The Case with The Six Years Old

October 09, 2010

Jibran is a 6.5 yo first grader. Just like any other kids, there are times when he is just a bit harder to handle, although I have to admit proudly that so far, trouble is the word one would never associate with him. But I don't deny that this sixth year is the most challenging year to date.

A brunch meeting with Najelaa Shihab last Wednesday opened my eyes. She was talking about how us, as parents need to continually evolve and change and improve our parenting style because kids grow, their attitude changes as they face different kind of problems and situation. I know it seems like common sense, but it's too easy to overlook that one important thing. We seemed to over prepared when they were babies but once they turned into our little mini me's, we tend to relax a little bit because they seemed to be more independent and need us less. And suddenly office workload takes us by storm which make our time with the kids diminish as days go by.

Obviously, that statement made me wondered about what I've been doing to improve my parenting skill to Jibran. I tried to look closely to what happened between kindergarten and elementary school, and surprised that I noticed quite a few changes.

The big situation is: He has graduated from the happy kindergarten place, where school is oh so much fun. He used to wake up at 8 and came home at 12. He didn't have homework or any extra activity outside class (except for soccer every Sunday). Structured study time at home was practically non existent. But look at now? At 6:30 he already left home for his 7:15 class. He gets home at 2:00 and just last month I added his activity by registering him to Gafa for 50 minutes a day, Monday to Thursday (will stop this at the end of this month), he still goes to Soccer club every Sunday, but he now has study time every night. Oh and he gets a short homework from Gafa too. He has more subjects to learn in school, from math to English to Bahasa Indonesia, Civics, Social Studies, Science, Islamic Studies to Information Technology.

And that's only for the schedule or workload-wise. Imagine having all those addition on top of the psychological aspect of leaving his comfort zone and entering a whole new and different arena. Suddenly, he is no longer the biggest kids like he was in kindergarten because there are the 2nd, 3rd, etc graders. And there were so many of them that it must be overwhelming him. Every single person, out of the hundreds, were a stranger for him. Thank God he didn't seem to have problem adjusting to the new environment but now that I'm giving more thought about it...those drastic changes must have shaped him behavior somehow. And here's what I gathered:

- He seems to worry too much now and often think about negative outcomes. He worries about Jehan taking his toys or worry about no body pick him up from school. One time he cried worrying about me and Oki getting old and then pass away :`(. So many conversation turn into 'What if it's gone wrong scenario'. I hope this is not the case of feeling less secure :(.

- He doesn't like to be wrong!. Whether about blatant mistake like in school assignment or just when he is forgetting something. He would try to put the blame to the situation and won't admit his mistake voluntarily (This doesn't include a situation where he accidentally hurt someone though, that he would apologize right away).

- I think he is starting to take advantage of my inattention. I know it's my fault for being inconsistent. It's human nature to take advantage for his/her own benefit.

- He rarely do things at the first request. Need to be asked over and over again or until my voice has the 'Mommy means business' tone..:D

- He doesn't like to be pressured..but then again, who does? :D (some adults do work well under pressure but I don't think kids have learned how to handle that, yet).

- A bit self centered? Like when we're still on the road while his show is on, he would be unhappy and blame us why we took this road, why we spend so long at the grocery store, etc. Maybe this has to do with the limited play/TV time he has now. So when his favorite show is on, he doesn't want to miss it.

- Although he enjoys competition and can take losing gracefully, he would change rules to suit himself when his opponent is clueless.

- He enjoys being praised. I've recently read an article that six year old need more affirmation that any other ages. Pheww!

- He has difficulty making choices by what he wants/needs. This is kind of surprising as we've always let him to make decision on so many things since he was little. Now it's more like because his cousins say so or because his friends are doing it.

- He likes things that I know nothing about (and sadly have no interest). Like Animal Kaiser or Bay Blade. He loves to talk about them day and night, which I'm happy to change the conversation at the first chance :D. It's sad..but I don't want him to be consumed by those stuff either, that's why I never entertain it even further. But this makes me realized (as confirmed by Mbak Ela) that parents and kids need to have common ground, something that they can share passionately together, either about a hobby, gadget, sports..something they have in common with. Otherwise, parents and kids would easily feel disconnected from each other.

So there..a few things I have gathered for the second half of the week. I feel so bad for not realizing this from early on, I could've made his days less stressful. Oh, I also did some Googling and found out that those behavior are common characteristic for 6 yo..(..and I breathe a sigh of relief). What I wrote my sound bad, but it's actually not that bad. Most of the time, Jibran is a happy and all around good kid. He is just tasting the water. And he loves his school and does well in class :).

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  1. Tapi tetep lho, Han.. Jibran is my most favorite little boy :D

    Btw when I read Mbak Ela, my first thought was "Kok mbaknya Jehan...." then I realised you were taling about different Mbak Ela :D

  2. i think you're his favorite tante too, van :)