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Sharing cars to work is not unusual. But what about sharing time to raise children together? In Ningbo city of Zhejiang province in East China, young mothers in the same neighborhood pool their children together, and share the responsibility of being parents.
Kids pooled together for better education in Ningbo. [CNTV]
Spending every day together, but not families - In this coastal city of East China, three mothers are trying a new way of raising their kids, by pooling them together. Among the mothers are both office workers and housewives. They say they do so not just because of the tight schedule.
Jiujiu’s mother said, "It's not foster care. By kids pooling, we mean creating an opportunity for the kids to spend time together. Mothers will join them too. So that we can observe our kids, learn more about them. And then we can discuss how to better bring them up."
The three families have been doing so for two years, in school days and holidays. Their children have grown used to each other's company. One of the mothers says it's much better than sending them to summer schools.
Jiujiu’s mother said, "For us, we can better understand the children's needs and make adaptations. For the kids, learning while playing is much more fun than just sitting and listening."
Not everything is about study. The new generation of parents value personalities and people skills too. Chichi’s mother said, "My son was a bit shy. We've been talking him to be more active, but he hardly changed. After joining the kids pool, suddenly we found him willing to communicate with others now. When we are not there, he has to rely on himself to get along with his pals."
Generally, mothers speak highly about the pooling. But agreeing all the time is simply impossible. There are moments when opinions differ. Xiaoxiao’s mother said, "Sex education for example. Kids will be curious about it when they reach a certain age. Personally I want to talk with my child about it, frankly and sincerely. But the other two moms think it's better not to bring it up. "
Xiaoxiao's mother says her solution is to share some parenting guidebooks with other mothers and let them make the decision. The headmaster of the kindergarten believes such pooling activities test not only children, but also the parents.
Jin Hongqing, kindergarten headmaster said, "Parents need to be tolerant and patient. They shouldn't intervene or play the blame game when kids fight with each other. It's better to let the kids solve the issue by themselves. What they can do as parents is to communicate."
The mothers describe the pooling as bringing the running water into a closed pond. It opens a window to a different world for both kids and parents.