HYDERABAD: This is summer and for students, it means playing ludo, hide and seek, hop-scotch or simply relishing a ripe mango, basking in the pure luxury of leisure. But alas! children are being deprived of these well-deserved little pleasures of life by parents who appear to be in a hurry to hone their skills and shape their careers. The mushrooming summer camps/classes seem to have replaced schools and colleges and become a part and parcel of a child’s life in the twin cities.
Nischal’s Smart Learning Solutions is starting a host of classes for effective learning of Mathematics across the twin cities and all their batches are already full. Same is the case with ICMAS Abacus classes. Then there are others like the Memory Math Academy and Iom Academy and a whole host of others who teach Maths, English, writing skills, so on and so forth.
Bindu, a mother of an eight-year-old and an HR manager herself, points out, “there is no point in wasting these holidays. Hence, I send my daughter to extra classes which are conducted by her tuition teacher in summer to improve her reading and writing skills. Although, I don’t find these classes up to the mark, it’s better than wasting time at home.”
But doesn’t a child, who is over-burdened with expectations of high academic and co-curricular excellence, deserve a break from the mad rush of his everyday life?
Shaheer, a 10-year-old, who attends the abacus classes, replies: “It’s fun to go to classes as I meet my friends there but I wish I could use all that time to swim in the pool than sit in the class!” Echoing his tender feelings, Soumya, a 14-year-old basketball player, rues, “I have always been interested in hockey but my mother wants me to excel in basketball. So my favourite game had to take a back seat as all my free time is dedicated to basketball practice sessions.”
At least, she has got some play time. The others like Shaheer are not so lucky.
This pressure on children, though there is no doubting the good intentions of their parents, can have serious consequences. Such pressure not only builds up stress levels among kids but will also lead to frustration if the targets are not achieved. Dr Ravindra B, a counsellor at Helping Hand, explains, “I meet parents, who always complain that although their children are performing well, they do not secure first rank. Parents these days feel that they missed all these opportunities as a kid. So they want their kids to avail these opportunities to the maximum extent possible. This is the reason why they are completely revamping the notion of summer holidays that they had in their childhood. Parents’ objectives are not wrong but their way of communicating the same to their children is.”
The idea that one should excel in whatever one does can be dangerous at times and needs to be changed. The child needs to be provided with enough freedom to choose what he wants to do with his time, he says. But who listens?