Originally Posted by nebula228
Thank you for your responses. But you have no idea how its like living in a combined family and the talk is all about academics and competetion. My in-laws are here and we stay in a schooling district which has some very good schools but also very competitive.
They have told me me that my son will lag behind if i don't do academics with him and will not be able to handle the competition. And since we are a joint family and share a house, my son will be going to those schools. And i really hope that those schools work out for him without any issues.
Since my nephew is very advanced they are now talking about teaching him the kindergarten syllabus way before he is even in Kinder. And they expect the same thing for my son. But how am i to force him when he is not interested. I do set a half an hour slot after he comes from preschool to work on his tracing and reading skills, but with a 9 month old to take care of its difficult and I let him play. As it is he goes to preschool in the morning at 8 and comes back at 6 in the eve. I don't want to overload him further in the house with worksheets.
Its fine with my Nephew because he doesn't do any imaginative play and is only interested in alphabets and numbers. So they work him a lot in this area, but my son is least interested. He is more happy go lucky.
So now i am torn into two. Not sure what to follow. Follow my philosophy and let him play or do academics with him. It sure is scary when a family member comments that their respective 4 year old won't do well in competitive schools if they are not made to sit and do worksheets in the home.
Sorry for this mindless banter but this forum was the only place I could speak my heart out.
Thank for listening.
I'm sorry you feel pressured by this situation.
I found when I became a mother than my first job was to make it well known that I was not only an adult but the best person to know what my children needed in every area of their lives.
It can be hard to assert that you are your child's best advocate, but you are. If you won't stand up for his personality and advocate his way of learning WHO will? I am sure you don't want your son to be a slave to family members' expectations who know little about his personality and only want him to act like a different child! I'm sure you don't want to give your child the idea that you aren't on his side (as if you aren't who is?) and that these other people (who seem to have a warped view of child development) are a better judge of who he is than either he or you are. It's your JOB to advocate for your child and his way of learning and playing.
You said you were feeling pressure from your family because you live with ALL of them? This doesn't sound like a healthy way of living, especially if the other people you are house sharing with don't respect your son for who HE is.
As good Mamas we have to be our child's most fierce and strongest advocate. I learned early in my first child's life to let most of what my family said about what they expected from my child to go in one ear and out the other.
It sounds like you are working full time, as your son is in day care 10 hours a day. I assume your partner works outside the home as well. Perhaps, for many reasons, one of which is to create a healthy atmosphere for your children's development and self esteem, you and your partner look for an other living arrangement. I know this can be difficult, but in the long run do you think it will be healthy for either of your children to continue to LIVE with people who continually compare them to someone else and give them the idea that they just aren't good enough?
Four year olds PLAY. That is their work. If the people you live with can't accept that, make the subject OFF LIMITS! I had to make many things off limits with our families: Attachment Parenting, Extended Breastfeeding, what I fed my children and their allergies and food preferences (my in-laws are believers in the "Clean Plate Club" which only causes children to ignore their inner ability to know when they are full and can cause obesity. My oldest had some food allergies, and my partner's family "didn't believe in allergies." ) So, I simply made it clear: These are subjects I will not discuss with you people. If they insisted on bringing the subject up, I would take my children and leave the room (a few times leaving the house.) You have limited time with your son as it is with him in day care 10 hours a day, why not make the time you do spend with him enjoyable for both of you instead of fraught with anxiety and doing what other people "expect" you to do?
Exerting your right to be your child's mother and your right to say what is good for him is essential. Children who grow up with comparison and being made to feel the are never good enough often give up and stop even trying. He's TOO YOUNG to be learning this rote stuff, in fact most schools don't even use rote learning and haven't in well over 50 years and really no one should be taught in this manner! It's counter productive and possibly harmful to a child who has normal learning skills. Find articles on the internet about learning and how different children learn and how important PLAY is to preschool children to print out and show to your family and then make the subject off limits.
Tell your in-laws (or whoever is giving you grief) that how you son is learning is OFF LIMITS and then refuse to discuss it. Plain and simple. You are his mother, not them. WHY do you care so much what they think? You job is to protect your son from this kind of misguided thinking, not allow him to possibly be damaged by it.
Both you and your partner have incomes, the best solution would be to do what many do and obtain your own private living space, away from people who try to make your son feel inferior to others. In the meantime, make the subject of "learning" off limits and stick to it. I had a strict policy with family "My kids, my choices." My family, if they didn't agree with my choices could either learn to appreciate what I was doing, or simmer in their own time and place. I refused to make THEIR ridiculous and unrealistic agendas mine.
As for your nephew, not only is he NOT your son, (they are different people) but I didn't even know Kindergarten had syllabuses.