While we are still debating whether 2.5 years is the right age to put a child in playschool, there are some playschools who are already admitting kids at 1.8 years.
It is definitely a boon for today's working couples providing them opportunity to balance their careers, but on the other hand it is also leading to the increase in parenting concerns which are dawning too early on them.
My angel has just started going to playschool and has always pleased me by getting good remarks as feedback. However one fine day the remark wasn't "very good" but a mere "revise". To my surprise though it was nothing hard-hitting but it still came as a jolt on me. I felt deeply hurt and was wondering how my child could not fare well while his parents have been reasonably good academically. But the realization came early within a few seconds. Was I being over sensitive, over possessive and over reactive?
After all he is a tender 2.5 years old carefree happy child who considers his play school as a PLAY school! I knew I was expecting too much and I was worried that I was showing early signs of the most prevalent problem today - over ambitious parents. This is just one simple instance where we don't even realize where we are heading to. Here is a collection of few such situations, where by reacting differently we can make a huge difference in the way we nurture our child.
Situation 1: When the child gets negative remarks
What we feel, do: Let down, difficult to accept
We feel shaken for a few seconds and we are unable to believe how can MY CHILD get such a comment/ not fare well.
What we need to realize: You will feel the hitch for a few seconds when you get the first real negative feedback from his school life, but then every kid undergoes the same. It would be unfair to expect much from a child who has barely started understanding the world. He has just started playing with words and has constituted his own dictionary. He will only pay attention to things that interest him. He is too small to understand he has to learn things which he has no interest in. Let him play, explore, understand on his own.
Also, if you feel it is necessary for him to pick up certain things, then make him learn in a way that seems interesting to him or start with something that catches his attention the most. If we forcefully make him learn something, he might develop a dislike towards that. Instead of sulking, try to find new innovative ideas to make him grasp more.
Situation 2: When he cannot speak a few words that the other child can/ he cannot perform the way other kids can.
What you feel, do: Low, helpless, Fear - Is my child lagging behind?
What we need to realize: Never compare your child with any other. Every child has a different pace of development. Some might speak early, some walk early and some do everything at a later stage. Eventually after 3-4 years they all reach the same level.
It's perfectly okay if your kid takes his own time to reach his respective milestones. Imposing a thing on him won't help as you can't fight against nature.
Enjoy the triumphant crossing of his little landmarks.
Situation 3: He gets a scolding/ punishment at school
What we feel, do: Argue or shout at the teacher. It hurts.
What we need to realize: But that's an important lesson in life he has to learn. He should know he should be punished or scolded if he is doing wrong. He should know what embarrassment is and how he can avoid it. Often the kid doesn't listen to his parents or relatives at home. Somebody else, especially his teacher, has a different impact. Kids listen to them. How often have we noticed that kids insist on solving a problem/ spell a word in the same manner as his teacher does? So if he gets a punishment at school, be assured it's for his betterment. Talk to his teacher where he was wrong and you will understand better. I have seen many parents arguing aggressively with the teachers on this issue. Listen to them first, and if the reason or punishment seems unreasonable and harsh, then you need to discuss and take a stand. Other wise this is a part of school routine of every kid.
Situation 4: When relatives or friends stop him from doing anything or try to make him disciplined.
What we feel, do: Offended, upset, and angry.
What we need to realize: If they have the right to love him, pamper him, they have the right to stop him when they think he is wrong.
I understand it hurts being a mother, but being a mother is not always being soft, it's about being tough at times. Reiterating the above point, a remark or a scolding from a person outside home makes a greater impact on child. Try to tell the child politely he got the scolding because he upset somebody. If I expect someone to care for my child, then encouraging them to behave properly would be a part of the caring process.
However if the person is too nagging and you know your child is well behaved, then you should take a stand. Or if you feel the style of the person was a bit too harsh or inappropriate, you can talk it over and act accordingly. Alternatively if you don't like their style, politely tell them "let me handle this" and take your charge of the situation.
Situation 5: Another kid hurts him while playing at school
What we feel, do: Angry, overreact
What we need to realize: By loosing your patience, you will only scare the child further. And if he sees you panicking he will cry even more. While it's your responsibility to ensure his safety, loosing your temper will only worsen the situation. Try to manage your child first, then sternly handle the other child. Talk to his parents if he has done it deliberately. Never teach your child to retaliate violently. Though he should know how to defend himself, he should not be the one who initiates violence.
Situation 6: The child hits somebody or breaks something or misbehaves publicly
What we feel, do: Protective, defend our child.
What we need to realize: The child tends to become dependent for everything, if he is constantly protected. A child who doesn't take certain decisions on his own will grow up being unsure of himself and often an under confident individual.
This will also encourage him to do wrong deeds and he will have a firm belief that you will always be his shield.
Instead make him realize what he did was not acceptable and you will not support him if he repeats this.
Situation 7: The child refuses to perform in a social gathering.
What we feel, do: Frustrated, insulted, angry.
What we need to realize: The child has his own mood swings.
Every time he enthusiastically recites his poem at home, he makes our smile and pride wider and wider. And if we ask him to repeat his performance in a gathering, he will not utter a word. The otherwise happy child might not be comfortable in a gathering or simply he is not in a happy mode. When he is comfortable, he will willingly oblige, but if we ask him to do it forcefully he might develop resentment towards that.
Situation 8: The child makes an unreasonable demand seeing other children at school
What we feel, do: Giving in to their demands, over pamper.
What we need to realize: Children are born to be pampered but within certain boundaries.
All parents love to pamper their children and ensure that their child gets every possible facility and comfort. This might not be a great deal after all but it leads to adverse effects if we tend to over do it. It's extremely difficult to draw a thin line between pampering and over pampering but being parents we should know what limit will please him and what will spoil him.
In public, this might be the only option left for us, but at times we should forget the staring eyes and mind our own business. It's our child and we need to discipline him.
This was just a small effort to recollect some of our very common moments we deal with everyday. We generally don't give it a deep thought and hence often result in getting tense and over concerned about our kids.
We cannot be perfect parents, however just a little realization on our part will enable us to handle these daily situations in a much better, effective and responsible manner. It might take us time to practically apply all this, but once we make a beginning, I am sure we can turn these playful concerns into playful wonders!
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