Some might hate me for bringing up this topic but I feel it is highly necessary. I understand this can be a sore subject but being a parent I can understand how we as parents tend to pressurise our kids trying to live up to the social norms. When other children are doing better than our children in class or behaving a certain manner we believe we are lacking as parents and our children are lacking as well perfect children. Talking from experience of how I “used” to think. I used to think that my daughter should have be doing the best academically and I was lacking in my parenthood by not giving her the extra tuition lessons after school or even paying for extra classes. Yes she was “a little” behind from her peers at school, so I enrolled her into a tuition centre. (I won’t say their name as it isn’t to name bash any company.) Its their way of earning so lets leave it there. Anyhoo, I started sending my daughter to these tuition sessions. Which was mainly maths and english. But I realised her weaker subject was maths so I stuck to maths.
There were many children in her year or even younger who were quite ahead and doing algebra that I didn’t even know. ( I don’t remember how to do algebra anymore!) So she had to start from basics of how fast she could add and learn her times tables. I noticed that over time of me having to remind her to do her homework and she had to do it in a specific from of time, was not only frustrating for me but she began to hate learning altogether. I would had to everyday push her to do the daily task and sometimes her speed was fast sometimes it was slow. I realised being just a 7 year old it was getting too much for her. She had school all day, homework from school which was only reading, and then having to go to Arabic Classes in the evening. She wasn’t getting any down time. However I plodded on and however she was still one of the students in her tuition class who was behind from the rest and wasn’t moving up any levels any faster. Then there were two occasions when they had achievement day if thats what you call it, you know the days where they give you a certificate and move you up a level. On both of these days, my daughter didn’t get any recognition or a certificate. However on the second one I made a funny face at the head of tuition then they quickly scrapped a certificate for effort. The first time my daughter walked out crying and I had to explain to her to work hard and next time she will get one. She tried to understand as she could, and did try HER best. But the second time I was lets say pissed.
What did I do? I actually offered to say a few words in front of everyone and made a point about how each child has its own abilities and as parents why are we even pushing our children so much and taking away their childhood? Every child in the room I mean EVERY single child (apart from mine) nodded their heads in agreement. You might be thinking I was being too overprotective shielding my daughter from the outside world. Actually I was educating her to be empowered no matter where she went that her abilities are none less than anyone else and no one is less or above her. We are all equal, some have faster learning paces than others and sometimes we don’t need to learn everything according to what the system says. Whenever I get a school report from my daughters school if she is slightly below average do I care? NO. Speaking of average I asked the teacher what that meant, she goes oh it means we measure the child to the Government and schools statistics. So I thought to myself, my daughter has learned arabic in such a way that I didn’t even learn growing up, her memory is so sharp, she’s kind and has empathy. Im sure I am doing OK as a parent. My next question is always to the teachers, is my child happy at school? Is she helpful and caring and if the answer is yes. My child is doing great.
Coming back to the tuition story, yes I took her out and wrote a long letter to the head as to why she won’t be coming back. Yes they tried to convince me back. I said I sent my child to gain confidence not to lose the confidence she already had. And guess what since then my daughter dramatically got better at maths in school and is working on the average level. You know why? Because the pressure is taken off and she loves school!
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee