I wantmy son to learn more about the world

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA -

Lyu Ping, 40, a se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tive af­fairs of­fi­cial at a col­lege in Shang­hai, has sent her 12-year-old son on vis­its to the United King­dom and Ja­pan this year.

In­ever in­dul­gemy son be­cause I want him to be in­de­pen­dent and in­ter­na­tion­ally minded. In Jan­uary, I sent him to Lon­don for a 12-day drama course. He told me he vis­ited a num­ber of fa­mous places re­lated to drama, in­clud­ing Shake­speare’s birth­place in Strat­ford-upon-Avon and the BBC, to learn about the his­tory and de­vel­op­ment of drama.

He found the trip use­ful and in­ter­est­ing. We were both so pleased that I helped him reg­is­ter for a seven-day visit to Ja­pan in Au­gust. Dur­ing that trip, he learned how Ja­panese gov­ern­ment, busi­nesses and fac­to­ries op­er­ate.

Both vis­its were based on my trust and un­der­stand­ing of the ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions wheremy son stud­ied. I did a lot of re­search, not only into their aca­demic rep­u­ta­tions, but also pre­vi­ous sim­i­lar over­seas projects they had or­ga­nized.

My son has stud­ied at ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions over­seas for a cou­ple of years, so I also know a lot about the teach­ers who lead the groups.

I didn’t sign con­tracts with the in­sti­tu­tions. In­stead, I signed con­tracts with the travel agen­cies in­volved and spoke with the teach­ers about the spe­cific ar­range­ments for the trips.

Of course, chil­dren’s safety over­seas is key, but I told my son not to con­tactme via phone calls orWeChat (a pop­u­lar in­stant-mes­sag­ing plat­form) ev­ery day.

As the old say­ing goes, “When in Rome, do as the Ro­mans do”, so I en­cour­aged him to solve dif­fi­cul­ties on his own in Lon­don and Ja­pan, and try to adapt to the dif­fer­ent cul­tures and cus­toms, such as food and lodg­ings.

Now that he has left home sev­eral times, he must learn to be more in­de­pen­dent and im­prove his so­cial skills, oth­er­wise th­ese over­seas vis­its will be mean­ing­less.

I dis­agree with those par­ents who bugged the travel agen­cies, schools or in­sti­tu­tions many times ev­ery day to see whether their chil­dren were eat­ing enough and also what they ate. Chil­dren won’t grow up if we refuse to leave them alone.

My son is 12, and he will grad­u­ate from pri­mary school next year. It’s time for chil­dren of his age to learn how to tackle af­fairs on their own, so I seized the op­por­tu­nity to send him over­seas to cul­ti­vate his in­de­pen­dence and broaden his hori­zons.

If we are of­fered another chance, I will en­cour­age him to see more of the world and meet com­pan­ions of his own age, no mat­ter whether it’s for long-term study or a short visit. Lyu Ping spoke with Cao Yin

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