Recently, the high school where my older two attends had an introduction program for students and parents who are planning to join the school next year. The school usually match up ‘new’ parents with ‘old’ parents and I met this lady whose daughter is very interested in the maths acceleration program. She, like me doesn’t live in the catchment area and needs permission from the dept of education to register the child in a non catchment area school. The process is pretty straightforward and I told her the only draw back is, there is no school bus service. School bus is only for students attending the school in the catchment area.

“How do your children get to school?” She asked

“They take public transport”I replied.

“What time do they have to leave home?” She asked

“They leave at 7 AM” I said

“What time do they get up?”

“About 6 AM”

“My god, isn’t that too early?” She looked at me as though I have committed the biggest crime ever known to mankind by getting my kids to get up 6 AM.

I didn’t know how to answer a question like that. How is it so bad if your child gets up early in the morning? ( Millions of kids around the world get up at crack of the dawn to get ready and catch the school bus)

“Is there a direct bus to school from your place?” She asked

“No, they get off at the bus station and then walk 2 km to their school.”

Actually, most of the kids walk from the bus/train station to school. They all have a meeting point where those who came early wait for the rest of them and they walk together. In the evening, all of them walk together again to the station.

The mother that I spoke to was none too happy about her child having to get up very early or having to walk to school from the station every day.

That brings me to the point..Does it really harm your child if they get up early or having to walk a bit?

I wanted my children to learn responsibility, time management and be independent..I also know their school bag is very heavy, now they even have to carry their laptop to school each day..My mother always complained that my parenting style was  thumpiyeyum kondu kallu eduppikkuva.. 

Am I being too harsh on my kids?



10 thoughts on “Really?

  1. I don’t think it would hurt them. We were always required to wake up at 5:00 am (or earlier) while growing up. And although I didn’t have to walk 2 km, I used to cycle 4 km (one way) to school – although the school was only 2 km, I wasn’t allowed to take the main road because of all the private buses competing there.
    None of these hurt me, and I don’t look back and think that I was a “thumbi”. It was the best time of my life.

    • URT: When my sisters were in primary school, Amma wanted to buy them a cycle because they had to walk almost 5 km to their school. Madathilamma of the school refused ! girls don’t cycle was her reply..and how fast things changed in Kerala..

  2. Hi Sarah,

    i came to knw of yur blog frm another comment in a food blog!cudnt find the follow button or yur fb address,cud u pls let me knw!i too am a new mum,its amazing yur able to manage 3 kids!cheers 🙂

    • Santhia: I have neither..I moved the blog to private platform because I don’t agree to Google’s assumption that even though it is my blog, when it is hosted on blogger platform, google can do whatever it wants and ended up losing the followers icon.

  3. my 5 yr old has to get up by 5.40 am , gets on the bus at 6.30. And her bag weighs a ton :(…… Just in gr 1

    • Sharon: In Malaysia, schools start at 7.30 Am and most kids have to catch a school bus before 6 ( traffic jam and going to schools that are not in the catchement area).I never even thought it was a big deal to get up early in the morning or to walk to school. When another parent points out things like this, then I end up wodering if I was wrong.

  4. Talk to our parent’s generation, they will tell you how they had to walk to school.. uphill both ways 🙂
    I guess, we all do what we have to do. I remember taking a bus, getting down and having to walk to home after that in the hot Pune summers!! I remember getting soaked in rain because the umbrella was not enough to protect you from the lashing rains..
    I remember all these fondly. I think your kids will be fine..

    • MS: During my younger days, my grandmother used to say, how they transported cattle from TVM to Chengannur. They walked with the cattle. It took days..stopping at the houses of relatives for meal and rest and then continuing the walk again the next day. My grandmother’s brother walked 20 km each day (one way) bringing her lunch because her family was worried that her mother in law would poison her again.

  5. There is nothing wrong. We used to live by a school and I used to see Indian and Asian parents carry their children’s school bags. It really is not heavy. Why do we take pride in not letting our children do simple tasks always surprises me.

    • S: I think Indian/ Asian parents don’t know when to let go, I know an Indian mother who bathed her 12 year old son every day because he doesn’t know how to shower properly. Most Indian parents don’t teach their children to cook because they could get hurt/burn/cut..

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