Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is being involved in kid's routine uncool ??

This is the impression I am getting when talking to folks (mostly in office) and let me add most of these folks are dads.

When ever my colleagues asked me what my girl's latest mile stone was I'd gladly share the same with them. Being climbing up and using the slides independently at the local park or handling a monkey bar or recognizing the alphabets / numbers or learning new rhymes or showing interest in coloring ... whatever, I'd just share it as a matter of fact. Along the same lines, when asked during our last lunch out, I said, my girl now identifies flags of about 40 countries ... and that she was way ahead of her dad in the quiz to identify the flags.
I thought this was a neat achievement ... Junior has been showing interest in identifying flags lately and I thought as a mother I should encourage her. (she pesters me even now to look up more flags ... I am too lazy to do so).

But I was stunned by the reaction of my colleagues ... they thought I was a pushy mother and I was pressurizing my kids to learn things at a very young age. In fact one of them went to the extent of advising me to leave the kids alone. The other said, my daughter is about 4 now, and she barely knows her alphabets and numbers. She is having fun ... and went to give a Hi-fi to another colleague, as if to imply he was being cool. I asked him what are the things he has taught his daughter and he again insisted he was being cool by not teaching her and leaving it to his wife.

Really ???? Encouraging your kid's interest and being part of their routine is uncool ??? Since when??

22 comments:

starry eyed said...

It depends on the kid and the parents, CA. We have no business judging who's pushy and who's lackadaisical. I was very laid-back with my daughter and she's pretty self-driven, so it was fine. But with the younger one, lots of involvement and 'pushing' is what works, my laid-back attitude with him had negative effects.

The flags identification is awesome...cool for Cantaloupe!!! I think as long as learning is not punitive or goal-driven (as in needing to pass preschool interviews!!), it's necessary.

As for leaving it to his wife...duuuuuh, how convenient. :rolls eyes:

Pixie said...

I don't have any hands-on experience yet, but I think it's all up to you and your kids CA.. I think its pretty cool that Cantaloupe can identify flags! :)

Don't bother what others think... as long as it's working for you guys, its fine! :)

Hugs!!

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

@Starry: I have the opposite experience ... with my first one .. I need to be pushy ... she is very comfortable in her zone. I have been very laid back with Junior ... she has picked up most of the stuff by herself. And the flags identification started with Junior pestering me as well. I showed her the Karadi rhymes "I salute my flag, it makes me proud" and she wanted to know how the USA flag looked .... and then she heard her sister read about Canada / Mexico and wanted to see the Canadian / Mexican flag and it soon she knew 40 countries.

I hate it when the colleagues consider their non involvement as cool ... of course they are cool ... their wives are taking care of stuff for them.

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

@Pixie: Thanks kano ... repeating leg pulling of being pushy at work makes me mad.
Its not just Cantaloupe sweety ... Junior identifies the flags as well. In fact it started with Junior's interest ... Cantaloupe just learnt along.

starry eyed said...

CA, I agree abt the comfort zone. Some kids do need to be prodded along. And it's so fun when one sibling triggers the other one's curiosity!

I'd perceive those guys' comments as trying to defend their non-involvement. Next time, try making such leg-pulling all abt them..."Oh gosh, you're not involved in your child's life at all? Such a pity, kids benefit so much from learning stuff with their dads. I'm so glad that I spend time HAVING FUN learning such cool stuff with MY kids!" or something of the sort!

R's Mom said...

like starry says it depends on the kids...I dont think what you are doing is pushy honestly...they are interested and you are just supporting them right? and you do have to introduce them to stuff for them to get initated into it na...whether you follow it up aggressively or just encourage them is the difference

honestly R is very lazy and I dont push her too much..if she is interested she takes up the tasks otherwise just lets it be...

and I dont agree to leaving to the wife part at all!

Swaram said...

I think its just awesome that Junior identifies so many flags :)
Jana ne haage; bayi chapala :P

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

@R's mom: You are right, unless one introduces kids to different things, we'd never know what they really are interested in. But I think introducing IS the key. After that some kids need a push, others are just self motivating, depending on their personality / interests. For Eg: My older kid likes to know about animals ... especially Giraffes and I learnt quite a few facts about these animals when we were researching about it. When my kid talks about these facts, its easy for most to assume, I have been drilling a lot into their little head.

