Rushing Into Academics Isn’t What Your Child Needs For Success

Photo by Susan Yin on Unsplash

 

We all want to see our children not just make it through life, but thrive.

Somewhere along the lines society has taught us that in order for this to happen we have to sign our kids up for every possible group possible- creative dance class, math club, soccer, and S.T.E.M camp.

And we aren’t just talking about school age. The pressure begins as soon as your baby leaves the womb, but is this helping them?

It is customary among mothers to begin speaking about their children in terms of progress in infancy.

“What percentile is your son?”

“Is he grasping for toys yet, or does he follow your voice?”

Then it turns into… “Have you enrolled in the creative music class for your 6-month old?”, and “My son is standing at 8 months, has your son begun this yet?”

As the Parent Tool Kit put it, parents are now led to believe “earlier is better,” but that is rarely the case.

In fact, you can end up doing more damage than good when you push a child to complete tasks they aren’t prepared to do.

Early childhood expert, Jane Healy said to the Parent Tool Kit, “When you start something before the brain is ready, you’ve got trouble.”

Such trouble could be your child experiencing stress, which they shouldn’t have to experience prior to having any real responsibility.

Even more troubling, however, is how it can cause depression, and that is something we hope our children never have to experience; especially when it is a feeling far deeper than their little minds can process.

Approximately 1.9 million children in the United States have depression, according to the CDC, with those numbers increasing every year.

What parents seem to forget is that there is a large range of “normal” in child development.

The average age a child begins to read is 6 ½, The Parent Tool Kit points out, but that means 50% of kids can begin earlier and 50% after.

Bragging rights is a big part of parenting.

We can’t help but think our children our the best thing to hit this earth (and I firmly believe mine are), and accompanying that is boasting on the things we are most proud of.

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We just have to be careful to boast on the beautiful natural developments and unique characteristics of our little ones, and not force achievements on them.

Children who are taught to read too early can have vision problems, and even more notable is that by middle school statistics show most kids show no difference in reading level; regardless of what age they began.

There are ways we can help our children become little geniuses in their own time, as Mommy Underground has previously reported, and it all begins with letting kids do what they do best- play!

It has been found that fourth graders “who attended play-oriented preschools,” The Parent Tool Kit reports, had better academic achievement than those who attended academic centered preschools.

It’s okay to want the best for our children and to give them the opportunities to see where they excel, but know when a task is naturally progressing and when it is being forced.

Each child is perfect in their own way, and watching them blossom into the child God has created them to be is more joyous than any class we add to their busy schedules.