Whenever I go for my aqua-gym sessions, the pool is always shared with other adult swimmers and children occupying the other lanes.
Each time that we’re done, there will always be a crowd at the showers – mostly with mothers, easily distinguished by the bright blue plastic shoe covers, fussing over their daughters – like putting shampoo for them, insisting on lathering them up with soap. It’s not like the girls are not able to do it themselves. They look autonomous at about 8 – 10 years old.
I observed the scenario. It wasn’t something new. But something clicked in my head. I’ve been going to this pool for several years now but I’ve never really given much thought on how overprotected many children are.
Another example is how school children, under the age of 12 are not allowed to go home without the accompaniment of a trusted adult.
I understand the motive, but growing up in Singapore, for me,this was something that took a while for me to get used to, because most of us have been taught to be independent as soon as possible.
One may say that the 80s was a very different time from the present. And that the level of crime was lower in the old days.
Nevertheless, it’s common even now to see a regular South East Asian kid, of the same age as the girls from the pool, being able to take the bus by herself, being able go to school by herself and even go to swimming classes by herself if she wanted to.
Just an observation. I’m sure it’s just a matter of cultural differences.