Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hey Teacher, leave the kids alone

I must be very confused. In the last post I wrote about people opening their minds and letting their children choose non-conventional professions. But in this post I contradict myself.

Everytime I look at school brochures or ads, I remember Pink Floyd’s “We don’t need no education”. Here is one caption of a school that got my attention “Next stop London School of Economics”. There are some schools that claim that they can coach kids in class 6 to choose Engineering, Medicine, or Management branch. But why? These are not the only braches of study. What if I wanted to study History? Where would I fit in? What would I be labelled? The irony is even educated parents choose these schools. Why would you want to pressurize your children?
Summer camps were non-existent when I was in school or college. I understand parents who have no choice of leaving their children with their grandparents and have to send them to summer camps. I can even understand letting them attend camps for about an hour or so. But why send them to camps if you have someone to take care of them at home? I don’t want to be judgemental of these parents. It is possible, though, that the kids want to meet their friends in these camps and possibly do not have much space at home to play. But I would prefer a day filled with unplanned silly games.
From what I see on TV, read in books, and so on, I think this drive to expect over achievement from children is happening everywhere. I read that western parents who typically are lenient with their children are following Amy Chua’s philosphy. In Brain Rules book, the author says that people ask him what they could to do to ensure that their children go to Harvard!
Sure, I would want my son to attend the best of schools and universities. I would do my best to get him there too. But would I want to push him hard? I like what Hillary Clinton’s mother once said in Oprah’s show. She was asked what she hoped her daughter would do when she grew up. Her answer was simple. She said she wanted her daughter to reach her full potential. That is such a well thought and well articulated answer. Now that’s what I want for my son-reach his full potential.
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  2. thats a very valid point you make and with hillary clinton's mothers words you drive home the point. :)