Friday, December 02, 2005

A father's chronicle (My son's first swimming lesson)

OK, his first lesson was on Wednesday not today. I am late again in my blogging effort. Terrible at ensuring the events synchronized.

I really like the idea of sending him for swimming lesons... even though I am a swimmer, wife is a swimmer... our parents are swimmers... but well... it is the holidays and not letting him expand some of his energy is as dangerous as trying to cool down a nuclear reactor in 2 seconds flat.

Yet, I must admit that I really enjoyed it. Seeing him learn how to kick his legs, and do it with the rest of his classmates (or should we use the word 'poolmates'?), really is fun to watch. He have had so much fun! The learning process starts again for him. He is tired after the swim and famished too (great!) It is also nice to make a few new friends too. I am pleasantly suprise to find that they were very good kids. Kids with pretty good up-bringing.... with a little child-playfulness attached.

One little girl, Olivia, even say 'Thank you' when I encouraged her that she is doing a great job. Admittedly, most kids don't know how to take encouragement and praises (maybe adults too?).

There are so many "First time".... the first time Theophilus completes his maths worksheet on his own, the first time he ate all by himself, the first time he bathe himself (without the help of Daddy / Mummy).... the first time he caught the tail of a chameleon....

His first swimming lesson.... was great!

Monday, November 28, 2005

A father's chronicle (Nearing the threshold of fractual point)

It seems uncommon for me to meet a 7 or 8 year old boy running at the 4 km mark in the forrest yestarday, so as I approached from the back, I could not but get a glimpse of him. To my horror, I really think he was in trouble. Strangely, his parents were at least 30 meters ahead. The poor boy was struggling behind.

A fellow runner heading towards us voiced out his concern, and I second it. Guess what was the response of his parents... yup "He is OK". OK? What OK? We are regulars here and we know when a kid is getting into trouble! You don't want to get to the point when he roll his eyes then discover he is getting into trouble, right?

It was not until I saw that his parents slowed down and let him take a break that I continued on my run (sure, I will miss my timing, but heh, what's that anyway? I can try that again the next round). I was also prepared to carry this boy out (yes, yes, yes, I am tired).

This incident caught me thinking how far we stretch our kids. To be honest, I can't tell what is the limit the boy can be pushed, only the parents know intimately. Yet, I think often times we danced on the thin line of crossing the fractual point. Some kids can take more pressure, some don't. Some kids just break down and never recover from that.

Parents play an important role. We need to constantly learnt and discover what is this threshold. This level is not a constant level. Due to environment (say, incidents or happenings in our kids' lives), it can vary. So, at times I find it unrealistic to push Theophilus too hard.

In fact, I was very forthright to let his maths teacher know that it makes no difference to me whether he scores 90% or 100%. In fact, it does not matter whether he gets a B- or an A+. Stretching him beyond realistic level is just going to make him pay a price that I felt is not required.

Life is more than just A+ or even a B-.

Train but don't strain.

A father's chronicle (When I am bored...)

Vandalism in Singapore is a serious offense. People get caned for that.

When I am bored at home, I "vandalise" too... but only on the toes of my gang.

Son is not spared....

Don't even think that I will let her off.... come here! Arrrrggghhh....