8 December 2017, by Mandy Loh
Stop the press! My baby boy just graduated from Kindergarten!!!
Omigosh, I can’t believe that Cristan will be starting Primary One next year! But what I’m most amazed about, is how much my little man has grown and matured!
Just three years ago, I was trying hard to accept the fact that my darling boy was probably not cut out for the stage. He had terrible stage fright and froze throughout his play-school’s Christmas concerts; two years in a row. (You can read more about it here).
Yet somehow, as he got bigger, his courage grew alongside! This year, at the grand old age of six, he performed as “Belle’s Father” in his graduation concert item, “Beauty and the Beast”! In fact, he had quite a fair bit of time on stage.
As you can imagine, this Momma here was absolutely bursting with pride and joy, watching Cristan blossom in confidence such that he can now perform in front of an entire audience on stage. Kudos to the teachers of his preschool for patiently nurturing him and coaxing him out of his shell!
To celebrate, we brought the munchkins out to Sentosa for the rest of the day, swimming at the awesome Hard Rock Hotel beach pool and having ice-cream to top it all off.
Later on, as I reflected and marvelled at Cristan’s amazing transformation, it dawned on me that children, like flowers, will blossom in their own time.
Just as it is futile (and even counter-productive) to peel open the petals of a rosebud in an attempt to speed up the blooming process, so it is with parenting. Some things just cannot be forced. It is best to sit back, relax, and let your child come into his own.
However, it is still important for us as parents to take the effort to understand our child’s specific bent, preferences and inclinations as unique individuals.
A child’s personality becomes pretty obvious from around two or three years of age, and it is up to us parents to nurture them in a way that will bring out the best in them.
With Cristan, I have come to realise that he just needs to be given the time and space to observe and assess a situation for a while, before he is willing to venture out of his comfort zone to try something new.
It used to frustrate me when I saw other children jumping into activities enthusiastically without hesitation, while my own son stayed resolutely on the sidelines.
Now, I know that there is no point pushing him into something. It would only make both of us upset and defeat the whole purpose of bringing him out.
Yet every child is different, and parenting is a constant learning curve. Even as I become more attuned to Cristan’s disposition, I’m still at the early stages of learning about Caris’ dramatically different temperament. (And my goodness, that girl has got a big personality indeed, with big lungs to accompany it. When she’s upset, the entire neighbourhood will hear about it!)
Perhaps its a 2nd-born thing, but she’s bolder, more confident, and a natural-born performer! At the concert, she was grooving and shaking her booty with intense concentration throughout her dances. So cute!
I’m definitely still finding my way as a Momma, and most of the time, I’m learning by trial and error. Thankfully, children are very forgiving as we stumble along this lifelong journey of parenting.
So fellow Mommas, take it easy, and also allow yourself time to blossom into the best Mommas that you can be!