Putting pressure on a child to excel can hamper his or her development and can only make him or her into a nerd. Read on to know what mistakes parents make and how to ensure that you do not make your child a nerd.
In this information age, the well-informed person is the king. You can ill-afford to be an ignoramus what with information tidbits or electronic sound bytes pinging on you every nanosecond from every corner of the world. Whether it is the Internet, television or any number of books and magazines, there is information overload, today.
Child Prodigy, At What Cost?
A parent of a five year old proudly claims that her child can read books and even magazines (no matter he doesn't attend what is written) when his peers are just beginning to make out a few words in school. Many parents seem to be in a hurry to run ahead of the school syllabus so that the child stays ahead in the class and among his peers. Why duplicate the efforts that the school is taking for educating a child? Why not reinforce the child's learning and personality by ensuring lateral growth?
Parents are eager to make their children computer savvy like never before starting as early as two-and-a-half and three. Four and five year olds are deft at playing computer games with racing cars and what have you. But is it right to subject children to the demands of the modern world from a very nascent stage in a bid to create child prodigies?
To Go Far, Begin Near
The world is in a hurry, but children are not. They say: 'God moves at a snail's pace'. How true! A child should be allowed to grow at his own unhurried pace, only then will he be able to take in the stimuli and external influences, to internalize them, and make something out of them. If he is constantly spoon fed with information - read all classics and nursery rhymes - he will surely know it like automation, but it is possible that he may not have imbibed the information as he should have.
Let us not be in a hurry to pack everything into the child's little mind and brain. That he knows most of the nursery rhymes by rote or knows all his fairy tales is no measure of a child's intelligence or brightness. His imagination is more important than his rote memory, and how you stimulate that is even more important. Passing on second-hand information constantly will stymie the child's ability to think independently. Sometimes, it is wise to let the child discover and think out things for himself. A clean slate will throw original ideas.
Here are a few tips on how to ensure that you don't make your child a nerd.
Children who have just stepped out of toddler years should be taken outdoors as much as they can - with grandparents, with baby-sitters, with parents or with friends. Let children air their minds and see world as it really is. Let them see the creepy crawlies and butterflies buzzing around. Let them know about trees and flowers, bees and birds first-hand and not as pictures in a book.
Let your child play in the mud and get wet in the rain. We are nature's children first and then anything else.
Physical activity, whether cycling, swimming or playing football is necessary to get your son off his back, especially if he is tending toward being a couch potato.
Take your child off his excessive television and computer time and have him listen to music instead. Anything from nursery rhymes to instrumentals to bhajans
should do well. Music has a calming effect on the mind. In fact, it will help unburden the child of the pressures of his school work.
4) Social Interaction
Often, if a child is a prodigy or a 'nerd', he may shun company and social outings, and may prefer to be a homebody. This way he will lose out on the most vital part of growing up, that of social adaptability. A child should interact with other children and adults, only then will he learn the myriad aspects of human behaviour.
5) Loss of Innocence
For a tiny tot, there is a long life ahead to immerse in the virtual world; for the time being let him revel in the real one. A child should be and act his age. It would be a very sad thing indeed if a child lost out on his innocence in the bargain. Let us not bring up a 'Little Man Tate'.