Modern Parenting

Having seen and having had to teach the living and breathing products of 21st Century parents in the past few years certainly makes me agree with most of what this British nanny writes.

Coincidentally, I recently witnessed an incident which made me feel quite impressed with this modern parent.

The little girl, maybe 4-5 years old, was on a tricycle, cycling in front of her father in the crowded train station. Suddenly, because she was looking down and not in front of her, she suddenly finds herself confronted by a huge pillar. She freezes in her tracks just before she bangs into the pillar, and instinctively looks to her father. The guy looks back down at her, and gestures his arms in an exaggerated “I don’t know what to do either!” shrug. The girl pauses for a second more before figuring it out. She retraces her steps, pedaling backwards, then pedaling forward again, this time steering slightly to the left to avoid the pillar.

By not stooping down to change the direction of his daughter’s tricycle for her, by pretending that he didn’t know what to do, the dad gave her a wonderful opportunity to solve her own problem, build her resilience and learn from her earlier mistake.

In another country and culture, I can imagine the parent bending over immediately to help their child out of the fix. Some might even start scolding their children for having allowed themselves to end up in that situation in the first place.

If life is a book, then every experience can be a lesson. Trying to prevent children from making mistakes will deprive them of half the learning they could have had. Now why can’t we have more parents… and *ahem* educational systems… understand this?


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