Take it too seriously?

Raise in industry era has made me the best “follower”student. Understand the rules, practises until I master it, compete with peer, trying to get the best grade in the class. This system has made me understand lots of things, but without enthusiasm to look further, to questioning and make a better one than the one was shown. I just lost the capability to innovate, to invent something new and better. One of the skill that is crucial in my work years later.

But the worst part is that I forgot to have fun in life. I was too serious in everything I do even in daily life. I set target for myself, sometimes even higher than others. I plan everything before I start. It make me save from failure. The worst dream for a perfect “industrial” student. I am bad at handling failure. I had not had enough experiences in failure. My junior time are full success in getting good mark. It did boost my confident to solve problems that I had previously, but not the unknown ones.

Luckily, I found the best job for me, that fit my capability and interest. I made me enjoy of doing it and felt as it was not a job. It become challanging as I began to lead other collegues, I realized that leadership is not only command and control and every person is different. I remember how frustruate I was to see someone who could not do such a simple task for me. At the same time, I gave birth to my first child. It was the most precious and the most frustruate time for me.

My son presence is one of the most unstructure event my life. He was not sleep at night, he cried all the time, everything about him is shocking me a lot. As he grown, things were even messier. No matter how well I plan and anticipate, I couldn’t get on time to my office. I remember my guilt for my son and my office at the same time. 24 hours a day is just not enough.
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Reward and punishment

It’s the easiest way for parents or nannies to give “reward” children to do something good. Candies, toys, clothes, or other “sweet” promises will instantly move them to do anything we want them to do. On the other side, punishment will avoid them from doing something danger or bad for them. No ipad, no dessert, will teach them to remember that “bad” action will remove their fun stuff and hopefully avoid them to repeat it.

Like any other “instant” things, reward and punishment has a long term consequences. Daniel pink in his book “Drive” explain it clearly, only internal motivation that strong enough to push people to reach the best in them. Carrot and stick will only push a little  and its strength will fade away and demand a greater reward or punishment. The worst part is it will make our children only will do good if there’s a present await. My older boy has developed such attitude, heit asks “if I do this, then what will I get?”. Arrrgggghhh. I’m so upset when I hear it!

Ok, so, internal motivation, how is it possible to grow it in your child? Are they understand the “real” reward of good action? It’s possible for short term effect like if you run on wet floor, you’ll fall. How about brush teeth, eat veggie, talk politely or be honest? Will you let tooth ache teach them to regularly brush their teeth?

It’s one of theory that is really hard to apply in daily life as a parent. As soon as l was faced in actual situation,  I was immediately switch to the carrot and stick. But then I realized it, I start to adjust again. This will make it worse, I became inconsistent and confuse my children.

As I contemplate, I become more aware, that I don’t have to control everything. Just pick the essential one, the one that will give a big different for my children life. Then those chosen one has to be built layer by layer. It needs lots of time, consistent rules and lots of patience.

The ideal is to create good behaviour as something fun to do, as its result itself will be the source of motivation. However, many of good behaviour are not fun to do. It will need an extra effort to persuade them to do it. That’s why choose the only the one that really matter.

My experience with Fabian was on practice his hand writing and reading. It’s so hard to push a gross motoric child to sit down still and only move his hand. I used to ask him to do 10 pages of worksheet that I made myself. I thought if I made the worksheet align with his interest, it will be easy to ask him to fill it. I later found out that my nanny promising him a chocolate puding or travelling to mal if he finished his worksheet.

He was 5,5yo at that time. In a another semester, he will enter elementary school, that demand his reading and writing as a basic skill for his learning. I really believe that reading and writing is an important thing and I decide to fight for it.

I look for other approaches. My next trial is with kumon. I taught, maybe my worksheet is too hard or too easy or just not appropriate with his development. I saw how interesting an english kumon worksheet looks like, colurful and lots of pictures. Kumon also used a daily exercise, which made children consistently do the exercise everyday.

It was easy for the first few weeks, as kumon start with level below his ability. As soon as it reach his limit, he started to refuse to do any exercise. He said it was too hard for him, and he was really did not like it. He tried every way to stop it, angry, crying out aloud, screaming, asking for my worksheet he used to have, anything. He even tried to fool me by doing only the first and last page.

