A few weeks ago, the Missus and I were walking past the British Museum on our way home from visiting my parents in Fitzrovia. End of term was fast approaching for the kids and we were having a conversation about what to do with them over the summer holidays. Now being a few weeks back, I can barely remember the full details of the conversation (to be honest, I can barely remember if I had my daily movements this morning let alone a conversation we had four weeks ago) but it was about how other parents at the school make their minions do extra lessons, extra tuition and the mysterious art of Kumon (what the fuck is Kumon?!) outside of the hours that they already put in at school. I don’t know about your minis but after a full day at school, our younglings are cream crackered!
“If Shayne (our Nine/almost 10 year old) is already over-achieving at school (I wish all of our kids were lol), maybe we should get him to do extra tuition to make him even smarter..” the Missus said half-jokingly.
I saw her logic but we both instantly agreed it wasn’t a good idea.
Comparing our childhood to that of our children’s, our worlds were completely different to theirs. As a child, there were nowhere near as many distractions. There were no iPads, no smartphones, video games were way less immersive, no Netflix, no YouTube, less fear feeding from the media and more community spirit and awareness. All I had when I was our children’s age was a NES, a Sega Master System, five terrestrial TV channels, a bunch of toys and my imagination.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way saying that the above is a list of useless, detrimental, counter-productive shit – they all have their benefits, especially with children IF MONITORED.
And here’s the problem. It’s difficult for children to be children, at least by today’s standards. And the pendulum swings from both sides. It’s so easy to put too much pressure on our children to achieve academically that they can easily miss out on the fun and the awesome chaos that childhood has to offer.
Flip the coin and it’s so easy for our children to get over-engrossed in the modern day distractions such as those mentioned above (like my eldest son, but we’ll talk about that in another post), and like the kids whose overzealous parents crack the edu-whip, they run the risk of missing out on the amazing experiences and development gifted from childhood through to adolescence.
So, with the kiddie-compass of what the fuck swinging everywhere like a washing machine with a brick in it (if you haven’t YouTube’d that before, click here), how can we make sure our children enjoy their childhood in all it’s glory?
It’s simple. BE CONSISTENT FOR THEM. Realise that they are only children. Take a step back and be conscious of if you’re pushing them too hard. And don’t let them spend the whole day on tech because it’s easier for you rather than to entertain and interact with them. As parents, we play such a crucial role in the making of the adults that our children will grow up to be – give them a happy, balanced childhood and there’s a good chance that they’ll grow into happy, balanced adults (so I hear lol). Well, we can try at least, right?
Before writing this post, I read a nice little article called “A leading happiness researcher says we’re giving our kids bad advice about how to succeed in life. Nice little read. Click here for a butchers.
P.S. It’s also worth noting that I am in no way qualified to advise anyone on how to raise their children and that there is a high likelihood that I am wrong and that you might have just wasted your time reading my post. I’m not the perfect Dad but if you get anything from the post above then yay, hi-five!
The Uncool Dad