There are many times when I feel very fortunate to now live in a culture so diverse and so ‘alien’ to the one in which I was raised, and yet, it is just as often that I feel this maddening frustration of what I feel is an internal culture clash – particularly with regards to child-raising.
Yesterday as we joined the Wiggle and Giggle session at the Caldicot Leisure Centre, I was relieved to see that the kids were almost all about the same age as Georgia, and mostly girls too at that. Jay, was rather the odd one out, being the only boy of walking age there – the other two were crawling babies.
Nevertheless, a healthy dose of running about and bouncing and riding cars within a confined space is always welcome. It did not take long however before a lesson arose…this time it was a lesson on Empowerment and saying No!
Georgia with two shakers one in each hand – clearly enjoying her noise makers, and up runs another little girl, approximately the same age (2.5 – 3 years).
“Give me that!” the girl says. Georgia does a pretty good stare-down but it doesn’t stop that nasty brat from simply snatching the toy away from her. I watch this from some distance away, but in such situations, rightly or wrongly, I am rather reluctantly to intervene. My personal feeling is that, she will have to learn to stand up for herself, and rather than fight her battles for her, I would like to teach her and furnish her with the tools to stand up for herself.
Jun who also witnesses the whole event starts saying, in Mandarin “Take it back, take it back.” Thankfully, Georgia did not understand that bit of Mandarin – although I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
Soon she comes running up to me with a pout, “That little girl snatched from me!”
“I know…” I say, “She’s nasty, but you must learn to say No! Don’t snatch!”
She does a couple of practise commands and seems quite confident but all the empowerment seems to fizzle away when the same brat comes up again and tries to relieve her of the one other toy. She’s persistent this kid, it takes me several tries before she finally gets the message that she will not be allowed to snatch from Georgia.
BUT while I am displeased with that toddlers behaviour, I am disgusted by the fact that her mother and her friend are sat hidden out of view in the bouncy castle – oblivious to the entire proceedings. Hence my question – why don’t Mothers mother?
© 2008, Li-ling. All rights reserved.