Let Me Do This My Way

One afternoon, I was waiting for my daughter to finish her math enrichment class. Some children who had finished studying were playing with toys in the waiting room while waiting for their parents to come and pick them up.

There was a little girl (looked 5, just like my daughter) who was playing with jigsaw puzzle on the floor. Soon her nanny (a woman in her 20s) approached, and she started telling her what to do with the jigsaw puzzle and got upset because the little girl wouldn’t play ‘correctly’.

I was shocked. I didn’t know nannies could be so mean and controlling. I didn’t know there were even rules in playing jigsaw puzzles. I stared at them while mentally saying ‘hey, leave her alone. She was having fun before you came. Let her play’.

The yelling scene was so disturbing to me that I demonstratively hugged and kissed my daughter when she came out of her classroom and we left hurriedly so she didn’t have to witness it.

Now that I think about it, I suppose the nanny was trying to give the little girl ‘useful instructions’ because the jigsaw puzzle was an educational toy and something that is used for “learning”.

I remember that in my effort learning Korean on my own, I was shocked that there were people who scolded me because I didn’t learn Korean ‘the right way’ according to them. I didn’t expect to get scolded at, I thought I was just playing with the language and having fun my way? So I was that little girl with the jigsaw puzzle, and those people were playing the role as the nanny who was trying to be helpful, but then they eventually got upset because I didn’t listen. ###

2 thoughts on “Let Me Do This My Way

  1. The problem in this case wasn’t that anyone played wrong but that the one shouting was ignored. I suspect those making remarks about you learning the ‘wrong way’ come from similar places. Maybe watching you having fun and still learning grated on them the wrong way or made them think less of the own ‘achievements’. Whatever! It’s their loss. I have nothing but great regard for you and others who learn on their own. It’s major achievement and something you should be proud of. 🙂


    • Thank you, yes, I’m proud of myself. The nanny was trying to help but she ended up killing the fun of learning with jigsaw puzzle for the little girl. I hope people will get out of the mindset that ‘there is only one and only way to learn, and that is my way’.

      I will be mad if I ever hire a nanny to look after my children and she treats them unkindly like that.


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