Tag Archives: playground

My Daughter Will Be a Rock Climber

My daughter is a climber. She’s fearless. She will climb anything, and will get up pretty high. She has a very strong grip and sure footing. I think she’s going to be a rock climber.

Although she’s only four years old, she seems to have little trouble getting up anywhere. She played with a boy who was about a year older than her, and his father had him wearing a bicycle helmet to climb onto anything. But I noticed that my daughter climbs faster than him, and has far better technique.

You may ask if I’m afraid if she’s going to fall. Sure, I’m worried about if she falls, but I can’t hover around her. She needs to learn to be independent on the playground, make friends by herself, and resolve conflicts on her own. I’m not going to be the kind of parent who micromanages his child. I’ll make sure she knows when she’s doing something she shouldn’t be doing, like throwing sand or pushing other kids. I’ll let her climb up the slide backwards. Lots of kids do that, and it allows her to use the playground equipment in her own way. I’ll let her make her own mistakes. If she falls and gets a scrape, this only helps her learn. I sit back and just watch.

I want her to become independent, use her own judgment, and learn how to take care of herself. And maybe she will become an amazing rock climber.

English Language Development of My Japanese-Canadian Daughter

A brief update on how my daughter is doing with English. After a week in Canada, she’s still speaking mostly Japanese, but she’s been using more English. She speaks a lot of Japanese with other kids, and they just don’t understand her.

Her first time at the nearby playground, the kids mostly just ignored her. She couldn’t get them to listen to her because she kept speaking Japanese. But because of some time alone with my mom and sister, she’s been forced to use English, or at least try.

Today, we went to the playground again, and she actually managed to start playing with three other little girls her age. While she still used Japanese with them, she did attempt some English. They also didn’t mind her not speaking much English.

Although it’s not much yet, she does seem to be trying to use English. She’s said some surprising things, like “Speaking English daisuki (I love speaking English)” and “I can’t see it.” She’s finally figured out “me” and “you” and uses them correctly.

So, how long do you think it’ll be until she speaks English fluently? Remember that she understands English. Let me know in the comments below.

Parenting While Male? You’re Incapable

Imagine you’re walking through a park with a playground and you see many children, many mothers, and one man sitting on a bench.  He’s watching the children. What’s your first thought about him?

Now, imagine some of the mothers go over to him and confront him, saying that he’s making them uncomfortable watching the children. Of course, he sighs and says as cheerfully as possible that he’s watching his children. He’s a stay at home dad or he works from home and is taking a break with his children at the playground.  And then this happens:

Do you think he’s been unfairly treated? Or do you think the woman is right?

I’m definitely on the dad’s side. The woman is one of those people who thinks dads can’t take care of their own children and must have advice all the time or be told what he’s doing wrong. I’ve heard the stories, and it seems that dads who take care of their kids may be discriminated against.  Sometimes, moms think they’re kidnappers or pedophiles.

Here in Japan, I am happy to see that there are many younger fathers who take care of their kids along with their wives. However, many men are absent because they work long hours of overtime or go out with their boss after work (they often have no choice). But when I go out with my daughter to the playground, I’ve found that I’ve been approached by mothers who ask me how old my daughter is. As for the occasional father I see with their kids, they seem to be glad to see another father.

What I wonder is what it’ll be like in Canada if I take my daughter to the playground and watch her along with a few mothers. Will I get some of the same attitude as in the video? If they think I must have a difficult time and I’m incapable of taking care of my daughter, I’m of a mind to say that it must be sad for them to have a husband who doesn’t know how to be a parent.

Society needs to accept that fathers can be just as good a parent as mothers.

If you’re a parent, have you seen or experienced this kind of situation?

Children are Storytellers

Remember when you were a child and you spent hours pretending to be someone you weren’t? I do. I’ve been a robotic cop, a dinosaur, I turned life into a first person point of view video game long before virtual reality came out, and I was a superhero called Lobsterman. Really. Lobsterman. My mittens were lobster claws.

Well, today, my family went to a fun park with a great playground and pond with rivers to okay in. This is the playground.

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Playground set in Ryodan Park, Ayase City, Kanagawa, Japan.

If you played on it, what kind of story would you have created?