August 31, 2008


Yesterday my boy was out for a weekend camping with all his friends from 7th grade. It’s his school’s tradition for the new students (Here the kids finished their elementary school at 6th grade then continue to a new junior high school from 7th grade). From the letter I received from his school, the main reason to do this activity is trying to build kids’ behavior for being independent, feeling togetherness with his new friends and helping each other. For kids that lived in the big city doing such camping activity like this is a very rare opportunity. That’s why I saw my boy was really enthusiast in preparing his stuff.

I accompanied him to his school’s camping area early in the morning on Saturday. I saw all the parents were busy to help their kids carrying bags. Something funny I saw that morning, one of a girl brought her suitcase for camping, wow….typically big city girl I think. I remembered the night before when my boy had already packed 3 bags, my hubby suggested him straightaway to minimize his carrying into 1 backpack and a medium sized of plastic bag for the kitchen stuff. In his group, he has a responsibility to carry a skillet and 2 bottles of water for his group and plate-glass-spoons for himself. My hubby said camping should be fun for him, no need engaged for packing as many as stuff like he want to go away for a week…Yes, I’m agree, but both of us felt a little bit sorry for never had a chance to take the kids for a family camping so this would be his first camping :(

On Sunday afternoon my hubby and I pick him up at the school. In the car he was busy telling us that last night was raining and his group got a leak tent in many places. Finally their teacher told them to sleep at a classroom after they’re waiting for a long time that the rain didn’t stop, but he was happy after all because he and his friends could make a campfire before the rain and did some games. I think at first since they’re camping at their own school just for a night there wouldn’t be any parents come to visit, but I was wrong. My boy told us that 5 of his friends (there were 8 kids in a group at 1 tent) had visited by their moms. Some of them visit their kids at night and some did in the morning. Not only visiting, but they also send their kids some fast food, snacks even an open-toe slipper!! Only he and his 2 other friends had not visited by parents and I heard from his voice that he’s proud because he could make it by his own. My boy told me the teachers had already warned the parents for not visiting unless if there’s an ‘emergency’ case, but still they could sneak and meet their kids maybe because the tents were at the open space behind the school and there were not enough teachers to supervise.

I think it was a pity that those moms don't let their kids learning to be on their own. I know sometimes it’s hard for moms to do that. For some reason -in another case- maybe I also did the same way without any conscious. I realized we should try to let our kids doing their"small-simple own business" by themselves, starting from home like clean up their own bedroom, washing their own shoes or backpacks, etc. Once in a while I don't satisfied with the result of their works and redo it without their knowing, but after that I feel guilty. It's not the right way to teach them, isn't it?
How about you in letting your kid learn to be on their own?

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