Extra curricular classes – boon or a bane?


My wife was very particular that both our daughters learn how to dance. In line with this, when our older one turned a new leaf at the age of 3, she was conveniently packed off to the nearest best class. One year down the line, that weekly activity is going on like it was always a part of her. She tends to cry and oppose the class, but that is may be once in a while, not so often. Wifey now feels that she could start going to the same place to probably learn shlokas or classical dance. She said, that way, she would be preoccupied and would not while away her time. This got me thinking.

Parents today are so competitive themselves – rat race when at work and rat race when with neighbours. Peer pressure on the kids starts from here, not when they are amongst their friends.

Arrey Sharmaji ki beti karate class jaane lagi hai. Self defence seekhegi.

Arrey Kapoor saab ka ladka skating classes ja raha hai, woh apne Mehta Saab hain na, unhone recommend kiya tha, keh rahe the bada scope hai.

What else is required apart from this to get other parents into thinking mode? People start making a beeline to all these classes without thinking if these are really worth it or whether they really add something to the child’s personality.

As a kid, I had the keeda to join every other class that was advertised in the school. It’s a different story that I never completed or faithfully attended even a single class. This goes on until today where I take gym memberships but never attend. I learnt on my own how to sketch, actually copy, but never could I sketch from my memory. Same goes with several other ideas of mine. I can visualize castles but when I put it down to paper, it could turn out to be a mere hut.

I am not really sure if extra curricular classes are good or bad, however, had I probably taken more interest back then, had I heard to my mom’s pleas, may be, today things would have been different.

A living example happens to be my cousin. My aunt saw that she was good at sketching and coaxed and pushed her into those classes. It was a pain back then, but today, she’s on the way to become an animator. Anything done in moderation is always good. She never went to any other classes.

By all means, send them to those classes that add to their personality and extend what they already are. They could be multi-faceted but then don’t overload them. They will lose their precious childhood years. Be considerate and be a smart parent. They are young and don’t know what’s good or bad for them yet, but you do.

What is your take on extra curricular classes? Which classes do you think children should be sent to?

Nirav Thakker is a father to two wonderful girls aged 4 and 2, full-fledged software by product and a gadget junkie. He loves reading and lot of storytelling. He has been blogging for nearly 10 years now at http://www.niravthakker.com/