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Parenting takes a lot of patience and dedication for me. When they were little, I feels like I was waiting for a never ending journey. “When will children get ready?” I asked that question a lot of time. Even until today, there are chances that make me repeat the question again and again. Have you ever experienced the same thing like I do?
Children don't get mature at the same time and pace. Children maturity comes in different ways and time. Boys probably show up later than girls. The oldest child also usually looks more mature than the younger ones. Among the younger children, the youngest might look more mature than the older one. It happens with my children as well. How is your eperience with this situation?
When Will Children Get Ready?
They might get late writing, late reading, but the time will come when they are ready.My inspiration to publish this posting is some whines, complaint, and worries of many parents including myself about how late their children have grown. I don't know whether this phenomenon happens around you when many parents register their kindergarten or early elementary children to some reading, writing, and math tutorial programs. Many parents are too much worried if their children are going to be left out by their school curriculum that demands children to be able to color using coloring pencils in playgroup or when they are only three years old. It is also a compulsory that children entering the elementary school in Indonesia have to be able to read and write fluently at school. Therefore, I can completely understand how terrified parents are that their children will be left out so that they enroll their children to additional reading, writing, and math programs. Even some parents here hire a tutor just to teach their children coloring when they are still 3 years old. Can you imagine how the children feel? Maybe they don't understand right now, but one day they will understand how their right of playing time has been snatched away from them. I think they will compensate later on when they are adults.
When my second son, Tom, started his playgroup in a public school. I was very nervous and worried that he could not hold his pencil properly. His teachers always complained about him. He didn't want to color at all. I made a big mistake at that time. I was very frustrated teaching him to hold the pencil and to color so that I got angry with him and thought that he was lazy. I yelled a lot. What I can see from him was just scared face. He didn't understand why he had to color, and even why I yelled. Oh, the guilty feeling still happen until now. It was a very hard time. I should have been grateful that he was born normally. What a terrible mom I have been. When I am thinking about it right now, I feel very ashamed of myself. A couple of years later, I found that Drawing and coloring have been one of his hobbies. Although he has never won drawing or coloring competition, he could draw and color for hours.
From that experience, I have a great lesson. Every child has his or her own paths. Although he or she has not been able to do certain task, it doesn't mean that he or she is not capable. It is useless to compare children to others. Many parents ask questions each other about what is the right time for children to learn 3Rs (reading,(w)riting, and (a)rithmethics). There are a lot of versions for the answer. Even there is also a version that said those skills don't have to be taught until kids are ready. However, there is also another version that says those skills have to be taught as early as possible. It should not be a not flexible standard as every chid has his or her own capability. For a matter of worse, it is useless to get stressful and worried too much just because of the being late in progress matter. Just do it and one day children will be able to show their progress.
Leo the Late Bloomer
I have been very touched reading Leo the Late Bloomer . The book is about a little tiger that is late in his development. His parents were upset because of his late development. However, they were very patient waiting for Leo until he blooms much better than his friends. This story has been very impressing for me. I also love the illustration inside that expresses the worry of parents and how Leo doesn't look very care about his late growth.
I think it is not about academic progress only. Waiting is a passive action that really need great patience for me. I had to wait for Jim getting 8 month old before he could sit by himself. I had to wait for Ken until he was 4 years old so that he could speak fluently. I had to wait until Jim was 6 years old so that he could sit on the church's bench rather than on the kneeling pads. Even now, I still have to wait for the time when my kids can learn independently, the time when they get more polite in manners, etc.
There is always waiting time when parents have to be patient. It is an endless time like how God has been waiting for us human to live as God's will. I am not idealistic, but this is a fact that we have to face in our life. Praying while waiting, that is the key. Even when finally they cannot achieve the expected growth, they are still our children who are the gifts from God. God must have got another plan for them in their life. Some hard work is needed to catch, but it should not make both parents and the child stressful or over worrying.