Posts Tagged ‘Competitive Parents’

Parenting is Not a Competition

July 14, 2012

The competitive parent can be seen in all countries and across all cultures, but it almost never leads to a happy child. These parents tend to be fixated on outdoing other parents in intellectual and creative pursuits instead of focusing on raising children who are happy and have good character traits.

The following article by Lisa Mayoh captures these misguided and arrogant parents perfectly:

SINCE becoming a parent, I have seen above-average displays of competitiveness – and not from the children, but from their doting mums and dads – the ones old enough to know better.

You know the type. They are quick to claim their child is perfect, a child genius, actually – gifted, talented, advanced and all that jazz.

Oh, speaking of jazz, that’s all they listen to, because little Mary (eight months old) is to be a famous musician when she grows up.

When you ask how they are, their response is “fantastic!” because of how well Billy is thriving in dance class (Billy is 14 months old) or how proud they are that three-year-old Ava is reading at kindergarten level because of the tutoring she’s had for the past few years, and you don’t hear the rest because your imperfect little ears tune out.

They post photos of their five-month-olds sitting on the toilet – sorry, slouching because they are too young to even sit up properly.

But they will be potty-trained in record time and they will tell the world, dammit!

Yes, the mummy race was always bad. But I fear it’s getting worse, and I want out.

We have become a generation of parenting over-achievers, wanting to give our children nothing but the very best opportunities in life, every single minute of every single day, because, don’t you know, 80 per cent of their cognitive brain development happens before they turn three?

If they’re to be geniuses, they have to start right now.

But while they are still in nappies? Come on people, let’s get a grip.

When I saw that there are now schools for six-month-olds – not daycare, actual educational facilities – I thought it far beyond the normal act of wanting the best for your child.

A baby goo-gooing through structured learning-based play, following a curriculum, blowing raspberries while being harassed by flash cards; it seems so far outside normal I became alarmed for my daughter (who is, incidentally, a child genius at 23 months, I’m sure of it).

What chance does she have if everyone around her is all-consumed with turning their toddlers into child prodigies before their second birthdays?

Am I a bad mother for not enrolling her into a trilingual, learning-based playgroup, or because if you ask her what her favourite television show is, she says The Voice not Four Corners?

ONE of the main reasons I stopped going to mothers’ group was because of first-time mummies and their “firsts” club.

Who slept through the night first? Who was the first to say “Mummy”? Who crawled first? Who skipped crawling and went straight to walking because, duh, they are so clever, why would they want to be on the floor?

Who can say the biggest word? Who has the longest day sleep? The longest hair? Who has the biggest birthday cake (sugar, nut, egg and taste-free of course)?

Who wasn’t scared of the cows at the show? Who goes to swimming lessons?

It’s endless, exhausting, and this mummy has had enough.

Yes, I want my beautiful girl to grow and learn with the best of them.

But I don’t want her to feel she has to be the best at everything so I can brag about it.

She may love dancing, she may love painting and she may learn to speak Italian one day, and that’s all great. But I want her to enjoy her years as a baby while she still has them.

It’s OK that she doesn’t know her ABC. It’s OK she wasn’t toilet-trained by 16 months like other superhuman children, and it’s OK that she can’t talk in full sentences.

She is a baby. A child. Can’t she stay one for a little while longer?

All she knows is that someone she loves is sure to take her to the park today, and what else should matter?

Let’s take a break from the rat race and stop competing for the title of world’s best parent, the one who breeds the world’s best children. Because that crown simply doesn’t exist.

No one is perfect, not even that gorgeous little bundle of yours. Or mine, for that matter.

That’s just normal. Isn’t it?

Click here to read, ’10 Things Parents Don’t Understand About Their Teenage Children’.

Click here to read ‘Both a Parents’ Best Friend and Worst Enemy’.

Kids as Young as 3 are Getting Tutors

July 2, 2012

Here’s a novel suggestion – Instead of arranging tutors for your toddlers, spend more quality time with them. Whilst I am all for starting early when it comes to reading and writing, the most crucial thing for pre-school children (and for all children for that matter), is spending quality time with their parents.

Still, that wont stop school readiness programs from thriving:

THE age of children seeking the help of tutors is getting younger and younger, with parents now forking out thousands of dollars to have preschooolers privately coached for school entrance assessments.

As part of dozens of school readiness programs across Sydney, children as young as three are learning how to count, sound letters and write their name to prepare for big school.

Parents hope it will give their child an edge in school entry interviews at private and Catholic schools and in the best start kindergarten assessment, which evaluates their skills when they start school.

Begin Bright early learning centre director Tina Tower said more than 600 children were enrolled in school readiness programs across five centres around Sydney.

Children attend weekly one-hour classes at a cost of $26 from age three.

“They learn all the foundations and develop a really good attitude to learning so when they start school they don’t encounter any problems,” Ms Tower said.

It sounds like the school readiness program for toddlers is more comprehensive than the school readiness program for teachers.

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