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Blog: My truant child and I

24th Mar 2016

I have always wished a Mark Twain sort of childhood for Nabeelah. Where hanging off of trees, coming home with torn jeans, bugs in their pockets, mud on their hands and ice lolly streaks all over her face is the norm. That to me is part of a perfect childhood.

I understand that education and going to school is important but I am resistant to the idea of a classroom based learning system. Life is not supposed to be learnt inside closed doors or from a whiteboard. It is supposed to be experienced. It has to be an hands-on experience and very much real. Inside a class it is sanitised and safe, which is a far cry from what life is really like.

I am also especially resistant to the idea of nursery education before the age of three. Our peers across the Atlantic do not send their kids up until they are five and so far it seems they are a far bigger superpower than we are. Kids are going to be spending a majority of their time in school for most of their youth. Why are we in a rush to send them to nursery so early on?

Quite often the answers that you get are, kids are like sponges and that this time has to be maximised, and this quiet fear in all parents that your child is going to be the one left behind from the rest of the crowd. Or that our children are so isolated in their homes that they need to socialise with others. This may be true, except for the fact that most kids under the age of three play side by side and on their own without interacting with each other. It is only after the age of three that they grow out of that habit of playing on their own.

In fact recent studies that guide government policies on nation-wide child care show that primary care givers should mimic and duplicate the sort of care a child would get from a parent. Young children need to be cuddled, hugged and given security as opposed to being taught. It doesn’t do them any developmental good. It is only after the age of three that it becomes beneficial.

Our children benefit hugely from having as much attention from us as possible. Let us be honest that when we do send them to nursery before the age of three it is more for our benefit (and sanity) than our children. When it comes to achievements from our children, we – as parents – need to be more relaxed and demand less from them. We are taking their childhood away and sticking them into the rat race too early.
Let us enjoy them and watch them enjoying all that life has to offer.
They’ll thank us for it.

Aasiya I Versi

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