I have 3 children under 7 years. My eldest goes to a US based homeschooling class of 3-5 students per class for 3 hours a day.
Before the class starts, the students have to sweep the floor, wipe the table and chairs, arrange them, and wash the toilet.
2) Thought process
Instead of learning mainly ABCs, they start with character building and phonics. They are encouraged to write of their activities and feelings as their school work.
Hone presentation skills-show n tell in class develops their self-confidence and public speaking from young.
3) Buy their own toys
I do not buy any toys that my children want. There is a reward chart at home for good behaviour, duties, obedience. Upon achievement of a set of "stars" they get to go to a park, stay over at friend's house, eat sushi, etc. That is the adult world that they will eventually face. If the toy costs RM20, they need to earn it by washing the car, help the maid in cleaning and other house chores @ RM1 each. Upon earning their money then they can buy their toy (sometimes with a little subsidy from us) and they actually take care of their hard-earned toys better. We are amazed that they are actually so very eager to do their chores everyday once you place a carrot in front of them.
Some say that will create calculative kids, but you mean the parents are able to be calculative with their bosses but the kids can't? We also teach them to tithe their income.
Limit the TV and PC. They learn to make figurines and vehicles from old boxes and paper and sticks, coz mommy and daddy are not buying them the entire Toys r us.
A good ref. is Dare to Discipline by Dr James Dobson.
Whatever it is, children need and yearn for boundaries. We as parents can teach them by setting goals relevant to their age, teach them to be independent from young.
Yuppie parents esp love to spoil the kids with the best PS2, and other material stuff to compensate for lack of communication and time.
My own youngest sis with straight As love to hop from job to job for a mere RM150-200 increment. I lost count of the no. of jobs. They are not interested in learning any skills, unfortunately.
Maybe I should save the money for uni for my kids to attend Tony Robbins or other mgmt trainings instead of "factory schooling"...
Comments: I would like to congratulate Born To Reign as I am sure yours is a much better way. If I may add (sounds silly as I am still single), do not follow the new mantra to treat your kids as friends. Kids need you to be their parents, not their friends. They have friends of their own. Having said that, parents should also structure their relationship to encourage open sharing, respect for each others' privacy (it applies both ways), respect for each others' opinions, and to establish trust both ways. There must be sufficient trust in that they will tell you when they have made mistakes, hence do not exert excessive punishment on the hint of any missteps as that will make they shy away from telling and sharing future problems and mistakes in their life. There must be a strong vacuum of trust within your family which can only be built by lifelong examples and exemplary ways, values and attitudes.
PS2, the Wii... I see kids ALL THE TIME at dinner tables playing with them. There must be rules and priority. There must be a willingness to spend time talking and sharing. Many parents who work may be tired or prefer to zone out in front of the TV when they are home. Buying them toys or giving them pets are not replacement. Kids are most influenced when they are young. Time lost during those days will be lost forever. How they turn out, if parents fail to exert the right influence, will be based on the roll of the dice then.
Nobody needs a license to be parents. You need a license to drive, to operate heavy equipment, to fly a plane, to be a teacher, to be a professional, you need a degree for most professions... it seems the only thing you do not need a license for is to be a parent. It is not an inborn quality as many parents are idiots as parents. Many kids are but a reflection of their parent's upbringing, and its a vicious cycle. Seems like we need a licensing body for parenting as I am sure most would agree it is the most important job in the world should you decide to take it up.
p/s photo: Eva Huang Sheng Yi