March 25, 2013

It Is Enough

ENOUGH already
In January, I was part of a Google+ hangout about parenting mantras.  Now that we are back at school, I find that I am using a whole new set of mantras that I’ve developed since my eldest son started school (and no doubt I will be using these with respect to my youngest soon too). 

Now that we are back at school, I talk to other parents and hear about how talented their children are at xyz or how well they are doing in abc.  I feel that while my eldest son is talented at many things, his reading could be better.  And worry, Is this going to be a problem for him at school? 

My eldest son comes home wanting to play tennis and netball and rugby and AFL and and and.  And it is hard to decide what to play and how much after school activity is too much.

My sons come home and tell me their friend has a new lunchbox, shoes, book, DS game, toy and it is really cool and when can they have one.

All this has me taking deep breaths and repeating

I will not rush through childhood. They do not need to have/do that straightaway (or even at all).

There is time to try different sports and have new experiences.  They don’t all have to happen now.

There is time to wait and see if they want that lunchbox, toy, game or book in a few weeks or at their birthday.  The products are not going anywhere. 

Childhood/education is not a race or a competition.

My son will get where he needs to be.  He will find a way to make his talents shine as an adult.  He does not need to keep up with other children.

These are my mantras for parenting in a competitive, fast, consumerist culture.

Do other parents and your child’s friends make you feel like you are not doing enough?

1 comment:

Val said...

Well spoken, I do agree with you! Childhood/education is not a race nor a competition. There is huge pressure I think, not from some people in particular but from society in general. Kids have to wear this and that, do a whole range of activities, they are assessed and re-assessed, urged to consume processed food and games. I believe kids need more time, that things to wear, eat and do are to be gently and carefully experienced and selected, that it's not all about organized activities and cool clothes. We as parents must give them this space to step back and enjoy some freedom, this childhood time spent also playing in the garden, inventing games, lingering a little, creating and crafting, learning without measuring themselves to others...