At different stages of life, elder kids tend to do different things than their younger peers. My philosophy is simple: I will do my best to let them do what they want to do as long as it’s not life threatening like jumping off from a tall building.
Recently, J and K, 10 and 7 respectively, have collectively gone through five new experiences. Sometimes, it’s fun to know your child is able to do stuff that only adults can – albeit not perfectly executed.
One day J and K invited a friend over to play. At the end of the day, their friend wanted to stay until tomorrow. It wasn’t planned as a sleepover but definitely it ended as one. When next morning came, she enjoyed herself so much that she suggested to me a 2-night extension. If that’s granted, it would be a 3-night sleepover. Not only their friend, J and K were very excited too about the extension as they wanted to play with the friend for a longer period of time. Many attempts were made to get permission from their friend’s mother for the extended stay, though the mother wasn’t keen on the idea of staying in someone else’s house for so long. In the end, the mother and I had no choice but to give in to their request after a few rounds of nagging and begging. They were exhilarated.
It was quite an experience for all of them. They have to come up with activities to keep the days occupied and negotiating their way to settle any dispute or conflict that came up along the way (eg: deciding which game to play or what activity to do). A real life social course in action.
Buy me lunch
It started as a joke but K took it seriously when my wife suggested K to buy me lunch. Using his allowance/savings, I received K’s first lunch – fully paid for including drinks. Though it was a simple lunch, but it felt so good inside when you know that your kid is willing to pay for you – even though technically it’s my money. J followed suit a few weeks later.
First live pet
Out of an impromptu decision, J and K unexpectedly landed themselves a tortoise as their first pet. They were so happy that the first thing we did after we got the pet was to name it. Finally we name it Greeny as it has green stripes on the shell. Now they have an extra task every morning: feeding Greeny. Having a pet is a good way to teach children responsibilities.
J’s good friend signed up for a 3D2N self discovery holiday camp. When she was told of this event, J wanted to join as well. We think that J is big enough to be on her own and she can take care of herself. Furthermore, this holiday camp came at the right timing and we should put J to test on her capability to be away from parents. So we let her go for the camp. It ended well and dandy and she fared not too badly as we later found out a boy cried the first night as he missed home so much.
I taught J and K on creating their first blogs. Since I am not sure if they like the idea, so I utilized one of the free blogging platforms for this purpose – it’s free and my main objective is to show them how it works to start a blog. They write short posts about what happens in their lives. Though it’s far from a professional looking blog but it’s a good start. If they are hooked and want to go further, getting a unique domain name will be the next course of action.
For more out-of-the-norm parenting tips, check out “The Nonconformist’s Guide to Parenting.”