Earlier parenting was heavily influenced by what the elder and more experienced members of the family did with their child. If the elder cousin was enrolled in dance classes, the younger kids of the family were sent there too. Today, the joint family set up is rare. So parents instead of following their elders follow their peers. So if a certain mother enrolls her child in a horse riding class, the other mothers in her what’s app or Facebook group will follow suit. And if another mother puts her child in a Mandarin learning class, again the peer pressure will be seen. This is what I call the peer parenting.
Every mother’s child is intelligent and capable to take on the world, so why should he be left behind? It’s a dirty competitive world out there, so why shouldn’t the child be prepared from toddlerhood?
Sad affairs, isn’t it? I see more and more kids being strutted from one class to another. Money is not a question where the future of tiny tots is concerned. In fact, the pricier the better. It gives the young mothers a sense of pride and accomplishment as they carelessly (but craftily) dole out the information in their next kitty party.
And it’s commendable the way these classes sell themselves. ‘Come join our class. It helps in developing the fine motor skills of your child, nurturing life skills such as positive attitude, self esteem, social skills etc. and gives him an opportunity for physical development’. Wow! Kudos for their English capability to hit the raw nerve of the parents.
What I fail to understand is ‘can kids learn these life skills only in such activity classes?’ What happened to those good old days when kids learnt all of these and a lot more while playing in the open fresh air of a playground or a park.
Earlier, the kids learnt either at school or at the hands of their parents or other family members. Nowadays, they learn whatever they need to learn in activity classes. Because obviously the schools are not capable and sadly, parents have no time for such things.
What a narrow-minded approach! We cushion our kids at all possible instances and then expect them to survive the world. We send them to sanitised enclosed classrooms and expect them to learn life surviving skills.
Peer parenting is a great advantage, especially when we are staying in single families. However, there is a fine line between support and blind following.