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

@Swaru: Rightly said ... bayi chalapa ne.... taavu yenu maadolla ...bereyavaru maaDodu sahisalla

Choxbox said...

just tell them you dont have a wife, what to do?

and identifying 40 flags is cool!

Sands said...

identifying 40 flags is totally awesome.
With me I go with the verbal and non-verbal feedback from the kids. I expose them to things, activities, ideas and if it grabs their interest we pursue and if it doesn't, we move on to greener pastures :)

cantaloupes.amma said...

@Choxy: oooo ... I love that cheeky response. .. if only I can remember to say that the next time this happens :)

@Sands: Parenting is all about experiments .... normally we parents tend to start introducing them to areas we are familiar / comfortable with... only when we need to move on, we go out of our comfort zone.

weourlife said...

It is amazing that junior can identify 40 flags. You are doing the right thing, don't bother with what other say..Just follow your instincts.

cantaloupes.amma said...

@Weourlife: Welcome here ... thanks for the assurance :) It does feel good ...

Vidya said...

Hi, i think am here the first time. nice post and could relate to it all too well:)i think being pushy is when we pack in 4 additional classes, 2 weekend workshops and sign up the kids for every 2nd contest that is announced and expect the child to simply oblige:) while that is one extreme, there is the other group like the one you mention- COOL club. Cool for the sake of being so:)!

Vidya said...

btw, awesome of your little one to recall flags.. my elder one shares the same passion too:)

cantaloupes.amma said...

@Vidya : Welcome here ... Cool for the sake of being so .... thats exactly what these guys are I think ! In fact I sometimes wonder, if they are really so or pretend to be so ...

Anonymous said...

CA,,r u staying in California? I am moving there from Bangalore in October too - with my now-1-yr-old. Hubby is already there in Sunnyvale..whr do u stay? would be happy to get in tocuh with you in case of any help!

-Nidhi

adayinlifeofmom said...

I have observed that if your parenting style or achievements are different than others, then they get offended and start defending themselves and their style.

In this case, you are involved in your child's life, encouraging her. While others are probably doing something else. Since their style is different they are defending themselves while accusing you to be pushy :)

noon said...

Oh come on CA - deep down they are just plain J! They wish they could have done this with their kids...the only other way to make themselves feel better than feeling like "I wish I had done this with my kid" is to make you feel bad...put you down as being uncool. There is nothing wrong with teaching them things they enjoy...when KB was in the dinosaur phase I used to buy him dinosaur books of all sorts whenever he spotted one and asked for it...I do that even with things I don't like - like Ben 10 or Star wars - he went through a phase of memorizing unbelievable no of facts from the Star wars encyclopedia - I didn't like it - but I go by indulging him in interests - he benefits from reading all sorts of things...he got so into reading and also understanding complicated words from those books...you just ignore these morons who tell you to be "cool". It's not like you are bugging your reluctant crying child to come and sit with you a memorize flags. It is great that she is interested. In fact only yesdy I was telling Neera that after reading her post I feel I should expose KB to more geography than I have...we went through a phase of "traveling the world" and read up about a whole bunch of countries...and then suddenly stopped and didn't go back to that...you are an amazingly involved parent and it is only a good thing - never bad. You definitely are not a maniac pushy parent - you should in fact tell your cool friends that they should in fact be less cool and more involved!

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

@Nidhi: Yup ... me in Bayarea. Do email me :)

@ adayinlifeofmom: I don't have a problem with their style of parenting... and they better not have problem with mine. Next time I am equipped with better answers :)

@Noonie: Thanks for your words ... did make me feel a lot better. Yup, I indulge my kid in something I am not particularly fond of .. case in point: Rainbow magic series ... she loves those fairy stories ... me, not so much. But I see no harm is allowing her to read those.

adayinlifeofmom said...

I am sure next time those guys will learn their lesson...

Good for you to encourage your kids. Awesome job :) (I forgot to write this earlier)

 

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