I went into self-denial as soon as the realization hit me. I am stressing out my toddler. I never knew what stress was till I heard it in my professional life. And my almost three year old is already stressing out.
That’s when I sat down and thought hard. Why am I rushing my child? What’s the big deal? So what if she doesn’t know numbers till 100 or rattle off big sentences? How does it matter?
I am sure it must be the case with most of the mothers. Knowingly or unknowingly we do push our kids beyond their limit. At an early age, we expect miracles from them and stress ourselves and them in the process.
Here are a few ways how a child gets stressed on an everyday routine. Mine does. See if you do the same with yours:
Sticking to the schedule: Sleep early, wake up early, don’t sleep in the afternoon, get ready on time…uff! How’s a child supposed to enjoy his life! Every morning, it’s the same story. Get ready, drink your milk, hurry up or you will miss the school bus. And then sometimes there is yelling and howling involved! Poor child! And all she wants to do is soak up a little extra in the bath rub or hop from one place to another while eating her breakfast. Sigh! Sigh! Sigh!
Instilling discipline in your child is good, but surely not at the cost of their carefree disposition.
All those extra-curricular classes: You saw what your neighbor’s child painted or sang, and you are wowed, and admit, a little bit ‘J’ too. Your child too must draw like her. You decide. And then there’s a mad scramble for enrolling your child into extra-curricular classes; swimming, skating, drawing, arts & craft, story-telling, singing, etc. You want your child to be well-rounded and accomplished in life; but seriously, all of these activities? Isn’t it a teeny-weeny bit too much?
Start with one class, if your child doesn’t like it. Take a break. Give it a try again after a while. If she is still not comfortable, forget it. Try to find the aptitude of your child and accordingly choose a class. Don’t try to force your child just because your neighbor’s child is going to a particular class or he is good at it. Your child’s time will come too. Let him enjoy this time; it will never come back.
Work instead of play: One mother on your What’s App or other social media group announced that she is teaching her child ahead of the school syllabus; and then all hell breaks loose. You can hardly wait for your child to come back from school, you can hardly wait for him to finish his lunch/snacks; you sit with an disinterested child and teach him all that the mother on What’s App had taught her child. Poor kid!
Trust the school, dear, to teach your child all the things when the time is right. If your child is not taught something in the school, there’s a good enough reason for it.
A Mad, mad rush: I realized that all I was doing was rushing my child into eating, bathing, wearing clothes etc. on her own. That had to stop.
Don’t rush your child. If your child is not potty trained by a particular age, don’t panic. Similarly, encourage but don’t rush your child into something. I have known mothers who boast the fact that their child is independent at a young age; it’s really commendable but not at the cost of rushing your child or making him feel incompetent. There’s no shame; kids like to learn at their own pace. Simply, trust your child and respect his boundaries.
Their whole life is a race; let’s not start the competition sooner than it’s needed. Let them enjoy the best phase of their life – the Childhood!!! Let kids be kids.
I have learnt my lesson well. Have you?