她如果沒有犯錯,我為什麼要說「不」?

on Dec 19 in [育兒經] 愛兒 tagged by
Emily@UK - El at a swimming school - 1Y10M

愛兒上游泳課,超愛玩水。

 

這一趟回台灣,發現父母管教孩子的方式與態度上,東西方果然有不小的落差,就連還沒有小孩的朋友們也因我們對待愛兒的方式感到詫異,同樣身為媽媽的朋友們詢問我愛兒的生活作息,並請我就個人觀點描述台灣媽媽與英國媽媽的不同之處。
不同處很多,但最明顯的有兩點:一是給予孩子的自主權,二是禮儀的重視度。
這裡我想談談給予孩子空間的差異,但老實說這是個大題目,我寫了又刪,刪了又寫,難以琢磨該如何才能充分表達我想說的。
我必須強調,這與整個大環境與社會體制不同有非常密切的關係,絕非單純父母的偏好或選擇。然而,不管在哪裹總有些父母堅持不同的做法,即便在台灣我身邊也有不少相當洋化的媽媽們,他們採用的教育方式與我的並無太大差別。
這兒只單純地描述我的發現與想法,過於嚴厲或鬆散都不是好事,中庸之道才是王道。

與英國相較之下,我感覺在台灣當父母很不容易,是件壓力不小的事。
不僅是社會福利的支援不及英國,導致需要父母雙薪才養得起小孩;地方小但人多造成的強烈競爭,與教育體制的不完善,也讓父母和小孩都備感壓力。
市面上流通的商品控管不嚴,一會兒奶粉有毒,一會兒哪種食品添加了不該加的東西,一會兒又傳什麼東西不能吃,害得父母人心惶惶,買什麼都得先做一大堆功課才敢出手,這難道不也是壓力?
整個大環境為小孩等弱勢團體的設想不夠周全,不僅簡單的遊樂設施都不算普及,就連推嬰兒車都寸步難行,換個尿布都難,想帶小孩出門很不方便,可是又不能老把小孩關在家裡,這又是壓力。

因為競爭力大加上傳統的觀念,台灣的父母其實不多打從心裡相信「行行出狀元」,總要孩子將來能夠有個體面的職業,如醫生律師等,這些都給父母很大的壓力,連帶地小孩也受牽連。
不說別人就說我自己身邊的例子,我覺得朋友A是很道地的台灣父母:相當嚴格,非常用心,一切都努力要給孩子最好的,最好的老師/校外活動/食品/用品…,相對地她也對孩子有極高的期許。
為了要能夠讓孩子問不倒,她努力充實自己成為一位非常有知識的母親,任何新知新消息她都清楚,而且會確實地操作。
因為聽說了黑糖比白糖健康,家裡立刻只剩黑糖,再也不見白糖的蹤影。
聽說了哪兒有很不錯的課外活動,她會想盡辦法,不惜代價,不辭辛勞,跋山涉水地陪著孩子去參加,自己比孩子更認真地做筆記呢,好回家為孩子做複習。
每天帶著孩子趕場參加各種才藝班,且非名師不上,盼著年紀尚僅個位數的孩子琴棋書畫樣樣精通。
盡一切所能,汲汲營營,就是為了望子成龍,不僅要優秀,重點是要「比別人優秀」。也正因為投入這麼多的心血,金錢與時間,如果孩子表現得不夠好,立即影響了父母的情緒,或者是臉面。
從小就已經習慣了照著父母的安排與計畫行事,孩子早早就喪失了自主權,這樣的態度漸漸反應到其他的事物上,台灣的孩子很懂得服從。

Emily@UK - El at Xitou - 1Y10M

愛兒在溪頭。

 

這樣育兒態度與英國的父母差很大。
當然,天下的父母都希望自己的小孩聰明可愛,將來一路順風,稱心如意,但是英國的父母比較愜意些,邊玩邊教,孩子能吸收多少是多少,反正遲早學得會,今天沒學起來,明天可能就會了。
今天情緒難以安撫,特別盧,可能是在長牙?昨晚沒睡好?身體不舒服?早上跌了一跤?什麼事都有可能,反正明天就會好了。
明明就可以從一數到十,今天表演給阿姨看的時候卻漏了四和九,沒關係,可能是急著想去和其他小朋友玩?可能是看到喜歡的玩具而分心了?什麼事都有可能,反正大家都知道孩子遲早辦得到。
孩子就是孩子,每天的狀況都不一樣,不是可以全盤掌控的,每個媽媽都是這麼想,所以沒有人需要感受到壓力,陪孩子成長原本就該是一件愉快的事。
說穿了,大家都有眼睛在看,哪個孩子漂亮,哪個孩子聰慧,哪個孩子好性情,大家心中自有一把尺,不是當娘的說了人家就信的。
人生也不是憑著那幾張考卷定勝負,事實上,不老說「要先具備成功的人格特質」嗎?非比不可的話,何不比比看誰比較懂自己的孩子?誰的孩子比較快樂?誰更具成功者的特質?
好,就算誰家寶貝真是天才好了,那當父母的辛苦的還在後頭呢,我並不確定自己需要羨慕他們。

