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Values & Education

The Bigger Question

A couple of weeks ago, we decided enough was enough and decided to take the plunge. We enrolled our kids in a couple of activity-classes.

Choosing The Best Children's Extracurricular Activities - Parenting Dilemmas

I’m someone who believes that these structured classes wouldn’t have a great impact on really small children. Although beginning early is good ‘cos of the grasping power and all, these classes require some amount of prolonged concentration which very little kids may not be capable of. They’d become distracted and bored pretty easily, in my opinion. So, the ideal age, as per me, to start such classes would be five.

With the kids going to turn five anytime now, I realized these classes would, apart from developing the kids’ skills, will also help in keeping my sanity during the vacations. So, we zeroed in on skating and keyboard classes, to begin with. Of course, we threw the ‘are you interested in these two things’ question to the kids, before we opened our wallets. Maybe, the initial euphoria or whatever you’d wish to call it, the children wilfully obliged. Skates, keyboard and other accessories were bought.

Now, after two weeks and four to six classes of each of these, I have to say I am faced with a bigger dilemma.

As far as skating goes, the kids are pretty enthused till today. The son has got the knack of it and runs on his wheels without falling ‘much’. (Much is the keyword here!) The daughter, on the other hand, was initially very apprehensive about falling down. She kept falling down every five seconds. No.. I am not exaggerating. Every five seconds, she was on the floor dust all over her and waiting for some support to get up. The mother in me would want to go and help her at once; but the saner person in me would stop myself in time. Now, after six classes, the frequency with which she falls down has reduced but she’s yet to get a hang of the balance and the wheels. However, she is still as enthused about the classes as she was when she began. And, she’s taken falling down in her stride; to the extent of priding on the number of times she falls down every day. For this, I am glad.

Now, let’s talk music and notes. It’s a great boon (and a bane!) to have two children of the same age and size. The biggest demon is comparison. In this case, the daughter got her notes in no time; while the son was more distracted than listening to what was being taught. ‘Why are we not using the black keys?’ ‘Why is there no H, I, J, K at all?’ ‘I want to play with the music on!’ and so on. The fourth class saw him crying for about half of the class for reasons best known to him till now. I assumed he had no interest and decided to pull him out but he’d not let that too. ‘I want to learn too and I’ll behave myself!’, he’s promised. At five, I am not sure he knows his interest.

Now, my bigger dilemma is this. Should I ‘push’ the kids to do better or should I just act according to their whims? When I was young, I’d learnt classical music for about six years. My mum let me be when I told her I had no interest in it and discontinued the classes. Today, I regret not having learnt it better. I do not want my kids to do the same later. But, I don’t like pushing them too hard as well. They are just five and would rather enjoy life like they wish.

So, the trick is to have a moderated effort at this. Push the kids as much as they’d go. Stop when we realize the kids are no longer interested in this class gig. But, is drawing the line of best fit everytime a doable thing, I keep wondering!

Indu is a dreamer by nature; a (former) chartered accountant by profession; and a writer by passion. Her life right now, revolves around her four year old twin boy and girl. The two naughty siblings love to play their pranks on her every day, making her both smile and wince at once. She loves to leave a trail of her life at her blog