will ended up with no childhood.
There are many considerations. Hubby feelings, her feelings, not to over stretch our pockets especially we still have a younger one, to balance her lifestyle, to read up about centre before selecting, arrange timing for all lessons etc... i totally lost concentration at work and wanted to make a rash decision if quiting my job and stay home to oversee all these and at one point of time I nearly signed her up for I can read and British Council though timing and budget do not permit. I tried to find time that can be squeezed in and explored working around it.
I was super stressed especially when I am a full time working mother and the only help I get from is from hubby and helper. My hubby does not agree with me and felt that our girl will do just fine. I can't expect alot from my helper - those who has help from parents or in laws should really appreciate them. Their help is priceless. I could easily send my kid to 3 hour government centres or enrichment centre instead where they are prepared for primary 1 but I could not bear and dare to depend on my helper to oversee them after the 3 hours. I always planned for my kids to have minimal time with helper especially when we are not around. Child abuse etc are the last thing we want to happen in my house. We could not afford atas childcare at all.
However, despite all the troubles, I am glad that everything is settled within a week's time. I selected centre that is nearest to my house, with reasonable fees, timing does not clash with existing activities and/or classes.
I signed her up for English, Chinese, Maths, Phonics while other classes still continues. Now I crossed my fingers and pray that all goes well. I also try to read to her whenever I can, plan to inject more childhood by bringing her to outdoor activities, plan craft work sessions, will continue baking sessions, library visits etc.
I hope I have done enough as a mother.