Archive for November 19th, 2012

2012, November 19

On dealing with children

Well, I’m on this subject again. Maybe it’s me, because I don’t have children of my own yet. And I certainly don’t want to be judgmental, but I just don’t get a few things that parents around me are doing.

I know most of you have children, so I just have to ask the following. Also, since I babysat C up until a few weeks ago, a nearly six-year-old, I’m asking in regards to her age.

What is the deal with picking up after children?

C had a play date a few weeks ago. I took her and two of her kindergarten mates home, to C’s place. They had her small room’s floor covered in toys in under five minutes. There literally was no where to step; I “sent in” apples as a snack for them, they took it handing the plate around.

They asked to watch cartoons, and I said no. Because they really wanted to, we settled on watching one cartoon later, after a good hour/hour and a half of playing first. Everyone can watch cartoons when they’re in their own home, this was a play date. Plus, I don’t want to get paid for not doing my job. Play dates make my babysitting easier as is, as the kid doesn’t need me to be around her every second of that time.

Just when the kids sat down to watch the promised cartoon, C’s father arrived home. I told him about the cartoon thing, and that I’d be taking C’s friends home when they were done watching and helping straighten toys. He said okay. He went by C’s room and marveled at the mess. After washing his hands, he went inside, and started picking up all the toys and such. He was done by the time the cartoon was over.

Now… I have to admit: there was a huge mess, and a lot of toys to pick up. However. I really don’t think this was the best idea. I mean, how can one teach their kids to pick up after themselves if they’re cleaning up after them without a word? I, personally, was thinking of something more along the lines of all of us straightening up. And okay, let’s say he didn’t want the two girls helping since they were guests and all. But then, since there really was a lot of work on it, help his daughter pick everything up. Why do it for her?!

Especially since the following week, C asked me to hang her coat up for her because “Dad said he’d throw it out if he finds it on the floor again”…

PS: no wonder she refuses to blow her own nose, while a three year old does it for herself…

Help getting dressed and undressed?

Sure, I can see why one helps a small child, one who hasn’t yet learned how to get dressed on their own. That’s how they learn.

When I go pick C up from kindergarten she dresses herself. I may need to help with zippers, scarf, sometimes boots (depends what kind), but that’s about it. She’s throwing a tantrum because she doesn’t feel like it? Go ahead, I can wait until she’s finished – with both things.

Then, when we her mom’s firm was taking the employees and families for a weekend trip, I took C up to her office. Mom greeted us, showed us to the kitchen and left to get her purse telling her kid that “Estrela will help you get undressed”. My initial (unspoken) thought was “Yeah, I’ll get her scarf so she won’t choke herself, cause she just pulls at it. Other than that, she know how to get undressed.” And she did.

The other day, her mom arrived home before us. Upon greeting us, C started muttering she wasn’t in the mood to take her shoes off, and demanded help. Mom immediately started undressing the kid.

Is it just me, or is that showing C that she will get her way if she throws tantrums?

Not teaching them foreign languages?

This applies more here in my city of Kolozsvár, but still.

Being a Hungarian person who lives in Romania, one is required to speak Romanian. Logical, I know. It doesn’t make someone less Hungarian, and knowing other languages is always a plus. However, can’t recall what exactly the conversations was about, but C’s mom said to me once “I am glad C wants to learn Romanian. But I will not teach her.” Queue a million questions running through my head…

Yes, there are many parts of Romania where there are more Hungarian people and so, Romanian is barely spoken. I had classmates like that. But my gosh, Romanian literature classes were tough on them when they couldn’t properly string a sentence together. Romanian literature is required at exams! And there are so, so many collages in Romanian only! What if the kids wants to be a doctor? There is no Hungarian college for that.

For me it was easy, I learned both languages while growing up. I speak both since I was three. So, while attending a Hungarian school, Romanian classes were much easier for me. If one teaches their kid Romanian, they’re making both their lives easier for when school starts. And in life in general, because she will be living in this country…

So I simply don’t understand: why, why, why would one not want to help their children when they’re young enough to learn and not leave it until fifth grade when learning a foreign language is so much harder?

Telling kids to shut up and not embarrass themselves and you?

This last one is something I overheard a mom telling her little girl on the bus. She was taking the kid with her, to her work place. I don’t know any more details.

But does that sound like something one should say to their child?

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