Last fortnight was extremely tiring and exhausting as my younger son started his new academic year. There was a lot of running around to be done right from getting his school books, yearly syllabus, timetable for forthcoming school projects… so on and so forth.
As I sat quietly in the corner of my balcony holding a hot cup of coffee in my hand and enjoying the cool drizzle of the rain, I felt nostalgic about my school days. Though my father was a school teacher in one of the most reputed schools in Mumbai and my mother was a trained teacher, they seldom got involved in my day to day studies except for asking me my Rank in the class and for signing my Report card. While I always excelled in academics, they never forced me to go here and there for extra coaching classes.
In today’s world, everywhere we see parents who want their children to excel in almost every field, be it academics or sports or art or dance. In turn, they don’t realize that they might be pushing their children over the edge.
A well-known child Psychologist Dr. David Elkind stresses that parents need to slow down the process of “hurrying up a child into a mini adult“. He talks about how rushing your child will do them more harm than good.
As soon as they enroll their child into kindergarten, they start worrying about how their child is going to face the global finance market and the world economy. I have personally seen some of my friend’s send their children for IIT Entrance coaching classes’ right from middle school onwards.
Rushing your child can lead to a wide range of childhood and adulthood crises. One of the ill effects of excessive expectations by parents is Stress. Children may develop stress related problems such as anxiety, insomnia as well as physical symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome, stammering, attention deficit disorder etc.
Very often I keep watching Amir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par on my DVD and each time I get to learn something new about child psychology.
In this movie, the Director has beautifully depicted the fact that all parents regardless of their cast, creed and culture, want their child to be either Einstein or Steve Jobs or even Sachin Tendulkar. Just because children may dress, talk and try to act like adults, we should not forget they are still children.
By giving your child good clothes, enrolling them in an ultramodern private school, giving them all the techno-savvy gadgets, does not mean that they are ready to face the world.
Parents should realize that they should not push their children beyond their limits so as to make “their dream” come true.