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To think that early childhood is for having fun, not being academically hothoused?

(74 Posts)
bronya Mon 17-Nov-14 18:54:12

I know people who are talking earnestly about how many shapes their child can recognise, how far towards twenty they can count, etc etc - aged 19 months. There was a whole discussion at toddler group this morning about the best structured activities to use to teach a child maths - aged two. It just seems a shame to be pushing a child so young. Surely this is the one time in their lives where they can follow their own interests, enjoy life without any pressure and just have fun?

So - AIBU to take my toddler to the park, on nature walks with the dog, to let him play outside on the bike, or with his football if he wants to? To follow his interests (within reason) and just let him be a child? Sometimes I feel I'm the only one who isn't concerned with x hours of 'academic learning' each day!!

socially Mon 17-Nov-14 18:59:10

Utterly ridiculous.

Of course YANBU.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 17-Nov-14 18:59:28

Studies seem to show that how 'advanced' a child is at two bears no relationship to ultimate academic performance, let alone general life skills and happiness. Read to them, have fun with shapes, colours, numbers and letter and relax!

TheEnchantedForest Mon 17-Nov-14 19:01:12

I don't think counting and doing colours/shapes with your child is hot housing just normal parenting really.
It doesn't mean you can't walk in the park go on the bike etc. It can be par of all that.

velourvoyageur Mon 17-Nov-14 19:02:00

I was in the street the other day and there was a woman talking to her 18 month old keeping up a steady stream of "so what's your writing hand, what hand do you write with, no it's the right one isn't it, not that one" while DD smiled obliviously and waved both hands in the air.
Though to be honest she might have been bored and just needed to talk to someone at that moment!

Musicaltheatremum Mon 17-Nov-14 19:02:34

We learnt colours on the way to nursery, blue car yellow car etc. numbers were in the supermarket counting apples, or at home with the stairs. I did this without thinking with mine and they both managed high grades at school. I hate this type of competitive parenting. Far better they learn to dress.

Mehitabel6 Mon 17-Nov-14 19:03:28

Smile, nod ignore. What you are doing is far more valuable.
It isn't a race- as they will find out. Enjoy life with your toddler.

Tobyjugg Mon 17-Nov-14 19:04:53

YANBU. Competitive parenting like this makes me sick.

EverythingsRunningAway Mon 17-Nov-14 19:05:22

I know what you mean.

I hold two contradictory ideas in my mind that both agree with you

1 childhood is not just a rehearsal for adulthood. It's a time in your life in and of itself and should be enjoyable on its own terms.

2 following your own interest and free play are more educationally useful than being funnelled into a narrow idea of what is "academic". Knowing the names of shapes seems a lot less useful than being able to figure out how to climb a tall tree.

WooWooOwl Mon 17-Nov-14 19:05:26

I'd have thought that the parents you heard were wanting their children to learn through play too. It's not that unusual for children to know lots of shapes and colours, and even numbers and letters at around two years old.

YANBU at all to want your child to follow his interests, but don't assume that young children aren't always interested in numbers and letters. Plenty are, and there's no rule that says if you teach your child basic maths then you won't be letting them ride bikes or walk to the park or play with a football.

Anewmeanewname Mon 17-Nov-14 19:06:34

To be fair - some children naturally gravitate towards these sorts of things - one of my dc certainly did. Talking to a child about numbers etc (if they're interested in doing so) and other type of activities (going to the park etc) are hardly mutually exclusive.

There are so many threads of this sort on here - ops looking for validation that their own attitude to parenting is best. I'm sure your dc is very happy op, just carry on as you are and allow others to do likewise without judging them smile

grannytomine Mon 17-Nov-14 19:06:47

Musicaltheatremum is right, reception teachers have always taken a shine to mine as they started school able to dress, tie shoe laces, use a knife and fork. Well only two of mine were in reception, I kept the other two at home for a few years, not to hot house them but to let them play and be free. Both did really well at school and got firsts at good universities so it didn't hurt them. Good luck and I hope you have lots of fun, don't forget jumping in puddles.

