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Old 4th August 2009, 10:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Stressed kids? You may be the cause

Stressed kids? You may be the cause



by Clara Chow


ENRICHING my kid is making me poor.

At the ripe “old” age of 40 months, my son, Julian, already has a rather full schedule.

From Monday to Friday, he attends preschool for three hours.

And, once a week every Friday, I chauffeur him to music lessons and sit next to him as he goes through a series of rhythm and melody games with his peers.

On Sundays, the Supportive Spouse sacrifices his weekend lie-in to hustle the little fellow along to his Chinese enrichment sessions.

Term fees, of course, have a way of adding up. And, yet, I find myself thinking with alarming frequency about adding to this list of classes.

Like a magpie, I am attracted to fliers for Suzuki-method violin classes, golf lessons for tots, swimming instruction or akido for kids, baking school for young gourmets and even highly improbable activities for Julian, like classical Indian dance and ukulele appreciation.

So far, I’ve managed to resist my far-out urges. After all, I am highly mindful of how counterproductive to learning a stressed-out childhood can be.

As a child, I had piano, organ, art and swimming lessons, on top of school-related events like choir practice and tuition.

While I am grateful for those opportunities, I do remember being resentful about missing the evening cartoons to trudge to yet another class. The best moments for me, back then, were the ones in which I was left to my own devices, to dream, read, and figure out the world around me.

Boredom, as some child-development experts have it, is a necessary part of childhood, as it leads to youngsters finding ways to entertain and educate themselves at their own pace.

As some parenting books – like The Over-Scheduled Child:

Avoiding The Hyper-Parenting Trap, by Dr Alvin Rosenfeld and Nicole Wise – point out, today’s parents are in danger of losing sight of what they want for themselves and their kids by being caught up in an endless cycle of soccer practice, Kumon lessons and organic-food preparation.

Those in a tailspin of hyperparenting might do well to remember that just spending time and living with their children is a big part of teaching by example.

Who needs a chock-a-block existence, if it comes with a screaming, impatient mummy with her eye constantly on the clock?

Recently, I realised I needed to take a chill pill when I emerged from my son’s music class. For some weird reason, Julian is very enthusiastic about his music course, until he actually steps into the classroom. The moment he does, he views his classmates with suspicion and refuses to sing, no matter how kindly his teacher coaxes him.

Tussling with Mr Uncooperative for most of the 45-minute session sometimes leaves me drained and wondering if I’m wasting my time and money.

Worse, I find myself wondering if my son has some kind of antisocial behavioural problems.

Then, something dawned on me. I remembered being his age, sitting next to my mother in the Junior Music Course at the same school. While the other kids paid attention, I’d fidget on the organ stool and yawn.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like learning to play the instrument.

I was just the kind of kid who didn’t like learning in a structured, group setting.

So, I’m going easy on my son from now on. Besides, amoratorium on kiddy courses will definitely do wonders for my frazzled soul and battered wallet.

Source: http://divaasia.com/article/4642

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Old 18th August 2009, 10:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Stressed kids? You may be the cause

how's the Fengshui of your home?

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