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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Einstein @ 5 or Tagore @ 4? Make a choice and make it FAST!!!

AD’s playschool cum Daycare Centre has been recently acquired by a franchisee run company. In its previous avatar, it was a Mom and Pop establishment ..an informal setup with excellent infrastructure, lot of space, warm and friendly teachers and care givers and a high standard of hygiene. In its present and more glamorous avatar, it has assumed a pseudo corporate getup! Amidst the various improvement schemes, a newsletter- cum- group mail system has been introduced through which we get notices, information about the school & activities and also feedbacks sent by various parents and guardians are circulated to all other parents.

Today I received one such email …a feedback from a parent singing paeans about the school . I was about to click the window shut, when something in the latter part of the mail caught my eye and I couldn’t help but read on….a wish list for his 9 month old baby enrolled in the daycare.
Just reproducing the relevant part of the email :


“Wish list from our side:
1. In addition to the good care that day care kids are getting, we will really appreciate if some brain development programs are conducted for kids of age 6 months and more. We attended a session in our office from K...Gl... school staff (http://k...gl....com/). Please go through the website and see their presentation. We are not suggesting you to copy them, but we feel there is no harm in getting good things from anyone. They have some programs for brain development based on research done by an American scientist Glenn Doman. They claim that babies of 6 months can learn reading. Curious to dig further, we searched internet and found many web sites and research articles that support this fact. For example: see the video (with sound ON) at the home page of this website - http://www.y....c...com/ . Also there are lots of videos available on you tube...."


I was initially amused and then wondered, where are we heading? Is it really needed….a 6 month old baby reading?

What’s next? PhD in Astrophysics at the age of 5yrs?

Why cant we let babies be what they are supposed to be ....just babies! And let them grow at their own pace!!!

The sky high and sometimes impossible dreams parents dream on behalf of their kids put tremendous pressure on the kids to perform. Some kids either baulk under the burden of expectations or just give up on life in general. With students' suicides on the rise, isnt it time, we, as parents introspect....restrain our ambitions from setting unattainable targets for the child and let them 'grow' and 'bloom' first into good human beings and not mere degree spewing/money-churning machines.

11 comments:

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

Really, their attitude is absolutely ridiculous! Such parents don't realize how much they emotionally and mentally traumatize a child!
I agree, we should first stop this competition with our neighbors and friends about how much cleverer our child is compared to theirs! Childhood should be the best phase of one's life... not the worst!

naperville mom said...

I hate the comparisons amongst the parents too...How deplorable...and so against the very definition of 'education' as opposed to 'literacy'.

agobai said...

I am surprised they dont ask for a kinesiology expert to come and train their kids fingers to use laptops at the very advanced age of 1 year. Quickest way to created emotionally maladjusted kids. All left-brained and there is nothing "right"....

For heavens sake, let kids be kids.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Are they crazy? Give me a break, I don't mind if my kids grow up happy and well-adjusted.

SGD said...

@ Roshni, NM, AGobai,Sucharita :

I'm relieved to see so many unambitious (for their kids) and NORMAL Moms!!! Even as I was writing (typing) the post, I was wondering whether I was the only freak in today's age of go-getter, aware & emancipated Moms!

I just detest this attitude of squeezing all available knowledge into children's brain, not caring a hoot whether they are receptive or not!

I'll share a recurring conversation I have with many people which disgust me no end...
My sis hated maths all her life and after her Class X, was just too glad to give up Maths forever.Thereafter she was a literature student. Upon hearing that she studied literature, and being aware that I'm an engineer, several people ask me, often sympathetically as to why she didnt pursue engineering and also suggest that we could have tried some private college. When I reply non-chalantly that the thought never occured to us, and we were very glad that she studied the subject of her choice at one of the best colleges of the city, I find the perplexed expression on the inquisitive sympathisers' faces both sickening as well as amusing!!

@AGobai: Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by...hope to see you again!

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

Yeah, the attitude of most parents of my parents' and earlier generations to have a doctor and/or an engineer in the family is truly sickening!
Point to note, I want my son to be a drummer in a band.

Pradip Biswas said...

All the Tv channels are trying to prove that children of 4-5 years of age may become a singer Like Manna dey or Kishore Kumar. While the Channels are openly getting a childlabour done, parents are adding more fuel to fire. May be someday we discuss all in aforum.

SGD said...

@Roshni - Good one...but who knows..if he's under pressure to be a drummer, may be he'll dream of being a doc/engineer/scientist or any of the boring predictable professions....

@PB- Yes the unreal reality shows put me off..The initial few were a novelty and there was less of commercialisation and dirty politics and more of genuine talent. These days it's more about flaunting the judges' negativities & cynicisms....
Children, Youngsters' talent gets lost in the votes and crassness of it all.....
And as you said, the parents' dreams of quick money and quick-to-fame path through their children is truly obnoxious!

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

oh goodness! Thanks for warning me!

gauri said...

My thoughts exactly! People around me gasp when I'm not pushing my kid to read or calculate. Even now, we live in the US, but the kids play outside like in India. Our complex has a yard like space, and all kids play there - Tball, guns, dirt, what have you!

My older one is 5, and his classmates are into Kumon, Math, and what have you! Sure, to each his sown, but seriously, do we need scientists of 5?!

Well said, SGD...don't even get me started on this!

g

SGD said...

@gauri - Couldnt help but share something I heard a couple of days back. Was shell-shocked when my cousin was proudly proclaiming that her 3 1/2 yr old kid had got 80% in english and 95% in Maths!!!percentages in playschool!!! Goodness gracious!!