After 2 weeks attending playschool, today my son Bintang made a scene. This isn’t the first time he did something weird because couple of days ago, when the teacher told everyone in the classroom to sing “Bintang Kecil” my son refused and yelled “No! let’s sing Gundul-Gundul Pacul instead!” .. which made the whole class sing Gundul-Gundul Pacul first… and then Bintang Kecil.
Today, the whole class played outside the classroom and took a trip inside Carrefour for “practical life” lesson about grocery shopping, healthy food vs junk food, and payment issues. After the trip, all kids took part on “Doughnut Contest” where the fastest kid who can eat a doughnut, wins. Bintang, who already ate breakfast with a glass of milk, did nothing but stare at the doughnut. He was focused on something else instead. The “kereta kelinci” (small train) in front of Carrefour which is ready to take everyone for a ride around their playschool.
Up to the train ride, Bintang was “okay” as in enjoying the whole outdoor activities, although he refused to join his friends and teachers standing in front of the train for a photograph, and asked to take their pictures instead.
During all those activities, Bintang was excited and his nanny was there with him all the time. I wasn’t there until the train ride has finished.
And then.. the next schedule was one of the big moment: performing “Cublak-Cublak Suweng” dance, in Carrefour’s stage, in front of a bunch of people, where everybody paid their attention to the s-t-a-g-e.
Bintang totally refused to perform. And I got upset. So both mommy and son were emotionally exhausted, right in front of the school teachers, and other mommies as well. What an embarrassing scene it was!
According to the teacher, there were three reasons:
1) Because I was there, he choose to spend time with me, instead with his friends and teachers.
2) Because he got scared with the idea of “performing in front of a crowd”
3) He never enjoyed following other people’s instructions.
For reason number 1 and 2, okay I will accept my son the way he is, and try to be more patience.
But for reason number 3, I got confused.
One of the great things about children is how much creativity they have. And we, as parents, were sometimes got blown away by the funny things they said, or by the unexplainable (but cute) things they did. And one reason behind all this amazing development is due to their free will. Their initiatives. Their imaginations run very wild because they are free to think about anything, and this is very important in any kids’ healthy development.
Now let’s talk about instructions. Structure. Obligations.
I don’t mean to refuse the idea of giving instructions to a 3 year old like Bintang, but I also couldn’t understand the point of it. I want my son to have the courage to walk towards the stage by himself, I really do, and I must work on this matter. But to have him dance in accordance to the teachers? It’s okay if he want to, or if he can imitate the moves of his friends or teachers, but I wouldn’t blame him if he choose to perform his own movements. I will be proud of him, a lot!
I know it will be awful to look at, a bunch of kids, dancing around with different moves one from another, but come on people, they’re only 3-4 years old! We should be focusing on their courage to perform in public, and enjoy their creative moves, instead of being frustrated by the fact that they don’t follow their teachers’ moves/instructions.
And that was the thing I realized after having my own emotional meltdown today. I simplify my duty to support Bintang to have more courage in public, to have fun on stage with friends.
I will give less instructions, and allowing him for more initiatives.
After all, that is the root of their self esteem and creativity.
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