Is Your Child in the Preschool Rat Race?

competitive cambridge education for kidscompetitive cambridge education for kids
Allow your child to learn and grow

 

So after recovering from a month of birthdays (my three-year-old and my one-year-old are both September babes), I headed off to my three-year-old’s pre-school for the quarterly parent-teacher interaction. I have been to a few of these before, as he’s been in pre-school since he was 18 months old, so I know what to expect. I’ll look through his adorable set of scribbles and collage pictures, which have been carefully filed away, I’ll read through the teacher’s assessment of my boy, and we will discuss whether he’s sharing his toys, and whether his brief biting habit (which started with the arrival of his baby brother and ended soon afterwards) has reappeared.  Standard stuff.

 

This time, I was surprised to read a comment from his teacher that “Jake has shown improvement in his academics”. I read it twice, just to be sure, but yes, it did indeed appear to be congratulating my 3 year old on his academic prowess.  Had it referred to his crayoning or block building skills, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid, but academics, and three year olds, in my opinion, don’t really mix. 

 

It reminded me of a meeting I had at the same school, to discuss an extra weekly class which was being proposed, for an additional fee. The subject was “phonics”. After a long and detailed speech from the headmistress about the benefits of the additional hour of “phonics tuition” we were asked if we had any questions. Damn right I did. Up shot my hand. “Er. What exactly is phonics?”  Twenty pairs of amazed parental eyes swivelled to look at me. “Can you explain it in simple terms?” I persisted. “In the simplest terms” replied the teacher, with a sigh, it is “aabuhcuh”. “Aabuhcuh” I echoed, wondering exactly why I was being asked to shell out more money for something which I’d been teaching my own child since he could talk. “Ah, but this is aabuhcuhfrom the University of Cambridge” came the swift response. That led us to a heated debate about the benefits of tuition, with parents pitching in and sharing stories (read – boasting) about the extra curricular classes and activities which their tiny tots aged between two and three years old were already attending. 

 

Unmoved by the lure of a Cambridge endorsement I chose not to opt for the additional phonics class. After the meeting, one of the other parents approached me a little nervously and asked if she could speak privately with me. “Sure I said”. She proceeded to tell me how stressed she was because her entire family and her in-laws were putting pressure on her to send her 30 month old for tuition so he wouldn’t fall behind. “What can I do?” she asked me plaintively. “They are making me feel like a bad mother. But I just think he is too young”. I imparted what I hoped were a few words of wisdom, urged her to stand up for what she felt was right, and left, my head reeling at the craziness of a society where peer pressure begins when a child can barely walk. 

 

I’ve been thinking about this ever since. India is a fiercely competitive country, due mainly to the sheer size of its population and its lack of a social security safety net. If I, as a Brit, fall on hard times, I can return home and ask the government for help. They will give me money to live on and even provide me with a roof over my head, if funds are really tight. An Indian in India who falls sick and is unable to work, must rely on savings or generous family members. And if they don’t have those, then there’s nothing to stop them falling into abject poverty and joining the ranks of the less fortunate who occupy the slum dwellings and even the pavements. So I get it, I really do. I get the pressure and I empathise with the stress of wanting to climb to the top of the pile and remain there. But I still can’t understand why educated women who clearly have their financial safety nets in place, won’t allow their children to be children, to grow through play, to enjoy the innocence of childhood and the fun of nursery and preschool, without turning it all into some crazy competition. 

 

Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty images

Related Articles -

What Does Baby Do Now?

3 Celebrity Moms Share Diet Tips for Kids

Beat the Working Mom Guilt Trip

Follow us on Twitter for all updates, like us on Facebook for related stuff

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Latest News

  • Catch IIFA 2015 live on mobile

    New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) India's live video entertainment app, #fame, will beam the 16th edition of the three-day International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards next month live. "As India's first live video entertainment app, #fame is the perfect destination to deliver IIFA, the most iconic award in entertainment today, to fans globally. …

  • I hope after 'Quantico', Indian actors are taken seriously: Priyanka

    "The fact that 'Quantico' happened was a big win. A teaser of "Quantico", which has been picked by ABC, gives ample footage to Priyanka, who essays FBI Agent Alex Parrish. "The fact that she is an Indian should have nothing to do with the story. …

  • Sonakshi Sinha to sing at IIFA

    New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) "Dabangg" actress Sonakshi Sinha, who will soon be seen as a judge in "Indian Idol Junior", will entertain the audience in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her voice and sing live at the 16th edition of the three-day International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards in June. Hosted by actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra, IIFA Rocks, an exclusive music extravaganza, will see a host of musical performances by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Mika, Ankit Tiwari, Kanika …

  • Which Jodi Will Rule: Salman-Kareena Or Salman-Sonam?
    Which Jodi Will Rule: Salman-Kareena Or Salman-Sonam?

    Salman Khan is all over the place with his two most anticipated films Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo on charts. The actor will be seen romancing two beautiful ladies Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam Kapoor in their respective filmsBajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. The question now arises that which Jodi will mesmerize the audience’s hearts. …

  • Salman Khan Hit And Run: All Case Files Destroyed In Mantralaya Fire
    Salman Khan Hit And Run: All Case Files Destroyed In Mantralaya Fire

    Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s 2002 hit and run case has come up with another twist after actor was granted fresh bail, getting convicted of all the charges on May 8, 2015. According to the latest reports, Maharashtra’s top departments do not have any files on Salman Khan’s 2002 hit and run case. Reportedly, RTI query Mansoor Darvesh revealed that all the files of 2002 hit and run case were burnt in a fire at Mantralaya 2012. …

  • ABCD 2 Sneak Peek Video: What Would Varun Dhawan Do To Convince Prabhu Deva?
    ABCD 2 Sneak Peek Video: What Would Varun Dhawan Do To Convince Prabhu Deva?

    Actor Varun Dhawan is seen mimicking the dance gurus Michael Jackson, Prabhudeva, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Govinda behind the scenes. The newbie Varun Dhawan’s dance movements will surely make you smile. The actor is seen all laughing and giggling in his shot, which makes us believe that Varun is all smiles when it comes to working. …

  • Salman Khan To Play Dwarf In Tanu Weds Manu Returns Director Aanand L Rai Soon?
    Salman Khan To Play Dwarf In Tanu Weds Manu Returns Director Aanand L Rai Soon?

    Aanand L Rai who is on cloud nine after his movie Tanu Weds Manu Returns crossed all box office records. The filmmaker has one good news especially for Salman Khan fans. The director who likes to keep it simple in his films has apparently roped in Salman Khan for his next project, the film is yet untitled and is yet to go on floors. …

  • Salman Khan Rehearsing In Dubai For Award Show
    Salman Khan Rehearsing In Dubai For Award Show

    Bollywood star Salman Khan who has been granted with the permission by the Bombay High Court to travel to Dubai, has reached Dubai for Arab Indo Bollywood awards 2015 and is seen preparing for his grand performance for the night. You can see in the video, Salman is preparing for the dance performance along with back dancers. …

Loading...