Why there is hope

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(Eppernay June 2013)

This week was the first week after Christmas holidays, so – big readjustment: waking up early, breakfasts with Blackberry (and I don’t mean berries here), scheduling meetings and multitasking. No more sluggish daydreaming.

As usual, need to have an answer ready for all possible variations of a very innocent question, if I went back to spend my holidays in Russia.  I wonder when someone comes to work in Europe from Sudan or Kenya – are they also expected to go back to their countries on every possible occasion?

Luxembourg is a first country where I start thinking about telling people the truth.  It’s so multi-cultural and open-minded, you at least have a hope to be understood.  Not everyone likes children, or animals, or winter sports, or going “home” for Christmas. Get over it.

For example, I am supposed to be deliriously exited about Diana’s paintings at school and all the clumsy handcraft they produce.  I am glad they are occupied and try something that keeps them busy, but (to be very honest) the outcome is still… graceless.  Not at par comparing even to some of the most confusing exhibits at Strasbourg MAMCS. I won’t display it in my living room and I won’t keep it at all. As soon as a kid stops playing with it, it becomes rubbish and goes to bin.  However, for some reason saying these things out and loud is impolite. Like not loving animals or winter sports.

There is hope though. I told someone today:

– Sorry, I cannot really take part in your parents association, I work full time and often go on business trips, I will probably miss the majority of the meetings.

– But we really would like some diversity and fresh insights, even if you cannot come very often, we would love to have you, when you are available…

– I wish I knew more about child psychology  or educational theories,  you would be  a lot better off with  someone more suitable…

– No, it’s OK, you are not supposed to be an expert. It’s not the goal.

(conversation continues for another 10 minutes)

– Look, I have to go and I feel like  I need to be more transparent here. I cannot join your group because I do not like children except for my own. I do not enjoy other kids company, I find them uninteresting and annoying. I am just not that into it.

– That’s fine. I totally understand.

(Mutual smile)

Like I said. People are indeed becoming more and more open minded: Pope  Francis is not judging gays,  my son Pavel is calculating his  personal budget for the next year (trust me, this is an important cultural development), I am still not shopping and not even browsing… so there is hope.

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9 Responses to Why there is hope

  1. Ney says:

    I’m sorry but I strongly disagree with you when you say that your daughter’s drawings are just “garbage”. Of course they’re not masterpieces, and no one expects them to be. If I remember correctly she’s 3 right now? She’s still a child. Children learn while playing and drawing and having fun, not going to lessons and listening to lectures. They change their interests often, they can be loud, obnoxious even, and they demand attention pretty much all the time. But weren’t we all like that?

    As a parent, you have the responsibility to take care of your child, especially at such a young age. You can’t expect them to act all grown-up from the moment they are born, and you can’t act like they have to deal with it by themselves- because they don’t. If they turn out like brats because you never showed them how to properly behave in society, it’s your fault, not their’s and you are just choving away your responsibilities if you claim otherwise.

    All what I want to say with this is: You should “eat” the food they make out of plasteline, you should compliment them on their drawings, you should slurp their soup they made in a wooden pot- because it makes them happy and makes them feel like they belong. They’re gonna be rejected often enough in their future, so at least let them know that they can trust their family to always be there for them, will you?

    • I have a mixed view on this. I do agree that children need a lot of attention and even more friendly/parental affection, but I think there are more useful ways of spending time with them: Teach them to read/count/write/draw/dance/swim, show them to ride a bike, build something with Lego, play football, catch butterflies… whatever. But it doesn’t have to be the focal point of the parent. I mean, it may be, but there is no obligation for it to be that way. And it doesn’t mean the kids will develop into anti-social, misbehaving brats.

      ‘Cause I didn’t. I think. XD

    • Yana says:

      Indeed, we disagree. I have seen enough young adults, used to receive praise and trophies for everything they do, no matter how well. It did not do them any good. I support my kids and push them and challenge them and when I compliment them, it’s when they deserve. (I obviously did not tell my daughter her drawings were crap, they just disappear magically when she brings them from school).

  2. Stop compromising me, will ya? =) I have been figuring out my monthly budget ever since 1st year at university.

  3. Lena says:

    Yana, how do you challenge your kids?

    • Yana says:

      Stick and carrot, nothing new. Set high expectations, give a lot of freedom, let them figure it out, reward when they excel, frown when they don’t, tell them my honest opinion on anything without sugar coating.

  4. Maria Pel says:

    Yaaaay, thank you for that! I hope someday people will become more tolerant towards other people choices -not everyone likes same things and certainly not everyone shows appreciation to the same lifestyle. But so far when I say I do not like animals people look at me as if I was a terrorist

  5. Pingback: Power is a tool. Influence is a skill. – Fleurf. Life is about enjoying yoursef while looking fabulous

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