and how it drives me mad.
This is going to turn out to be one of those ‘East meets West’ – type posts except technically it is only somewhat true.
At playgroup earlier this morning, I watched as Elizabeth, a little girl we are fairly familiar with (from our Music with Mummy sessions) and Georgia played along-side each other at a play kitchen. Georgia seems to be getting progressively better at interacting – often offering and sharing but of course at the same time – expecting to receive in return (no one gets something for nothing!) – but I digress.
A little baby – perhaps about 18 months old was also trying to ‘get stuck in’. It was quite natural to see Elizabeth in some ways ‘assert’ herself by shutting the ‘fridge’ and insisting things were placed in specific places, almost trying to exclude the little baby, and on more than one occassion, almost hurt the poor little child – what was horrendously shocking was the fact that her mother (a professional, I might add) just stood right next to her and said NOT ONE WORD!
The baby’s mother at some point said, to Elizabeth, “That’s nasty!” and there was still absolutely no reaction, or correction from her own mother at all. I would personally have been so ashamed and embaressed if the same had happened to my child – knowingly! – But of course, it wouldn’t, at least I would have certainly hoped nothing like that would happen on my watch.
Is it that some parents expect their children to learn such niceties from teachers and school? Or perhaps, they expect the children to learn ‘by osmosis’, or perhaps by being told off by someone else? Or worse still, perhaps some parents don’t want their children to learn to be nice, after all….as the saying goes Nice people never get ahead!
I have almost definitely found that among all of my ‘eastern’ friends we tend to share very similar philosophies and values, perhaps saying ‘No, don’t do that’ a little too often. I’m very glad also to find that I have met some ‘western’ friends who child-rear in similar manners – however almost all agreeing that – I’d rather my child was a nice person, even if ‘nice doesn’t get you ahead!’
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