I have a new role this school holidays. I supervise kids in my neighborhood during their playtime! OK, call me paranoia (spell??) or overprotective parent, but hey, in this day and age somebody gotta watch them. Gone were the days kids can freely roam the kampung or taman without giving a hoot about the preying eyes of the criminals. They no longer have the freedom. Criminal intentions are lurking everywhere.
The funny thing is, and rather ironic, I am the only parent around. I wonder whatever happens to other kids parents? There are at least 8-10 of them including my 2 boys, going around on their bikes or playing football or simply gathering around the playground. I make sure I know who are they, where they live, who their parents are, which school they go to, their age. By now I know them by face if not remembereing their names. These boys mostly have working parents, of whom are not back yet from work at 6pm (unlike me who will try my best to reach home by 6pm). But I also know that a few of them whose parents are stay-at-home mom or teachers. Really, I have never seen any other mom other than me walking around the neigborhood. Of course there are maids bringing some toddlers at the playground. There are also some girls of the boys's age playing at the playground, without any supervision. True, they are big enough to be supervised, but .. still!
On the days that I'm really tired, I hate this new role. Simply bcos I have to walk around the whole taman pushing Omar in his stroller, and holding Syasya's hands. But at the same time, it is good walking exercise for me. But many many times, I question myself? Why am I the only parent here? Aren't they worried about their kids? Do they know where their kids are? Who they are with?
Why do I allow them to play outside in the first place? I could just say, just stay in the house. But I was thinking, hey the kids do need to play! Play is important for their physical and mental development. I don't want them to be cooped up in the house watching TV and playing computer games. It its so unhealthy! At the same time, somebody needs to watch them. I for one, will not take any risk of losing them to anything or anybody.
There's a good article in the STAR today which emphasize the importance of play in a child.. read here : http://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2008/11/26/lifeparenting/2619422&sec=lifeparenting
There's also a good view in the Sun today on how a parents involvement in a child's activity that can shape the child's success in the future - "Parents must bite the bullet". The writer cited Nichol David as an example. Her parents spent a lot time with her at the court, the gym and any training sessions. And look at where she is now. The point the writer is trying to make is, don't expect your child to be a footballer if you just drop him off at the football clinic or at any game and pick them up later without actually being there to support them. To ensure their success, you must support them in their activities, in any of their hobbies, not just academically. We have to shape, otherwise they may turn out to be what they want to be or what you want them to be.
So after all, I am in the right track. I try as much to be there for them. And I hope my kids will be successful in their lives (this is subjective!) with my little (if not fully) supervision.
Next step, perhaps I should watch their favorite TV programs as well? Ultraman, Digimon, the nonsense but most favored Hagemaru? Oh no...!!!