The rat race isn’t just in the corporate world. Competition starts for children since the day they were born, well, these days anyway. Nowadays it’s all about how many teeth does your baby have? Can your baby walk yet? What words can your baby say already? Can your toddler read yet? What other languages can your child speak? Is your toddler potty trained yet?
The list goes on! Just when you though high-school was finally over, peer pressure is never-ending! Welcome to motherhood! Its a whole other level of peer pressure and it can be very stressful to a parent. But all of this can be conquered if you just let go.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
Of course we want our children to be successful, for their potential to shine and to change the world, who wouldn’t want that for their child? But when it comes to early childhood education, does that education really need to be about reading, writing and doing math?
Not every 3 year old can read a Peter and Jane book and not all 2 year olds can sing the alphabet. Not all babies can walk at the age of 11 months and not all can roll over by the time they turn 4 months. ALL CHILDREN ARE DIFFERENT and people have got to start realising that!
Early childhood education is a big thing these days. Parents are sending their children to pre-schools and kindergartens at the age of 3. Yes, it is possible to teach a 3 year old to read but what is the rush? In many European countries, children don’t even start learning to read until they turn 5, yes, FIVE! Children generally start school at the age of 6 or 7 and then it’s full speed ahead from there. There is primary school then secondary school then college then university then work; work, work, work, work, work!
All this doesn’t mean you need to throw away your career just so you can stay at home and do all this yourself to avoid sending your children to nursery or play school, no. A working parent should not have to feel guilty that they have to send their children to school so that they can earn a living in order to put their children in good schools and live a stable life. That’s not the point. Point is, learning starts at home.
Yes, all we want is for our children to grow up and be the best but what we really need is to let our children be their best at their own pace. Being a child shouldn’t be so stressful, besides, you’re only a child once and then you have to put yourself in that big dark box we call society and where playing about is considered ‘childish‘.
Things like saying please, thank you, excuse me, treating others with respect, eating with your mouth closed, not interrupting a conversation, picking up litter, not littering, consideration for others, table manners…. There are soooooo many things a child will not learn in school and that is etiquette.
It’s like what they say in Malay, “adab itu lebih tinggi daripada ilmu” which means etiquette is far greater than knowledge. One can have all the knowledge of the world but without ethics, that knowledge is useless.