Jan 10, 2023

Everything has its time

 I learned to ride a bicycle when I was 17. After wrapping up my 12th std, I started to learn, taking help from my friend and my younger brother. Until that time, I used to be a pillion rider on their bicycles, holding our school bags 🙂

Once I learned this skill, it helped me tremendously in reaching my college bus stop and back home for the next 4 years. And I enjoy cycling even to this date, though I don't do it regularly.

I narrate this story to my daughter often. At times, she does feel left behind when her friends cycle or skate. She hasn't learned them and honestly, as a parent, I'm not worried.

When we were kids, life's race began when we were starting our 9th grade.

Kids of today's generation experience competition and bear the weight of expectations from the time they are as young as 3-4 years.

Rollerblade skating at 4 years, wakeboarding at 5, cycling at 6, football/basketball at 7, keyboard/violin at 8, etc.

We left D to pick activities she is interested in. Though she tried a couple of "organized" classes, she insists that she wants to teach herself.

She loves singing, especially Western pop. Every single evening, she sings on her own for around 15-20 min - either during bath time OR just before bedtime. We never interfere in her self-initiated efforts. If she asks me to listen to her songs, I gladly oblige.

She showed interest in chess when she was around 8 years. We enrolled her in a chess class and she used to go to classes twice a week. She enjoyed the classes, but then Covid struck. She didn't want to be enrolled in an "online" class. Her interest in chess faded away.

After the three waves receded, we asked her if she wants to rejoin the class. She refused. Now, out of the blue, she has regained her interest and wants to self-learn. We play with her whenever she calls us. She also learns through the lichess website.

Be rest assured that everything has its time. We don't need to follow the timelines that society dictates or peer parents choose for their kids. This only creates pressure on ourselves and our children.

If kids aren't showing interest and when we forcefully enroll them, it brings up a distaste towards that particular skill. They hardly learn much and the resources we invest (time, money) are futile. In a city like Bangalore, the classes for extracurricular activities burn a big hole in the pocket.

Given the ample resources and opportunities, any skill can be learned at any point in time. Neuroplasticity of our brain helps us in this regard. All we need is a growth mindset and encourage the same in our kids.

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