I am part of an amazing Facebook group of moms, who live in my area. From the questions that are posted, I can tell that my kids are older than most so a lot of the content is geared towards babies or toddlers.
What I find surprising is how much these ladies are pushing their kids in certain areas – such as swimming.
A mom recently posted about taking her baby into the pool for a Toddler & Me class. A large number of moms were all for it, but I don’t get it. I didn’t even consider taking either of my kids into the pool at a young age. They weren’t ready. Later on I just put them in life jackets and let them get used to water on their own time.
I took A LOT of heat from family members and parents who looked at me as if I had two heads. I didn’t care. Slowly over time my kids have been adjusting to water and most recently, my kids were trying to swim without life jackets at a beach. I felt vindicated. I believe, that when parents push their kids into something such as swimming, our kids do not understand the situation they are in and the dangers associated with the activity.
From what I see from my (albeit) limited parenting perspective, is that North American society tends to push our kids at early ages. My swimming example is simply the beginning. In countries such as Sweden kids start school at seven years old. My oldest would benefit from starting school at a later age. He is born in November. He’s doing great in school but doesn’t have the same maturity as a child who is born in February. I can see it. I worry about whether he will be an equal to his peers who are maturing faster than he is.
I also believe we’re in a rush to get our kids to do an activity for 10,000 hours no matter what the cost. I blame Malcolm Gladwell. In one of his books, he states that if people do an activity of 10,000 hours they will master it. We all want our kids to be the next pro athlete or superstar so we do the math on learning something for 10,000 hours and realize our kids need to start young, even I am guilty of this.
Our kids are only kids for such a short time. Don’t we want them to be happy and grow up enjoying life? Why do we rush our kids into things they aren’t ready for? I bet if we didn’t, we would all be happier. 🙂
Now let me know your thoughts below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org