Thursday, September 22, 2005

Parenting style part one

Next week I'm to take part in a presentation in conjunction with a bid we are putting in for a project on core parental values. It's commissioned by the Hong Kong Women's commission, which, predictably, has to keep churning out studies to justify its own existence. Not unlike us, really. Anyway, parental values. Core ones.

I used to be right at the other end of the parenting style continuum as far as Hong Kong goes. I used to think that I, as a responsible, good, sensible parent, should do as little as I possibly can with regards to my child's academic pursuits. All that homework stuff, collecting worksheets from other schools, dictation, more worksheets... I consider simply a gross misuse of time and effort. I'd rather sit and eat a spotty banana. I'd rather him read a comic book or construct a bionicle figure. I was determined to stay away from working with my child on his academic skills. I was convinced it is the school's job to do all that.

Well I've changed my mind about that - I compromised! and I'm glad for it. I was getting more than a bit worried about O's maths skills. A couple of months ago he couldn't even add 5 and 2 with confidence. He would be sitting there staring past your eyes as he tried to guess what the correct answer is. It was so pathetic I couldn't stand it anymore. Surely he is smart enough to do it - it's just that he hasn't gotten into the habit of doing it.

Now I try to spend ten fifteen minutes every evening helping O with some maths and some handwriting, and that's all it needs! For now anyway. His confidence in maths has improved dramatically, even only after a week. And same goes with his handwriting.

So, core parenting values. Like all values, they aren't that hard core afterall, if they don't make things better.

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