One of my experiences working in this foreign country is the chance to get acquainted with parents who wanted their kids to be able to speak English. One of them is Phat. She asked me to teach her child how to communicate effectively in English. It is a joy knowing this amazing mom. You may wonder why I called her amazing. Well, because she is unique in some ways as a mom.
Phat is usually busy everyday working in their auto shop. She juggles herself between doing business and being a hands-on mom. I have known her for almost three years. I normally teach her daughter Yuie and the other girl Sanya in Yuie’s play room, just inside their auto shop.
Every time I enter their shop, Phat and her husband are so busy attending to their customers or making car stickers. Their daughter is usually left in the room reading books; sometimes playing with toys, molding clay or doing some art works.
Yuei was about to turn three when I started tutoring her, but I have never seen her scrolling down or playing her mom’s smartphone even during her free time. When I got the chance, I asked Phat if she allows Yuei to play with her phone or any gadget and she replied, “No, teacher”. I went further with my queries and found out that Yuei never even bother begging to play with it.
Too young for smart phone
My curiosity grew. I wanted to ask her on how she was able to do it as it appears to be working perfectly fine. Earlier this month, I approached her if she is willing to share her parenting skills in “The Pinoy Legacy” online magazine. She accepted it gladly and answered my questions in Thai. Phat expressed that Yuie is still too young to be exposed to digital games and free viewing with the use of any media sources. As a mom she is so concerned with her daughter’s daily activity. She reasoned that her daily activities at present would eventually affect her total personality in the future.
Her parenting style
a. Implement household rules
Phat implemented a rule regarding the use of phones in her household. No one should give Yuie any gizmo for her to play. She had also explained to her daughter why she is not allowed to use a phone or a computer.
b. Provide wholesome activity
She pampers Yuie with a lot of art works, Lego, and other educational and kiddie toys, books and more. I see that myself. The study room where I usually teach them is also filled with shelves of books and cupboards of toys that are mostly educational.
In the corner, you can see a TV set and a player with children’s tapes that are mostly in English, too. “I rather like Yuie to learn through experience such as doing skill building tasks, play more, and be engaged in some activities that would mold her character better than letting her waste her time playing addictive phone games and watching anything from internet media,” Phat said.
c. Foster discipline with love
“I just wanted my daughter to have self –discipline and focus in whatever she does and learn to value time while she is young”, Phat added. However, she doesn’t totally isolate her daughter with the use of technology. She allows Yuei to watch cartoon movies in DVD, CD and Youtube but everything should be in English. The time allotted for watching is only one hour everyday during summer and term breaks. Phat sees to it that when Yuei is watching, she is beside her.
d. Send child to skill development class
On Saturdays, she sends Yuie to Phitsanulok to attend English class and Aya for kids class. The latter teaches kids baking and clay modelling and the remaining hours is spent for family time. On weekdays, Yuei goes to school. She is now in Kinder 3 and she also attends a violin class.
e. Work together
Phat patiently guided those little fingers to put those tiny pieces of papers into place, apply colors, cut papers and more. Usually, she and Yuie enjoy doing things together like reading and exploring many art ideas.
f. Appreciate your child’s productivity
Many of Yuei’s works are hung on the wall and displayed in her room. Most of them are just incredibly beautiful. Phat always motivates her daughter to stay focused and to put her heart in whatever thing she’s doing. She has also won Yuei’s heart to be interested in art making.
High tech – family
In today’s high tech society, it’s just a normal sight to see kids or even toddlers play phones. But have we pondered of its effects in the near future? Some kids’ experts opined that too much use of phones and any gadgets pose a threat on kids’ behavior and study focus. They may also develop the habit of easily getting bored once they do nothing which may led them to being impatient. Phat’s parenting style may give our mothers some ideas on how to keep their kids from becoming digital junkies. Our kids are our precious jewels, let us guide them the best way we can.
PS: Special Thanks to Kent Olaer for the Thai to English translation.
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