Friday, 11 November 2011

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J Summary (2Y8M6D) - Teaching Mommy How to Be Christ-like...

Today, we had our neigbour's children over after daycare. It was not exactly a playgroup, but nevertheless it was like one.

The little boy, D, was about J's age, just 2.5 months younger. He wanted to play with wooden train set. J did not protest, when I offered the train set to the chilren. Jwatched him played and it took J some time to warm up before J joined in. When J finally joined in, the little boy blocked him and took the train the other way. J was probably feeling a little hurt, as he came to me asking for his teddy bear. (When J feels sad, he would always ask for his teddy bear, it is a source of comfort for him).

His mother asked the little boy to share and I told J that D was our guest, and that we should let him play with the toys, and we could play with other toys.

But I caught myself thinking to myself, "Hmmm...it is our home, our toys. We shared the toys, but you took the toys which were ours and refused to share. That's not fair!"

And J? J did not snatch his train toys back. He just allowed the other chilren to play with any toys they wanted in his playroom. Looks like it is the mother (me) who is struggling now!

The evening during bedtime, I asked J if he enjoyed playing with D and whether he would want to play with D again. To my surprise, J said yes.

Oh what Christ-likeness, oh how forgiving our son is. Then I asked J, shall we pray for D, S and M? He said yes. We prayed for them.

I wondered if I have raised our little toddler/preschooler too sweet and meek, whether he should be more tough. When Daddy came home, I shared with him. He said that we should be very happy for such a sweet, generous and forgiving boy. I think so too.

Today too, we mothers were comparing notes with each other. My neighbour asked how J was progressing. Her 4 years old daughter can recognize 300 Chinese characters and speaks to her mother in Mandarin Chinese. That's really amazing! Her 2.5 year old son, D, can recognize 40 Chinese characters, although he speaks to her only in Danish. J could not recognize a single Chinese character, but he speaks to me only in Mandarin Chinese. I actually haven't started teaching J to recognize Chinese characters at all yet, as I didn't know that they could at such young age, since I didn't remember myself learning to read Chinese at such a young age. I also don't have the time and energy for it. But that's no excuse, as my neighbour is a working mom too. But I also don't want to make our life too hectic with too many learning activities. I have to remind myself not to be competitive and kiasu (Singlish for being afraid to lose out). My neighbour taught me to write the Chinese characters on the back of old name cards for J. That's a really good idea :-) Now I just have to find the time to do it!

I read that playgroup can teach your child many things, amongst others sharing with other children. Playgroup can reveal some of the learning gaps of your child. Actually, it reveals more about the learning gaps that I have, than J's! Yes, it is a humbling experience for me. It reveals some character flaws in me which I still need to work on with God's help - to be more Christ-like and generous and less kiasu.

Oh Lord, when will I ever learn! I wanted so much to be more Christ-like, but it hasn't been so easy and struggle-free for me...

Books always talk about how you can teach your child to behave in a playgroup, but the material seems to be lacking on teaching mothers how to can with their own struggles at playgroup.

I wonder if you also struggle with some of the feelings I struggled with at playgroup? If so, I would love to hear your experience.

On a different note, with his little guests around, J refused to eat his dinner on his high-chair. He said that highchairs are for babies. (However, he is willing to sit on the high-chair, when we do not have guests!) He wanted to show that he is a Big boy now, and sat on the normal chair instead. He ate very well, fed himself and finished all the pasta (with only a sprinkling of peas and corns behind). This proved that what my Japanese friend, Himiko, taught me really worked.



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