“Your son doesn’t even finish his homework on time”
I was startled by the comment given by my son’s teacher. I was sitting at a Parents Teachers Meeting in my 3 and half-year-old son’s nursery school. I knew teachers gave some work to be done at home which included tracing letters and writing numbers. I made sure he understood what counting meant and could recognize the letters.
He never made a fuss of homework. We used to do it together when he was comfortable and enthusiastic about it. I had already told this to the teachers but there I was, listening to that same comment again “ I know you are a working mother. But you need to take out time and make your son finish his homework. It will be required in bigger classes.”
I was already getting furious. “He will be big by that time” I almost screamed. “ He is just a small kid who doesn’t even understand what it means to get bad remarks.”
The meeting forced me to think whether I had made a mistake by putting him in playschool. The apartment where we stay doesn’t have many children of his age. I had an impression that if I send him to some playschool then he would mingle with kids of his own age. I never thought about the peer pressure this would bring.
When I looked around, I realized that we are putting our kids in a predefined box from a very early age. Competition and pressure is actually killing their innovativeness as well as curiosity. Every child is unique and intelligent. The question to ask ourselves is do we really provide them with a comfort zone where they could explore their inner qualities.
I know my son loves music. He can connect to words in songs much faster than knowing words through normal stories.
What if schools and parents come together and help the child develop his innate skills? Every child will become a star then.
Do we really think success is defined by getting money or corporate jobs? Is this also affecting our children right from the tender age where they need to explore the world with their inquisitive minds, unbeatable energy and innocence.
Being a working mother is a choice and not a need or superiority. I never understood how that can be equivalent to be an irresponsible mother. I still make sure I spend maximum quality time with my child and I am on my feet whenever he needs it.
I just want my son’s tiny hands to discover treasures from nature rather than holding a pencil and writing. I want his glittering eyes to experience the beauty of a night sky with many stars and weave stories around it, his ears to listen different types of music and enjoy dancing on his favourite beat. This alone can be his homework at least for few years.
Soon, the dangerous world outside will force its rules on him and he will have to follow path of no return. But these precious years will leave unforgettable memories in his life. It will shape him as a sensitive man and give him energy to think out of the box.
Bright future is not guaranteed by good marks, being at the top and entering in good institutes but by right attitude, perseverance, passion and hard work. It is immensely important that we parents understand it fast and imbibe the spirit of life on our children. We do not want to make them prepared only for only good-paying jobs, instead we need to make them prepared for the whole life, earning money will just be part of it.
“Teach my son to speak in front of the class. Ask him to describe a song you like. Teach him to care for his friends. Ask him to share his toys and not to be harsh with anyone. I am not justifying not doing homework. But I don’t want to judge him at this age. I don’t mind if I get remarks for not completing the homework. I will feel bad if he gets remarks about his bad behaviour and lack of confidence.” I told the teacher calmly.
I just realised I was being tagged as careless mother not only by teachers but also other parents who were waiting for a similar discussion. I came out of the school smiling. “Aai, what did teacher say?” my son was outside the school standing with his dad. “We both were discussing about the song you love and she was very proud of you.” My son smiled with confidence and started walking with me to explore new things that the day would offer!
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