Saturday 16 June 2012


J Summary (3Y3M11D) - Reminded Mommy to Work Hard First, Play Later

Usually we start Saturday after breakfast with Montessori activity, followed by Blanket Time (meaning reading), homework time and then Room Time. It has been an exhausting week, and I felt drained for energy. Today Saturday, I decided to skip doing school with J. I sent J to play in his playarea for his independent Room Time.

After Room Time, J asked me, "Mommy, why did you ask me to play without doing school first? That's not right." He said he wanted to "读书" meaning study or doing school. I think he could also be referring to the Blanket Time. I was taken aback by his words. I remembered when I was a child, my traditional Chinese parents would always remind me to "Work hard first, Play later" or "Suffer first, Enjoy later." I don't remember teaching J that, as I felt that he was too young to understand the concept. But I now think that I am wrong.

So I said to J, "J, you are right. Mommy is wrong. Let's go upstairs right away and do school. Let's go and do Blanket Time. Then you can play and enjoy yourself after you have put in the hard work."

So I quickly finished up what I was doing and off we went upstairs, and J brought me an encyclopedia, one other book and one colouring book, which he said he would like to do after reading the encyclopedia. He is fascinated with animals, pre-historic and present day animals right now. He is also fascinated about how catapillar turns into butterfly, after we went to Dyrehaven and saw and touched first-hand many caterpillars.

I didn't think that it was so funny to read an encyclopedia (wish Daddy could do it). And I wanted very much to listen to an interesting radio program. After 15-20 mins, I asked J if we could take a break. But J wanted very much to continue doing school. All this happened right in front of Daddy. He saw first-hand with his own eyes how eager J was to learn and do school. Thus, he has become more supportive of me doing school with J now. (To the Danes, at the age of three, kids should just play. I am at risk of being charged for child abuse for doing school with a child this age! I thank God for helping me to bridge this cultural difference between us, and helping Florian to be able to see and understand this issue through a different cultural len.)

J could not have enough of school... but I am having enough though. But one thing for sure, I now don't think that it is too early to teach J the Chinese concept of "Work hard first, Play later" or "Suffer first, Enjoy later", since it was J himself who started to remind me of it. I will try harder to practise it myself, so that what I will be teaching will be consistent with my action. I couldn't wait to call home to Singapore and share with my parents that I will be passing down to J, what they have constantly reminded me through my growing up years (and even now).

And no, we did not get to do the colouring book, because we had no time. I was looking forward to get out of the house and enjoy the sun. Alrighty, talking about "work hard first, play later", I had broken it again!!! I thought I should strike a balance, and perhaps we could do it this evening. But no we didn't get to do it this evening either. I was too optimistic.

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