Saturday, May 4, 2013

'Slow and steady' -- not my motto

When I was reading the book I mentioned in the preceding post below, I gained some insight as to why I always get so worked up with C being what I view as not having any sense of urgency, lacking time consciousness, doing things at the very last minute. Her learning style profile is the opposite of mine.

This afternoon, she has a birthday party to attend. We told her she has to complete all her homework before going. After breakfast, I reminded her about her homework. And guess what? Miss Slow-and-Steady did not jump into her homework like her pants was on fire. Instead, it took what to me was ages before she sat down and opened her books. After that was done, it took her some time to pick up her pencil and work on her math calculations. Before she could even finish one question, she got off her chair and was heading upstairs.

Me: What are you doing?
Her: Going to look for a calculator. (obviously, trying to find a shortcut to complete her homework faster).
Me: Why do you need a calculator? You're not supposed to use a calculator! blah, blah, blah, blah.... (my short fuse at work again).

Dad comes into the picture: You cannot use a calculator.
Her: Then why XXX (classmate) can use?
Dad continues to give reasons, including: You need to know how to calculate on your own first, learn to work out how the numbers should be calculated, then you can get the right answer, even if you use a calculator. What if all the calculators in the world disappear?
Her: Get a genius, like Einstein, to make new ones.
Dad: He's dead.
Her: Thomas Edison?
Dad: Dead.
Her: Isaac Newton?
Dad: Dead.
Her: Their descendants?
Dad: If they are geniuses, why aren't they well known?
Her: Maybe they are publicity shy.
Dad: Okay, you've wasted enough time, just start your homework.

I'd have yelled "shut up, and just do your work!" which I admit I have done before, but that's not how parenting works these days. Back in our elders' days, it's common to do that.  We'd go by the saying "children should be seen and not heard" and tell them not to question and to simply do as they are told "because I'm your mother and I said so". 

It does feel like parenting was easier back then. Or were children more compliant then? As parents, we continue to learn on the job. Trial and error, different strokes for different folks, one size does not fit all, and sometimes, slow and steady does win the race like the Aesop fable.

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