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Thursday, January 20, 2011

What Would You Do?

Let's say there is a project that needs to be done for school. Would you do it yourself or get the child to do it him/herself or let the child do it with guidance from your side?

Now suppose there is some internal competition within your building. With the possibility of getting prizes. Would you do it yourself and submit it on behalf of the child or would you let the child do it with or without your guidance?

Well, I pose these questions because we are in the process of organizing events within our building. We have told kids to come up with stories & logo designs for putting up on the medals that we plan to give away as gifts. Now one kid made a submission and I casually asked - did you do it? And he honestly answered - my mother did it because I have exams and because it is meant for age group above 6.

At that moment I had 2 choices- to keep the paper quietly and not consider it as an entry thereby not making any enemies or returning it to him asking him to re submit.
I was tempted to take the easy way out- keeping the paper with me so as to avoid conflict but my heart said - no that would mean sending out the wrong message to the kid. So bravely I told him- this is easily the best of the lot since your mother has done it. But then you are supposed to do it so could you please make something yourself, may be take your mom's help and then resubmit?

Simple, but it took me a lot of effort to do it as diplomatically as possible. I resited the urge to call his mother and explain my point of view. May be it means I will have one less person in the building who will look kindly upon me. But then I am glad I did what was proper.

Seriously I wonder whom exactly are they fooling? Themselves, their kids or us- the rest of the people or the organisers or the judges?

What I feel is that this is the best way to give a free hand to the kids. Guide them if you please but let them do it by themselves. The objective should not be winning but participating and giving their best.


Minka said...

A question after my own heart !!My son is no artist and I have to keep reminding myself not to butt into his projects . On the other hand, I have seen parents of kids (who are quite talented) breathing down their necks and sometimes even grabbing the pencil and completing the drawing in a competition. How about letting his imagination rule "his" project ?

There are mothers who even complete their child's homework !! Which is really apalling because you are not acknowledging the fact that either the workload is too much or the child is not coping or given enough time to do it .

Itchingtowrite said...

exactly Minka. I agree with every bit of what you said. my kids' school specifically tell us if projects are meant to be done together with the kids. And homew orks- I erase a wrongly little alphabet 5 times and make them rewrite rather than quickly doing it for them- tempting though it may be after so many rewrites.
It is always good to keep the dialogue on with the teacher on the HW. I hav expressed concerns many times on how handwriting books are most detested by my kids, though I find them most useful from a learning the words point of view.

R's Mom said...

Itchy, I think this is a common problem all over India...the thing is that we want to show off our children as the best and often end up making stuff for them...I remember during my school days, while dad would help us out with ideas and some difficult portions, most of the project work needed to be done by us..we would take such childish stuff to school appropriate to our age while the other kids would have awesome looking models which often made me angry at my parents for not doing stuff for when I am a mother and perhaps slightly more mature I realised that what they did was the best ever..becuase they gave me an opportunity to explore, invent, modify, think and most importantly learn to become independent.

Itchingtowrite said...

exactly R's mom this is my grouch. Why cant people just let their kids be. I also think it is the teacher's responsibility to "reject" awesome loking stuff becoz they are not really made by the kids themselves.
It may be a good showcase material but it is strictly not a project done by the child. so why grade a kid on that?

Gayatri said...

- Absolutely with you gal :)
- It takes Achu 1/2hr to 2hrs to complete one page of writing.
- Yes.Am tempted to the hilt to grab the pencil from him and complete his homework in 2 minutes :b...but I don't.
- Projects for kids need to be done by them. I totally agree that the only thing we need to do as parents is to help them do what THEY want to do.

Choxbox said...

With you totally.

Asha said...

There was a drawing competition held in a mall in which my daughter took part recently. most of the parents were helping the children to colour them. I left mine alone. Though the organizers had seen the parents help, the kids who were helped of course won. Did I do wrong? I console myself that those children will become clueless once they grow up as they would not have exerted themselves without parental help.

Itchingtowrite said...

I think Asha the point is whom are we fooling?