Everyday is a battle for me and him, it is too much for me to handle. I’ve questioning myself is it the right way? should I give up and stop as it became more and more nasty. Luckily, my husband was strong enough to consistently follow the rules. He keep remind me that reading and writing is a basic skill that is very important and worth to fight for.

Now Fabian does his kumon voluntarily, without reward or punishment. No more fight or angry, as he start to proud on how good he is in math and raeding. I guess it just need time for the actual reward to show up and keep the wheel rotate.

Every child is special

I am wondering, is there any parent who trully saw his or parent as a special kid? No matter how many times I tried to change my perspective, I’m still with the majority, who concern about our child weaknesses. No matter how good a child in one thing, it is so attempting not to focus on it, and see all the “bad” that need to be fixed.

So many times I heard parents were talking about their child weaknesses. Why my child can not read as fluent as the other same age children. Why my child is so shy. Why my child is so talkactive and persuasive.

Is it really working that way?

Is there any “perfect” person who is good in every thing?

Yet, parents always try to make a perfect child. We, parent, want to make sure that we have teach them everything for their future. We don’t want them to fail, tell them everything we learned and believe that they will benefit from our lessons.

The thing is, the more you try to teach them, the less they learn. Learning is a constructive thing. It can only be undestood f it is come from them inside. Sometimes mistake is the only way understand can grow.

Maybe it is too hurt for me to see my boy fall into the fail that I know how to avoid. Rather than be a coach, who stand beside him when he need, I become a guardian angel who try to help him before something bad happen. Sometimes, a general who command him to do as I order him and give a punishment for any misbehaviour.

In the other extreme, there are parents who think their child is so “special” that it is ok to spoil them. To give everything they want, the best one. They bragging on how good their children in one field and refuse to see the weaknesses. Their children feel that they are born as a special person not because what they can do, but who they are.

Maybe those two perspectives should be used together. Our child is so unique that we should think a special way for them to learn by themselves. Perhaps, it is better for them to figure out what their weaknesses are. So that they have the reason why they should to improve it and had the motivation to try and try.

Our job is to create environment that support that learning process.

Huff what a hard task to do!

I see myself in my children

I had read a lot of parenting books. Most of them had the convincing proof that their way is the best way to raise a child. Though I found it is very hard to applied all those theories in daily life.

The more I read and the more I tried to make my parenting better, I was faced with new and more challenging problems.

I even think, is it possible that those parenting knowledge is useless? It does little or none effect to my children.

Then, a friend of mine said that it is true. she had read in one of her books that the way we live ourlife life is more Likely to affecting the child (Brene Brown). Then, why bother to learn parenting.

Some how it does not sound true. I believe good parenting does make a lot of differences in a child future. But which one is “good” parenting style?

I guess, there is no silver bullet in parenting. We are dealing with human development. It should be organic, rather than procedural. Just like gardening, the same seed, the same procedure, could grown differently. There are too many factors that involved, culture, social economy, school curicullum, no of children, parent’s education, etc.

What Brene brown said made me realized that parenting is not only a child development. It’s both parent and child development.

When fabian reach his 6, I was so surprised with the fact how similar he is with me and my husband. All those early years,turn out to be the moment he capture his entire environment and record them in his subconscious mind.

I then realized, that my son is a mirror of me. When I see a bad behaviour in him, I see it in myself. If I want him to change it, I have to change myself first.

It’s like having an assessment tool for your own personal development. If you manage to make yourself better, you can see it through your child. He/ she will replicate what you did and how you can develop yourself.

For me sometimes, by describing what I’m trying to do to my son, I remind myself to not do the same mistakes and guide my son to understand the process i’ve tried.

For example, I get upset easily when things run not as I planned. I used to explode with anger and sometimes do stupid things. This bad habit has been reduced since I learn emotion intelligence, but it’s really hard to be eliminated.

Now my son has similar attitude, he explode with anger easily. I now explaining emotional intelligence to him. It does improve his attitude. I guess I have to applied it to myself more often, so he can copy it.

I really think that raising a child is really the best way to make someone more mature.

The “Goal” does matter

I was quite surprised by my own action entering my big boy to kumon when he reach his first grade. I did not believe with the way Kumon was designed, I think it was boring and unattractive way to learn. I doubt it can actually made a child understand, it just made them memorized the material without the curiosity that trigger learning  However, I did it anyway.

