Monday, February 7, 2011

Tiger Mom vs Amber



The same week that Amy Chua's controversial book Tiger Mom came out... Kamran was moved up to a new classroom. His teacher decided to move him, mid-term, to a big-kid room. More academics. More written homework. More reading. More math. Kamran is three years old.

I did not fully understand the implications of this move until Kamran began to struggle and cry every morning when I dropped him off. Used to be that he ran away from me into the playground without a glance back. That was in November, December and I sang the blues to my mommy that it was breakin' my heart "Ma' kid he done growed up all so quick!" Ridiculous I know. But I wanted my three-foot mop-headed tot to need me more. Be careful what you wish for.

It was January and he clung to me like a spider monkey and I was the tall branch and he wa slooking for, well, spiders to chomp on (or whatever the heck it is they eat - if I was really a good reporter I would just Google what they eat...oh, never mind). Neway I had to wriggle to break free of his death-vice grip. Tears sprung from his big almond eyes. Now THAT broke my heart. "No don't leave me." Who wants to hear that every morning?

And in the evening his complaint would be: "Lion, jaguar. I saw sand. And then Ms. Monica said there was an alphabet and I pee-peed on the potty all by myself. And I was happy but i didn't want to nap can I watch Diego today? I really like Max and Ruby. Where's my cement truck? I'm hungry. I want to eat chicken. Are there mini Wheats? Ryan's shoe was blue. I like red. Is that my crayon." You see where this is going? A three-year-old's recollections and ability to explain his feelings are like a pot of spaghetti. It's just a jumbled mess and very messy and difficult to separate each strand to see clearly!

I will say that I'm not the kind of parent who believes in pushing her kid. I really don't. I believe the ages 0-5 are the play years. He's got plenty o time to stress and study and stress and work and sweat and hunker down over textbooks and stay up all night until his eyes bug out. Oh dear I am dating myself. I guess he'll be holding an iPad or whatever the next generation of technology will be by the time he gets there. You get the drift.

The point is I don't push. So Kamran's crying jags continued he'd come home with 12 pages of work. His pudgy little fingers spent hours a day writing rather than colouring or scrabbling around in the dirt looking for worms or rocks or climbing the jungle gym. And that upset me. And... One big parent/teacher conference later.... and....

Here's what ended up happening..... Oh, I'll tell ya later!