You know, so any times, when I write about daughter, I wonder if I sound overly gushing, over the board, and ultra-proud. Because I hate, hate sounding like that. But I guess, as parents, we do tend to marvel at every little thing, at every milestone, every time a teacher praises our children. And nothing wrong with it! When your little one, the one who was born, tiny, helpless and totally dependent on you, starts growing into a little person, with a mind of their own, with ideas of their own.
Which is why, when we see parents gushing about their little ones, most of us tend to go ‘Aww’ and enjoy listening to them. Unless, it starts becoming a competition. Until parents start using children as means of showing ‘one-up-man-ship’. Like one mother we know, told another that her child’s school was better than the others. Or when a mother tries to prove that her child is more ‘curious’,intelligent,active, smart than every other child on this earth. When their FB profiles become a battleground, when everything is done with the aim of furthering their own standing by showing off what they consider their children’s super abilities.
It is when I see some FB updates that make me gag, that I wonder if people feel that way when I write about daughter on this blog. Because, I jot down stuff because I want to remember them. That is one of the reasons, I don’t put updates based on daughter on FB – because I refuse to be part of the ‘my child is the greatest’ game. Because I hate to use her as a tool to seek attention, or to further my ‘standing’ in any way. So sometimes, I actually downplay her achievements to others when they are in that ‘how great is my child’ mode. I don’t know if that is right, or if it will affect daughter in any way – because all this normally does not happen in front of the children, but I have seen some of the children developing a very un-child-like cockiness. I am not sure if it is the result of parents overplaying their achievements and giving them a superiority complex or if that is just them..
At least academically, we are spared the competition here, because there is no real way of figuring out which child is doing extremely well. However this does not really stop competitive parents from comparing with whatever little information that comes their way. For instance, in school where there are a lot of Indian parents, apparently the competition is quite high, with parents hyping up their children’s achievements, in whichever field possible. Some also try to ask other children what study schedules they have and try to better their own child’s. To what end I wonder? At the end of it, forcing a child into competition, at a stage in life where they should really be enjoying the work that they do.
I try really hard not get into the competitive mode. I stay away from the competitive analysis that some do. I do want daughter to learn to put in her 100% in whatever she does. I would rather that she learns to love what she does rather than push her to do things just because everybody else is doing it. She wakes up in the morning, and does her Kumon work, her reading and her spelling work before she leaves for school. We worked out that schedule because daughter is a morning person and functions better in the morning. She enjoys doing all this, and actually gets on to doing all this without any prompting from me. Of course, there are off days when she is tired or just out of it, and I do not pressurize her unnecessarily. One day of not following her routine does not really have an impact on her. But forcing her to do it, even when she is not up to it, might take the fun out of it for her. And that is something that I don’t want to do – if I can avoid it. Whatever she does, it has to be for her, not for us to take credit for, or as ‘certificates’ for our parenting skills.. or to earn points or win matches against other parents.. If her school is good, I am just grateful… if she enjoys her activities, I am just glad, and that is all husband and I want for her – to be happy, to enjoy herself, and be confident, give her 100% in everything she undertakes, irrespective of what her peers might be doing.
Which is why I worry when I write about her here – do I sound like one of those gushing parents? So for a while, I stopped writing about her.. just because I started to feel uncomfortable… There was a time when all the posts that came to mind were about her- so I actually stopped writing, because I did not want to go over-board.. Then husband got me to write again because he did not want us forgetting some of the stuff that daughter did just because I was paranoid.. I had thought of writing protected posts.. may be I will, one day.
So kind friends, would you please let me know when I sound like that? I would hate for that to happen…