Are parents reacting TOO fast in developing kids' potential?

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Are parents reacting TOO fast in developing kids' potential?

Postby satyagraha » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:39 am

Hi all,

first, a little background. I'm a sleeping member for sometime, and I love this forum as it's very informative. This year, as both kids started school (nursery & K2), I am freer to explore this forum other than for the info that I need.

Very often, I hear & read about people looking for a good school or good teacher to teach their child certain skills (music/dance/art/sports/etc), simply because "Oh, my child is very into music/dance. (S)he'll groove to whatever music she hears." or "My son is an outdoor person. He love playing at the playground." or "My girl loves art. She can sit for hours doing colouring."

Many a times, kids have a combination of the above traits and parents start signing them up for all that they suspect is a potential "gift" in their child. I really wonder, how much groundwork did the parent do to identify the area that they invest ($$, time, energy, opportunity costs) in? Or it's just a 宁可杀错,不可放过 attitude.

After the kids are in the course, and realized that there's more to music/dance than "grooving", there's more to sports than "playing", there's more to arts than "colouring/doodling", they start to feel dishearten and maybe lose interest. And parents, without the conviction to help & see through a period of time, gave in to the kids' request / nasty behaviour and pull them out.

In the process of doing so, are parents missing out the opportunity to teach their kids' fundamental-yet-crucial skills... ... that is, self awareness and perseverance? Instead, an attitude of 五分钟热度 is cultivated.

So, my questions are...

1) Are parents reacting TOO fast in developing kids' potential?
2) How do you identify the area (in your child) that you are willing to invest in?
3) Did you help to sustain your child's interest, in times of adversity? Or fled at the first sight of difficulty?
4) If you tried to sustain, how long more is an acceptable time do you try before you throw in the towel? Any "exit plan"?

Care to share?

satyagraha
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Postby cnimed » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:43 pm

Wah, I think this will fall in the realm of the ART of parenting, no longer the SCIENCE of parenting - ie. no cookie cutter rule. :D It really depends on the child. If you are a parent with some know-how in the area, you will know if your child really has a certain aptitude/talent for certain things. E.g if your child can draw for hours and prefer drawing above other things, or if your child has perfect pitch and can easily pick out or remember a tune, or if your child constantly creates things from his imagination; or if the child badger you for days and weeks to learn chess/tennis/badminton etc.

In these cases, I think it is good to introduce. How to introduce depend on the child's age and what resources you have. If you have the know-how, you can just incorporate some activities at home. If you don't have the know-how, then you have to consider if your child is ready for outside instructions. If the child later wants to leave the class, consider if it's because she's not ready, or the class is the wrong fit. Some children enjoys exploring on their own, they don't like being dictated. You can tell an older child that the classes will give her skills that will allow her to do more on her own. For a younger child, I will let them drop the class, but but continue to feed the interest informally (e.g. attend performances, draw together) until you or the child re-initate more formal learning. The choice of teachers can be very important to some children.

During the Winter's Olympics last year, there was some write up on the Korean winner for figure skating. She was pure magic on ice, truly skill and style and she made everything looked so effortless. Most of all, she was relaxed and she looked as though she really enjoyed it. It was very interesting that in her earlier years, she was technically good, but nothing special. She was even starting to burn out and to hate skating by the time she was about 15. Her mother found her another coach in Canada. In an interview, the coach said when he met her, she had lost all her love for skating and he had to work on helping her rediscover that before they can get a cheorographer to help her work on her style.

So imho, keeping the original passion alive is very important. I believe the right teacher-student fit is very important, even after you have identified your child's areas of strengths. If I can't find the right teacher, I rather let them explore on their own first while I keep looking.
cnimed
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Postby satyagraha » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:59 am

Hmmm... true, parenting is an ART. Thanks, Deminc!

There's always a fine line between (s)he's ready / (s)he's not ready; that's enough / that's not enough. Not easy to pinpoint where the line is and how thick is the line.

satyagraha
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Postby verykiasu2010 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:19 pm

I won't say my DS was good in math but he has strong interest in it

he pestered us for almost a year to join the outside class and true enough he enjoyed it and did quite well and did the course in half time

in sec one now but those type of math questions that he is doing now is totally beyond me, but his classmates are even more "frightening" in the type of math they do...so, you never know you miss anything if you did not try it out...and persistent pestering is one indicator but not a good one though......

there are also other indicators like teacher's feedback which sometime may be mistaken to be polite feedback or encouragement only.....until my DS won an international competition at P4 against other kids a few years older than him...that is "shocking" to the family...but all these pursuits require time, energy, commitment, $$, from both parents and child
verykiasu2010
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Postby sleepy » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:55 pm

For my elder one, we knew what she's good in. But we're more interested to develop her in areas she's not good in, because it requires more effort and when she's able to challenge herself and made it, the process builds her confidence & she won't give up easily on a task simply because it's too tough!

But different stroke for different child. For my younger one, can't use this approach, sure wither her confidence. So we stick to nuturing her in areas she's good in to build her confidence.

sleepy
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Postby 30plus » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:13 pm

I kind of let the child decide. If he wants certain class, we will find for him. If he does not want it anymore after some classes, we will just pull him out. No point to force him at such young age.

So far, he likes to do those boring Chinese, Math, English assessment books. Wield kid. :idea:

30plus
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Postby cnimed » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:30 pm

30plus wrote:So far, he likes to do those boring Chinese, Math, English assessment books. Wield kid. :idea:


Hey, very economical leh! Can have more kids! :)
cnimed
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