I read a great article in the local paper yesterday. It was titled 'Lesson Learned' and it described how the author signed her 3 year old up for dance lessons after he ran up on stage and started 'dancing'. She was laughing at herself for jumping all over him and running to the nearest dance studio. When he looked at her as to say 'What are you doing?' She started to evaluate Why she was signing him up in the first place.
She did a great job at describing how parents too often feel the need to get involved in children's creativity. How for some reason this generation feels that if they don't sign a child up for lessons as early as possible that they will never become a superstar. She was right when she mentioned that too many little people are just tired. They are shuffled from one thing to another all day and week long when all they want to do is 'get up on stage and perform for mommy'.
she mentioned how her child did not mention the word LESSONS. He just wanted to have some fun on the stage after his mom's class practiced. He was being a child.
She is right.
So I am really disappointed that at the end of her article she points out that her reasons for putting her 3 year old in dance lessons changed but she was still putting her child in the lessons he never asked for nor really wanted in the first place.
Her conclusion was that we as parents need to change our REASONS for placing our small children in organized activity.She says that she just wants him to have fun and does not care if he is a superstar. She wants him to have the 'social experience'.
I'm confused here. She readily admitted that she may have been a little too enthusiastic, but continued to do it because she wanted her kid to have some fun.
Really? are you sure? Because if you really wanted him to have fun you would just let him be goofy and play a little. Invite a friend over and let them interact on their own.
You would not be shuffling him off to classes on Saturday morning where he will be told how to do this and do that, and not do this and that, and don't lessons involve being quiet and listening? Does not sound much like social interaction to me.
She certainly did not learn her lesson and I fear that WAY too many parents are still not getting it.
We can talk about the over tired/taxed/stressed out children but until parents are willing to plan their feet and listen to their hearts there will be no end to this.
If I signed up my little kids as soon as they showed an interest in things oh my....by the time they were all 5 they would have dabbled in such things as restaurant management and circus training. At the same time I will admit to signing my 4 year old up for soccer because I thought that is what we were supposed to do. What a waste of time and money THAT was.... In that respect I really DID LEARN A LESSON.
So needless to say I wait. I allow them to be kids. To have fun and explore, create and imagine. I wait until they are at least 5, and they have asked me for at least 2 years about a particular 'thing'.
As for my kids not having the opportunity to be the next superstar. Give me a break. If they truly have a talent it will show and they will pick it up faster when they are ready. Just because they don't do it at 3 will not mean they will never do it or better yet, that they WON'T become a superstar. Slow down a little and let them be kids. What is the rush? What's with the push?
They will only be little once so allow them the freedom to think they are the best at everything. Wait to put them into lessons that tell them they are not the best.
Besides...have you ever watched your kids 'put on a play' or dance for you?? It is so creative and they have such a good time. Don't deprive them or you of that joy.
They will thank you for it....and so will your pocketbook.
Just a thought