Expedititition Mon 17-Nov-14 19:07:43

I don't think it's competitive parenting. More, parents having a conversation about what their child does. Perhaps the fact you see it as competitive says more about you.

How do you know their child doesn't spend 90% of their time jumping in puddles as everyone on here seems so obsessed with.

morbihan Mon 17-Nov-14 19:08:13

I don't think learning shapes, colours etc and going to the park are mutually exclusive, and I'm sure their kids get their fair share of fun!

Wouldn't call it hothousing either tbh, sounds like normal parenting

Expedititition Mon 17-Nov-14 19:09:00

I love that I cross posted with a puddle jumper!

Expedititition Mon 17-Nov-14 19:12:19

And for the record by 18 months my child knew all 26 phonic sounds, could count to twenty and knew shapes like rhombus. All from reading and talking. He loves learning. To him that is playing. He also, you know, plays in the park and in poxy, shitty puddles. (Thus he will be a rounded child, the dirty water somehow permeates their veins and makes them 'rounded'.)

Aeroflotgirl Mon 17-Nov-14 19:13:08

My 2.10 years old ds has got signifícant speech delay but his understanding is spot on. hes nit interested in sitting down and learning, just wants to explore and trash my house. Don't think he will win a Nobel prize somehow. He is a happy little cheeky chappy which he is good at smile

Mehitabel6 Mon 17-Nov-14 19:14:19

It is normal parenting if you are just doing it in normal play and conversation- it is hot housing if you are being boring enough to discuss it at a toddler group!
It isn't a race- much better to be able to dress themselves, tidy up, use cutlery etc No one knows, or cares, with an 10 yr old who was able to read at 3yrs and who was 8 yrs- you simply can't tell.

Mehitabel6 Mon 17-Nov-14 19:16:27

Mine could do all sorts of things by 2 yrs- he spent a lot of time with adults. It was quite normal- yet on MN you get parents wondering how a school can possibly cope with them!!

moonrocket Mon 17-Nov-14 19:18:37

Ha! Learning shapes/colours, and talking to them isn't "hot housing".
Making them sit and practise letter formation at 2 would be, or drilling them in times tables aged 3...

Aeroflotgirl Mon 17-Nov-14 19:19:49

Blimey expedition that's great,reading that makes me feel sad, as ds us not interested. I am sure if he just stopped running about he çoukd blooming learn. As others have said, how much a child knows during pre school, does not have a bearing on how tgey will be as an adult or older child. I was dev delayed, slow at school. I have a 2:1 BA hon and Msc n health psychology. It does seem expectations are high in chikdren so young as there wasent before. Now you have the EYF starting from birth. Back in the day, there were no such thing

grannytomine Mon 17-Nov-14 19:21:52

Expedititition I am sooooo sorry I mentioned puddles, don't think I specified that had to be poxy or shitty though. You seem a little touchy.

Mehitabel6 Mon 17-Nov-14 19:24:17

I Loved the thread that went to classics about advice from parents of older children because they all said the same, all the things that people fuss about like co sleeping, weaning, which reading book they are on, whether they can talk early -really, really do not matter one jot! It was unanimous. Relax, enjoy and spend time with them.

TheBookofRuth Mon 17-Nov-14 19:24:32

It's getting bloody ridiculous. DD is only two and has recently started doing a couple of half days at nursery. Last week we got a TWELVE PAGE report on her progress against Early Years learning targets. This was in preparation for Parents Evening the following week.

I explained to her key worker that we wouldn't be attending as I didn't think it was necessary at this stage - I can see she's happy and having fun and that's all I'm interested in at the moment - and he looked shocked and rather offended. God knows what reaction I'd have got if I'd been totally honest and admitted at their age I think it's at best ludicrous and at worst morally wrong.

It could be worse though - I know a one year old who's being taught French and Mandarin at her nursery.

Expedititition Mon 17-Nov-14 19:24:50

But my whole point is that it doesn't bloody matter. Some children do it, some don't, so what.

And why do people assume that a child that can do all those things can't dress themselves or use a knife a fork?

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