ARE YOU PUSHING YOUR CHILD TOO MUCH?

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“My child is not too keen on swimming but it is a good summer activity so I have enrolled him.”

“She is going for two activities in the morning and two after school hours. I want her to make the most of her time and available resources.”

“She wants to take gymnastics, art, dance, and cooking, and she goes to extra maths practice school twice a week. I am not pushing her."

“He is good at studies but attending tuitions will make him even better. I can teach him at home but he won’t sit with me.”

 

The above lines are too familiar and we resort to using them for our children. We, as parents, want them to be a part of everything to support ‘holistic’ development. Our previous generation was quite oblivious to these kind of extra activities or tuition support. The reason was probably because children knew how to keep themselves busy with siblings and neighbourhood kids and elders at home took care of the extra teaching part. Nowadays with the single child norm are parents becoming more pushy and overbearing? It is an admirable fact that parents are so involved these days but are we encouraging the child or suffocating him with our attention?

Summer vacations bring a flurry of activities and children indulge in activities outside the curriculum. This is a good way to keep the children involved besides encouraging learning and creativity in a fun way. But parents have to be rational about choosing the activities.

Clearly, some kids have too much to do and not enough time to do it. And it's hard to tell if it's due to parents pushing or kids trying to keep up with their peers. Whatever the reason, one thing's for sure — something's got to give. Is your child too busy?

A few indications that your child is too busy-

1.     Feels tired or anxious or even depressed

2.     Complains of headaches or stomachaches caused by stress or lack of sleep

3.     Crankiness

Overscheduling can take a toll on the young one and make them prone to infections and diseases too. It has been seen that kids are happy to do ‘nothing’ at times. These are the ‘boring’ times when actual creativity is nurtured. Kids are also happy just being at home with parents or grandparents. They don’t need to be involved in some activity all the time. They need space too and over-pushy parents end up denying them that much needed space.

Some rules to follow to avoid being over-pushy:

1.     Plan ahead so that you can strike the perfect balance between work and life even for your child.

2.     Set your priorities. If the child is suffering in academics then it would be good to cut down on activities.

3.     Let the child do only the activities he/she is interested in. A season of football followed by a season of tennis may not foster the correct techniques of the game.

4.     Don’t be carried away by what peers are doing.

5.     Ensure downtime for rest and relaxation too.

Parents want the best for their children but we need to give them the leeway to decide what they wish to do too and within their limitations. While activities are important they should not become a burden for the child. Spending time with the family is also a requirement and several activities can be done with the child at home too.

So plan well and avoid being over-pushy!

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