It was a great privilege to have Kidzania invite homeschooling families to try out the facility before its official opening. I have never heard of Kidzania and I did not know that they existed in 10 countries. I just knew that it was another theme park. I read good reviews on how the place was a great way for kids to learn through role playing. What caught me by surprised was how parents like me learned so much about parenting in Kidzania.
As we “boarded” into the flight of this Kidzania adventure, we did not sign up immediately for a passport. I was still on “skeptic” mode as I did not want to spend additional cost until I got good feedback from my kids. I love though the idea that the kids first had to go to BPI to encash their money.
This is the first parenting lesson for all parents. We must invest in our children early on in their life. Invest teaching them about time, about values, about money and what is most important in this life to get them ready for the real world. Make sure you have imparted the knowledge of stewardship, responsibilities, choices and consequences. They will need this as their “fuel” to make right decisions in the real world.
Parents role is to be a good Counsel.
Kidzania staff in general greet and talk only to kids. The parents actually get to relax in Kidzania because you can’t actually enter any of the kids facilities. This was very different from the theme parks I’ve been to. Parents usually call the shots IN EVERYTHING. Where to go, what to do and lining up even for their kids. We can be helicopter parents to a fault. This is a good lesson again for me. In a few years, this will be their generation. This means we won’t be as significant as we are today. We will be outdated, out of touch from the pulse of their generation. Our voices wont have as much impact in the future as we still have it in the present. Today we can tell them what they are to do and what they are not to do. But few years from now, we cant even demand them to “obey or follow our leading” because they will already have a mind of their own. We will have to release them and give them wings. What we can do when that time comes is become very good guides or counsels to them. We make our doors wide open for them to bounce their thoughts and feelings but we cant be tiger parents that takes the lead for their life. This is their life that they will be living.
So one of the first staff to greet our kids asked them if they were willing to go to College. When they graduate from college they were told they earn 2 kidzos more for every job they get into. I saw my son squirm out initially – because he was more excited to be a fireman or a CSI agent. I saw this as a golden opportunity to have a great discussion on what is more fruitful for him. I told my son “ you can be whatever you want to be – but being ready for the job gives you the advantage. Try out college. Finish and see the difference of being ahead of others who did not go for a higher degree.” My son pondered and decided he wanted to have a better advantage – entered “CEU” to take a bachelors degree in Business Administration. That was 30 minutes of his time but the wait was worth it. He got his degree with an ID to show every job he took after gave him 2 kidzos more. He never stopped talking about how it was worth it to go to college. It was such a good exercise to practice being his counsel and not just his mom.
Parents gets VIP seat to see the future.
In Kidzania, I did not force my kids to enter jobs they did not have any interest. I instead showed them around by doing a quick tour and then I let them decide what they wanted to do. As I watch my children pick the jobs they wanted to enter, I saw a glimpse of the future. I saw Sabrina, my 13 year old – get into communication arts more. She worked in Inquirer, DZMM and Metro Publishing. But she also has an entrepreneurship spirit. She became a car dealer. She worked for Healthy Options grocery and learned how to make snacks in Jack and Jill. She worked even in the parlor and department store. She also took Humanities and the Arts as her course in College. When I asked Sabrina, what was her most favorite job, she told me it was working in the radio station. I was giddy and sentimental because radio was my first love. My first ever job was working as a disc jockey in radio. I had 4 years of radio life. She is following my footsteps and she does not even know it!
Matthew on the other hand is a natural businessman with an inclination to government works or politics. He worked in BIR (taxes) and was a judge in the supreme court. He worked in Holiday Inn Hotel, Healthy Options, Metro Publishing and Pascual Lab. I would not mind having a lawyer or a judge in my family! This would be so exciting to see him get there. Watching each child get into what they want, allowed me to see their passion. This also gives me affirmation of their gifting and a sense of direction as to where I should expose them so that they can hone their skills early and shine and all it took was a Kidzania experience!!!
Principle of Stewardship
As they were starting to earn money, I was very curious at what they would do with their earnings. I was doubly bless when I saw my kids deposit it in the bank instead of spending it. It was their “high” to save money and have an ATM. I saw some kids as soon as they earned, spent it on other activities and did not have much after. With my kids, they were very conscious of every spending. Matthew was aiming to let go of small pleasure to save up for a “Porsche”. Sabrina was just after saving. All my stewardship talk is reaping results as early as now.
As a parent, I have my own fears. I fear that in the future they will make poor life decisions. I fear they may not “succeed” and lose motivation to strive to be better. But my greatest fear of all is that they will not follow Jesus when they grow up. That will be my greatest heartache. So this fear makes me pray for my children in tears and on my knees for them. But as I watch them in Kidzania, I had this soft voice of God whisper in my heart “ don’t worry too much Monique, they will be fine. They will grow up fine. I will take care of them.” I was emotional leaving Kidzania. I realize I underestimate God’s power to work in my children’s life. This place is a parenting camp in itself. God reminded me that as a parent, I will do all I can to give my children enough spiritual, emotional and physical machinery for their future. But in the end, God who loves my children more than I ever can, will take care of them.
Additional note: We were so pleased with the service, safety and the overall experience that we got the Kidzania passport. This gives them special privileges and discounts and extra kidzos for every activity they participate. This gave me a unique parallel to being citizens of Heaven. If you have surrendered your life to Jesus – it is a great assurance that God will bless his people and you can rest knowing that your future is good hands.