因為愛兒喜歡游泳,所以回到台灣我也幫她找了嬰兒游泳課。
我並不需要知道帶嬰兒去游泳對嬰兒的身心或未來會有什麼樣的好處,只要知道水質與環境都夠安全就行了,因為我唯一的目的是要愛兒開心,至於她能從中獲得的則都是額外的附加利益。
在英國的時候,媽媽們都很愛帶著孩子出去玩,所以我們幾乎天天都有活動:是呼吸新鮮空氣,是增廣見聞,是為消耗孩子的精力,是交際聯誼,是避免孩子在家悶得發慌找老媽的麻煩…. 從來不是因為盼望著將來孩子能夠飛黃騰達。

一個朋友說我們好像都隨愛兒的意思,她想做什麼就可以做什麼。
我第一反應其實是不解:她如果沒有犯錯,為什麼不可以隨她高興?我為什麼要說「不」?只要沒有對生命構成危險,沒有對其他人造成過度不便或不敬,我為什麼要禁止她做她想做的事?
只因為會造成我的麻煩而不准她做,對她來說豈不是相當不公平嗎?當父母的職責之一難道不正是陪著孩子探索嗎?
孩子不是父母的附屬品,我當然也得尊重她的意願,然而到她能夠自己獨力完成生活常規之前,她的意願勢必需要我的協助,換個方法說,不管她想做什麼,那都一定是要麻煩到我的。
既然決定當父母就要有這一層認知 – 她說想踢球我就帶她去拿球,她餓了我就得找東西給她吃,她說走累了我就找地方讓她坐,她心情不好我就得想辦法安撫。

Emily@UK - El at Taichung art gallery - 1Y10M

愛兒專心地在玩積木。
上手臂剛挨了兩支預防針,還貼著棉球呢。
這是久久回來一次的壞處,她還有好幾支要打耶,可憐的孩子阿!

 

前幾天和朋友一起帶孩子們去台中科學博物館玩,她很厲害地走了幾個小時之後,終於抬頭跟我說她要坐下(=她累了),她要吃飯(=她餓了)。
近一個月來,愛兒已經接受了「媽咪的肚子太大所以不能抱她」的事實,跟我單獨出門的時候不會吵著要我抱她,我真覺得她是個非常懂事的孩子。
不到兩歲的女兒這麼體諒我,她走累了想要坐下,我這個當娘的把行程緩一緩,找個地方陪她坐一下,有何不可?
凡事都有個優先順序,而女兒是我的第一順位。我當然也不想耽誤同行的人,所以建議其他人先走,晚一點手機聯絡再碰頭就是了,女兒,我是一定要陪的。
還好那天同行的是育兒理念相仿的朋友 J,她堅持陪我們一起坐一下,小孩總也有個伴,我們便坐在麥當勞裡喝水聊天了一會兒。

還沒有孩子的朋友可能不會了解,甚至可能很痛恨原本安排得好好的行程被一個小小孩搞得拖拖拉拉的,真是掃興到家。
這心情我完全可以理解,年輕的時候可能也和你們一樣,因此我相信直到你們自己當了父母的那一天,你們永遠不會明白為什麼我們對於好好的假期被破壞了卻絲毫不生氣?為什麼我們情願離隊就為了配合一個小孩的吃喝拉撒睡?為什麼大老遠跑去但沒玩/看到觀光重點也沒關係?
這,只能意會不能言傳,當你看見天使的笑臉的那天就會懂。

很幸運地,我的工作可以由我自己作主,時間很彈性,而我和 Steve 也都有「花時間陪孩子」比「賺錢」更重要的共識。
只要不是危險的事,愛兒可以在規範之內想做什麼就做什麼,且我和 Steve 之中也都會有至少一人配合與陪伴。
為人母絕對是我生命中最美好的經驗,我也希望每個媽媽都是這麼想,陪孩子的時光就該是輕鬆自在且雙方都愉快的,不必擔心分數或者孩子二十年後的成就會因為今天而產生什麼樣的影響。
事實上,這樣過度緊繃的態度在我看來是很荒謬的,更覺得讓孩子長期處在這種壓力下,造成的負面影響遠大過於父母急著要塞進他小腦袋瓜裡的那些知識將來能為孩子帶來的利益。
知識可以在人生中的任何階段做充實,性格則是一旦定下就難以修正的。孰輕孰重,父母只得自己衡量。

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