My first motivation is to give him proper worksheet for him to practise his reading and writing. I used to made it everyday for him, with pictures and theme that he like. I found

The “Goal” does matter

I was quite surprised by my own action entering my big boy to kumon when he reach his first grade. I did not believe with the way Kumon was designed, I think it was boring and unattractive way to learn. I doubt it can actually made a child understand, it just made them memorized the material without the curiosity that trigger learning  However, I did it anyway.

My first motivation is to give him proper worksheet for him to practise his reading and writing.

Constructive learning- Highscope parent workshop 22 august 2013 – Medan

I just understand what it means by “constructive learning” in this session of parent workshop. Highscope believe that it is the best way to prepare the future leader. I do believe that the traditional way of learning is not enough for my children future challanges. That’s how I were raised. But I have no idea what the better way to do it either.

When I choose Highscope for Fab, it seems to offer the “personalized” education that I do believe will give opportunities for my child to find his passion. I’ve read linchpin that describe that we are no longer in “industrial era”. Sir Ken Robinson point out that finding the element will give meaning to life. Plus Rene Suhardono, the career coach in hardrock FM proposed that everyone should find their passion. It will be great if I could help my children to find their passion in their early years. They could get the 10000 hours practice that “outlier” said to master anything before they graduate university. They surely have a wonderful life ahead of them.

Along the way, I saw how my son develop. He is the kind of boy who can not stop moving. He can’t control his body. Reading and writing is the least thing he want to do, because it require him to sit down and still. I was quite stress with the fact that all other elementary schools in my area require first grade student to be able to read and write as a submission test. I guess only Highscope who believe that each child will get skill soon or later, and it is ok for 1grade to not master reading amd writing.

I am not the only parent that worry about it. I saw many parents in Highscope gave their child extra lesson after school. I really believe that reading should be fun, because it opened my mind with lots if knowledge. I want my children to love reading, so I avoid to force them to learn it with pain. I tried many ways that finally I gave up and made Fab do the english kumon. Simply because it gives exercises he need to practise. I can made it, but it make me overwhelm to create those exercises everyday.

So I thought what is Highscope trying to do? Is it being permissive with the child?
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‘Instant’ is the third enemy of parenting

I still remember having a thick book that I ‘d looked for when I learn new english word. It takes times to translate even a single sentence. Now with Google and wikipedia within my mobile, I don’t think I would buy any dictionary nor encyclopedia. It takes less than 1second to get answers in google.

Instant – has kill patience. Process is become less important, and result is the main product. Process was taken over by technology. Technology will do the repeated process and do it faster than human. Finally, human does not understand and forget the beauty of process, he want a fast and good result in everything.

I remembered being asked by a father, what result I got for sending my big boy to preschool. It need times for me to answer that question. I never set any target and I just believe that the school would give better stimulus than his babysitter (since I was working at that time). For God sake, it’s not even kindergarden, and parent do expect clear result of school.

I found several reading tutors who guarantee my child will be able to master reading and writing within few weeks. How can that complex skill was mastered in such as short period? It turn out that capability to spell is different with reading in contextual. Children can read, but he can not understand what he read and he maybe hate to do it too.

Instant maybe good in industry, business, and other area, but not parenting. Why?
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Fear is the second enemy of parenting -part 2 (comparing)

I dont know if it’s just me, but It’s always drive me crazy when I saw other kid at the same age with Fab, can do certain skill that Fab has not mastered yet. The worst when it come with reading and writing, the most unappealling skill for Fab. Even a 4 years old daugther of my friend has mastered it from her school activities, while I’ve tried everything for Fab until now at his 6th. Montessorri ways, flash card, labelling our things at home, mix reading with physical activities, extralesson on reading and all other ways that I can think of or read. It’s useless, I can not make reading a fun thing to be learned and I really don’t want to force him to do it because it can kill his interest for reading. He will hate reading and that is the last thing I want to be happened.

It is not happened only with reading, parents do compare their child for how he talk, behave, draw, and everything else. Maybe it is our nature to see the weakness of our child, and focus on it. So when we see other can do it, we can spot it easily and we afraid that we have done something wrong. We rarely gave compliment for other skills that he has mastered because we take it for granted.
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Fear is the second enemy of parenting -part 2 (comparing)