01 July 2009

Teaching Early Independence

Now that we have Global Baby, we are starting to meet our neighbors. (Apparently friendliness is not allowed unless you have a child.)

There is one neighbor whom I have met a handful of times.

Each time she has told me that it is time to let Global Baby play in the street with the other children.

I thought she was joking, laughed at her joke and the conversation moved on.

However, each time I have seen her, she has repeated herself. In fact, she practically chastised me.

She said I should leave Global Baby with the other children and come in for coffee. After all, the little girls love babies. And Global Baby will never learn independence if I keep him too close for too long. (Yes, she actually said that!)

There is no way I am leaving my 9 month old child in the care of a group of children ranging from 3 - 8 years old while I go have coffee and a chat! Even if we do live on a quiet street in a small town.

Do the Swiss really do this? I guess thinking back I have seen very young children playing on the street. But I just assumed the parent was somewhere within sight and they were with their older siblings.

What is up with that?


G in Berlin said...

I think she is mad. No one leaves a child that cannot walk in the care of toddlers or even older children.

No one.

Somewhere around 11 years and up, it becomes a matter of debate (as babysitter, that is).

Expat Traveler said...

Maybe as long as you are with him, i'd be scared at least also...

What I do know is that German and French Swiss have very different ways to care for children and grandchildren. French Swiss love being with them for days on end, while Swiss German's can go only a few hours at that.

Maybe that says something... Swiss German parents might always let them go early onward...

This is definitely something I find way too odd too!

The Big Finn said...

It's a plot to get the kid speaking Swiss-German. Don't do it!

Global Librarian said...

Let me just dispel one thing!

Global Baby is not playing with the children on his own out on the street until he is at least 4-5 years old. We'll see how I feel when he gets to be that age.

I was just wondering if anyone else had run into this. Seems bizarre.