Pushy Parents

“I don’t know what is wrong with her. She is so clingy when I am around and will not just go and enjoy the class. I try to do so much for her to give her the best. She goes to nursery full time from 8am to 5.30pm and on the weekends, she does ballet, piano lessons, Gujarati school and swimming” Mum of a three year old.

I found myself listening to the woes of a mum at my daughter’s Gujarati class last week and came away feeling extremely sad. I watched this interaction between mother and daughter and it took me back to my childhood for very different reasons.

What I saw was a child trying to tell her Mum that more than anything she wanted to spend time with her and not be pushed into doing all these classes on her own. Of course a three year old cannot communicate this and her only way to express herself is being clingy. Poor Mum is too busy trying to do what she thinks is best, when the only thing that is best for a three year who has spent the past 5 full days at nursery, is her Mum and Dad.

As a child, I was dropped off from a very early age to stay with various family members for weekends and holidays, pushed into cultural classes and pushed into the limelight of all family and social events. My mum wasn’t happy unless I was involved in everything.  She now wonders why we don’t have such a close relationship and I find myself wondering whether the constant years of pushing me away from her, doing what she thought was the best for me, has had an effect on our relationship.

I find it extremely disheartening that as a society we believe that we need to fill our children’s lives with as many activities as possible in order for them to be well rounded and succeed. Of course an active interest in your child’s education does help them achieve better results, but does a toddler need this?

I doubt it.


2 Comments to “Pushy Parents”

  1. Three years old? That is just too young. The mother should have waited a little maybe until the kid is six or a bit older. But if she thinks the kid needs to do one of those classes, the mother should have chosen one than enrol the child in so many activities. I am not trying to encourage laziness or anything, but putting a three-year-old in a jam-packed schedule is a recipe for disaster (if you include stress and burnout). This is a three-year-old here, not a fifteen-year-old.

  2. Parents should listen to their children. My mum pulled my sister and I out of ballet when we were kids as we hated it and were in tears. I don’t know if any age is too young to participate in classes but parents should just consider their child’s happiness.

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