Updated: Apr 20
Don't force your kids into submission. It is high time to calm things down!!
Last weekend, I saw my friend took the small wheels off her daughter's bike and gave it a go at the "big" bike. She hasn't had his four candles yet, and I wondered why she wanted her to learn to ride a bike, without crutches, so early. This is anecdotal, and what follows concerns, I believe, all parents of today. Or at least a large majority.
In my head, the questions kept circling: What does that change? What will it do for her? Are we not cutting corners?
If I took off its wheels, we know that the courses to teach children between 3 and 5 years old to ride a bicycle are taken by storm now. Even from a distance, it puts pressure on me. Suddenly, in this park, sitting on a bench, I debated with myself (that happens to me often).
The bike, the language classes and all the rest!!
What happens when we put pressure on ourselves and our children at the same time? Why do we want them to go faster than music? Why do we constantly anticipate their desires, their needs? We pretend to be cooler than our parents; we repeat that we let our children express their emotions, which was not the case "before"; we protect them: we say they are "full of energy" rather than admitting that they are in pain; let's ratify them as they are ... #letthembechildren #letthembewild as they say on Instagram.
That's very good, but besides that, we expect them to do at three years old what we learned at 6. We enroll them in swimming pool courses early while we never put a toe in the swimming pool.
We're complaining, but it's our fault!!
We enroll them in music/dance classes, Japanese/ French language courses, in which they are not interested, and we whine about how long the commute takes us and the fact that they cannot take care of three seconds on their own. Spoiler: they don't know how to do it because we never allowed them to learn. They never had the time to make their imaginations work so much, we overloaded their schedule, and we are surprised that as soon as they have ten minutes free, they are lost, and they want a screen. We also forget that dropping them off to the left or right is not "spending time" with them every day of the week.
We keep them occupied; we inspire them; we claim it is for their gain; we will still think that something is wrong. So, yes, we'll point the finger at social media, computer games, laptops, and television. But I am not sure that our parents were always doing us a service, despite good intentions.
We delegate because we lack time!!
We only delegate, leaving others the task of teaching them things that they are not interested in or we know nothing about or that we do not do. And by missing small events, big stages of their learning, we move on to the side of our life with them. Remember, we only have 18 summers to spend with our kids, but it's not just summer, this way of looking at life. We only have a lifetime to spend with them. Let's make it worth it.
Why are we delegating? Mainly because we don't have time. And we don't have time because we're under pressure to cram as much stuff as possible into one day. We come back to it… It's both; a race that never has a finish line and a dog biting its tail.
We push our kids towards productivity and efficiency when these are precisely the things that get us down every day. We regret being in a hurry like lemons at work, always having to "quickly" finish this file, never being able to take the time to refine or think, and never be considered other than for our outcomes. In the end, this is precisely what we inflict on our children. We were made to believe so much that we had to be multitasking.
All children get there eventually!!
No matter how much I say I don't care what other people do, I still get a little nervous when I notice my kids look "late." I wouldn't say I like this competition, this race for efficiency and speed in which we all participate despite our reluctance. I hate to pressure my son and daughter on the pretext of not having my "good mother" pass validated by society.
I have no solution, but this observation put on paper can perhaps help me, help us to remember that our child will not be happier because he knows how to ride a bicycle at the age of 3 years old. Instead of 6. And neither do we. Since we are no happier because we passed the license at 18 rather than 25, realizing our faults often raises the bar. So, can we calm things down a bit?
Some Tips for demanding children without forcing them:
1.Children are not adults – Although the child appears to have an early intellectual maturity, it must be taken into account that he/she is still a child when launching the levels of your demand.
2.Give affection – The key is that children feel support, feel valued, and not just demanded.
3. spend time with them – It is essential to find moments to have fun together, talk to them. This way, you will come to know about your kids' interests.
4.Children are autonomous – Instead of controlling everything they do, give them autonomy and let them make decisions.
Do's and Don't for parents:
Encourage children to make their decisions while helping them think through the consequences of a different conclusion.
Set limits on possibly dangerous activities.
Be curious about what makes your child happy or sad.
Observe and encourage your child's natural interests.
Protect where children need protection.
Consider the ways you can shame or punish failure.
Don't use money or excessive reward as motivation to get good grades.
Don't embarrass or punish children for their performance.
Don't act anxious (don't overreact)
Do not account for grades and what it takes to reach a certain number.
Please don't give them a lesson or repeat the same things a thousand times. They might feel suffocated and disconnect.
Parents must consider whether they are too demanding with their children. The first step toward change is to recognize what needs to be changed. Once this has been accomplished, it is critical to reflect and ensure that the children's goals are realistic.
So, can we calm things down a bit?