In Japan, there is a proverb that says “If you love your kids,let them travel” (English counterpart could be”Spare the rod and spoil the child“). It is so true that the more you travel, the more you learn something by seeing new people and culture (the difference) that you don’t get to see in your daily life.
For my work, I have many opportunities to travel all around Chile, and today I would like to share 3 families which caught my attention in 8th region of Chile for the last 3 days, relating them to the theme “”How to raise your kids“.
[Family 1: An active daughter and her inactive mom]
On the plane from Santiago to Concepcion, I came across one family, an active daughter and her mom. Since school winter holiday (2-3 weeks) has started in Chile, many family travel or take a rest during this time. The daughter insisted that they do as many things as possible in Concepcion. They included walking to the sea, going on a picnic to the hill, gather together with many people, etc. And her mom rejected everything saying that “No, I don’t want to do anything, I just want to sleep all day long for coming 2 weeks.”
[Family 2: A miracle daughter and an educative mother]
On the bus that I took from Los Ángeles (in Chile), a lady and her daughter were sitting on one seat next to me.
What caught my interest was that he mom was very educative, given that she kept telling her the histories of the place by which the bus passed, asking her daughter “how do you say XXX, YYY, ZZZ”, and corrected Chilean Spanish to the neutral Spanish (although the majority of Latino America speak Spanish, every country has different way of speaking.)
As I heard what the mother was saying, I couldn’t help but ask her “Excuse me, are you a teacher?”
“No, I am not a teacher, I was a nurse.” During the conversation, she told me something impressive.
“I miscarried 3 kids before she was born. She is the forth but my first and only child. It’s miracle. Therefore I want to teach everything what I think is useful for her. That’s my responsibility.
This “forth but first” daughter was very curious and kept asking me many things about Japan. What her mom told me also made me want to teach more things to this miracle girl.
[Family 3: Rural family that has no toothbrush ]
As a Japanese aid project, it has donated a “moving dental clinic” car in a city where the majority of the people live in the rural areas and had no access to the dental treatment.
Thanks to this car which has all equipment needed for the treatment, now the local people can get a treatment. The car travels to other rural clinic every 3 weeks and the neighbors can come to see a dentist. For the water and electricity, the car connect a cable with the rural clinic, and everything is working well for the last 2 years.
I found this project great, because besides being very creative and efficient, this system has improved the lives of the people (I talked some of the users and they appreciated so much for the Japanese help.)
【Photos of the “moving dental clinic” car】
To my surprise, the dentist told me that some people don’t even have a toothbrush and had never brushed their teeth so she had to teach to clean the teeth to the parents (before teaching “how” to clean).
In same cases, their children know how to brush their teeth because school teachers taught them, and then they teach it to their parents.
Actually, in my case, I started taking care of my teeth very carefully after traveling (leaving Japan), because in other countries, the dental treatment is exceptionally expensive, especially for foreigners. In this sense, the proverb “If you love your kids,let them trave” correspond to my life.
This traveling made me think a lot about how to raise kids through different families.