Give Children Back their Childhood …
20 January 2017

Give Children Back their Childhood …

The Other Side of Hothousing

Sometimes we get very committed parents, voicing their disapproval about tutoring and supplementary education.  Sometimes they let us know of their children’s academic success WITHOUT such services and go on to tell us that they are teachers themselves, who are passionate about their work and don’t believe that children need any additional study beyond their normal school day.  They argue that children need to get back their childhood…

We didn’t create the need for Saturday School and extra-curricular support – we did recognise there IS a genuine need for many reasons. We responded by opening our first Saturday School 15 years ago, as a possible solution that has served and suited some 3000 pupils.

Children go to school to learn and develop skills in preparation for adult life. Teaching them a healthy work/life balance is also good preparation. Of course children need to play and relax…it is deemed by UNICEF (under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 31), to be their ‘human right’. We agree. And we work in partnership with our parents; trusting that they establish a healthy study/play balance for their little ones.

As primary role models for our children, we parents also need to maintain a personal life balance, which may include simple and inexpensive activities like a walk in the snow, dinner with friends, meditation, or listening to some favourite music. In so doing, we have the opportunity to set good examples for our children and teach them to:

  • Manage their time
  • Organise and prioritise
  • Manage their well-being

I wonder how much time these parents (shouting for children's rights to play), make for themselves to ‘play and relax’? Is somewhere buried in their battle-cry, an expectation that childhood is the only time in our lives that we can or should play? Isn’t it all relative: children have their ‘work’, goals, interests and hobbies, as do adults...?  Shouldn’t we be teaching them how to create a healthy balance and preparing them, instead of shielding them, from the demands of life?

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