Stefen Chow, a photographer from Beijing, decided to take a week off and dedicated it to his 2-year-old daughter. Little Chow’s dad planned a real trip for her.
Stefen decided it was time for Little Chow to learn something new about the world and he thought the best way to do this was to see everything with her own eyes, especially as the little one had started to take an active interest in everything that surrounded her.
While her mother was busy at work, dad and his daughter went on the trip. While some people considered Stefen’s idea dubious and dangerous, everything went just perfectly. According to the photographer, this trip became one of the best of his life.
During his mini adventure, Stefen followed three rules:
- Book a hotel room for no more than a day to allow for spontaneous maneuvers;
- Stay away from the big cities and usual tourist routes to spend as much time with his daughter as possible;
- Let his child make choices and influence the course of the trip.
The dad and his daughter rode a bicycle along the eastern coast of Taiwan, spent time with animals on the farm, got into fishing boats, caught up with departing trains, climbed hills, sheltered from a storm, and had more fun than arguments.
Sometimes Little Chow liked misbehaving like a normal 2 year old.
Besides the wonderful time they spent together, this trip gave Stefen something extremely important: an experience that will be useful for every parent.
This is what Stefen understood:
- Kids possess sophisticated communication skills.
Small children are much smarter and understand much more than people think. And they know how to sympathize. That’s why Stefen came to the conclusion that it’s much simpler and better to communicate with a child in “adult” language. When the father and his daughter realized they were one team and depended on each other, having a need of mutual encouragement helped them to cope with the situation.
- One shouldn’t put children’s desires above all.
In Asia, there’s a tendency to sacrifice everything for children’s sake, and Beijing is no exception. As a result of such excessive care, many children are hopelessly spoiled at an early age. Stefen says he can’t bear to see 3- to 5-year-olds being disrespectful to their parents and grandparents. He doesn’t want his child to behave like this. By showing various living conditions to his daughter, Stefen teaches her to adapt to the world.
Little Chow quickly understood why the street artists performed, and she always wanted to give them money. She also learned to go down the stairs while holding a lollipop in her hand.
- Being a father is an incredible experience.
Stefen admits that, although he has always supported his wife, he never had the chance to fully experience what mothers face every day. Like many children, his daughter usually felt more like spending time with her mother. Only during the trip did Stefen finally feel he was a full parent.
- One has to appreciate their partner more.
Stefen still cannot understand how mothers cope with their daily routine, but now he admires them even more. “Wives and mothers, if you want your partner to understand how it feels to be one, convince your husband to take a trip with the child without you,” he says. A lot of men just lack experience in dealing with children, but if they spend more time together, they’ll learn to understand them just as well as mothers do.
Now Little Chow is three years old, and she has visited ten countries with her mom and dad.
- Trips give birth to friendships that last a lifetime.
Stefen and Little Chow had a great relationship before their little adventure, but afterward, they appreciated each other even more. Now they share memories and experiences that bring them closer together. Mom fully shares the views of Stefen, and it’s simply wonderful.
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