A summer spent in parenting practice

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2011, 12:00am

'After tucking them in for their afternoon naps, I found the Barbie doll lying barefoot on the floor; the shoes had been taken off by the two children! What a cute scene! It made me laugh,' university student Chen Wentian says.

Chen chose to spend her summer being a 'mother'. She says: 'This is my last summer holiday as a university student. I decided to make it meaningful and useful. I 'borrowed' the children from my cousin so that I could take care of them for two weeks, to practise being a good parent before marriage.'

Chen is not alone in planning so far ahead. Xiao Rou, a third-year undergraduate, says: 'At first, I thought it would be all fun to be with children. Gradually, I found it was a valuable lesson as there was a lot to learn.'

Mother-to-be Wu Yin regrets not having had such practice before. 'I wished I had such a chance several years ago. If so, I'd have had more expectations than worries for my baby. I haven't been well prepared and everything is new.'

What problems did Chen face? She says: 'Xiao Yue, six, cries a lot. She also has a habit of spending a long time on meals because she usually forgets to swallow the food in her mouth. This has been a problem for her parents. So my first task was to help her kick the habit. From time to time, I reminded her of table manners. But it didn't seem to work. I had to encourage her with great patience.'

Chen also had to bathe the children, tell them bedtime stories, stop them from using her cosmetics, and act as a judge if they quarrelled. Her two-week stint passed quickly. 'My cousin is happy to find improvements in her children, while I got a lot out of this parenting practice.'

Parenting is not easy but it's one of the most important and rewarding jobs. Perhaps this practice should be widely promoted among young people.


Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)