I am getting overwhelmed with Đạo and Đán’s schedule of activities these days. Every Wednesday, they have swim practice from 5:15 pm to 6 pm. Every Friday, the have lion dance from 5 pm to 6:30 pm, Boy Scout from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and Vietnamese language from 8:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Every Saturday, they have Taekwondo from 3 pm to 5 pm.
I am cool with swimming as a sport, lion dance as a form of art, and Taekwondo as a self-defense. I am also fine with learning Vietnamese. Boy Scout is still new for me. My wife signed them up with the Vietnamese pack. They get to hangout with other Vietnamese-American kids just like them. I also have the opportunity to meet other Vietnamese-American parents who go the extra mile for their kids. They take them to weekly meetings, help them with fundraising, provide food for events, and accommodate them to camping trips.
As parents, we do so much for our kids. In addition to school, we are packing up their days with so many activities, but not giving them time and space to think for themselves. They don’t have their own time to be creative or innovative. We are shaping them up of how we wanted them to be instead of letting them figuring out the rope themselves.
When I was a kid, my mom put no restriction on me. Her only unwritten requirement was that I better get through four years of college. Other than that I was pretty could do anything I wanted. I didn’t make all the right choices, but I made all my own choices. I struggled and survived on my own. I am still not sure how she let me free like that. She did not do anything for me, except for making the best home-cook meals. She never looked at my report cards and she never asked me how I was doing in school. Somehow in the back of my mind, I just knew I could not screwed up. I felt guilty if I watched too much TVs and didn’t do my homework. I felt like I let her down if I failed. She devoted her entire life on me.
Now if I give my kids no restrictions, they will spend every single minute on their iPads. Even though we only allow them to have iPads on the weekend, that’s all they think about on the weekend. We were out having a picnic with the Boy Scouts yesterday and all he wanted to do was to go home and play on his iPad.
On one hand, I don’t want to fill out their time with too many activities. I want them to relax and to be bored so that they are forced to think outside the box. I want them to find their own passion and creativity. On the other hand, I can’t stand back watching them gluing their eyes to the screens.
I am not sure if I have articulated my point. I feel like I am too involved in their lives. I am not trusting them to live on their own and to make their own path in life. I worry that if they make bad decisions they would end up in jail or being a junkie. Just saying.