Spoon-feeding

There is this mother who sits with her teenage daughter of 13 years, everyday, goes through her notes, asks whether she has understood every lesson and answer, asks her questions to revise and spends most of her evening, studying along with her daughter.  In effect, she spoon-feeds her !!!!

Not only this mother, there are many, who feel that if they don’t sit with their children, their kids can’t survive the school exams.

When I went to school, I learnt things on my own. Yeah, my mom was there around, but she couldn’t be of great help in my studies, as the syllabus was too much for her to explain. So, when I didn’t understand stuff, I persisted with my teacher, till I learnt it.  Any difficulties with subjects, were dealt with in the school and the teachers were a helpful lot, always ready to explain.  And I feel that the interest shown by me, mattered a lot.

And those lessons, which I’ve slogged to learn on my own, are still so fresh in my memory.  Even now, I can tell the formulas and recite theories, which I’ve learnt so many years back.

So, when my daughters went to school, I made sure that they understand the need, to learn things on their own.  Yeah, some kids might be interested only in playing and not in learning alphabets. But leave them – they’ll surely learn, by attending school everyday.  When some home work is given, I ask them to do it, before dinner time and leave it at that. May be they’ll miss writing their work on some days. But when asked by the teacher, in front of the class, or by seeing other kids do the work, they’ll learn to doing things on their own.  If the seeds to learning on their own, is sown at a younger age, its easy for the kids when they grow.

How long can that mother be sitting with her daughter ???? Even when she goes to college ??? Isn’t it better to allow the child to learn and study on their own ???? Why are the children brought up so dependent, by their mother, for every silly thing in life – Ma, what shld I eat ? Ma, what shld I wear ? Ma, can I play now ? And so on….  A mother can take pride in the fact that the child doesn’t do anything without asking her. But is that what is required ???? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring up independent individuals than simple parasites on us ????  Can’t a teenage child be helped into a good time management procedure, where the child can choose the timings for play and studies ??? Can’t we help our children to think on their own, instead of writing their essays and debate speeches by ourselves ????  The projects are given to a child to test their capabilities of understanding beyond the specific syllabus.  What’s the point, if the mother sits to do the whole project ???? Where’s the learning for the child ????

I do agree that all kids are not similar. And some might show good levels of understanding, while the others may take time. So, sit with your child to build on those qualities, which will make them independent thinkers, instead of doing all his school assignments.

When the child is born, it learns to move, crawl, sit and stand on its own – do we demonstrate to the child on the crawling techniques or how to balance when trying to stand ???  The child learns, by making mistakes and falling down several times, but still learns it all fine. Some are late learners, late talkers, late teethers – but the point is, they do it finally.

The school pressure is quite high, now a days and its the responsibility of the mother to build much stronger individuals, who can do things on their own.  It certainly doesn’t help to build life-time dependent souls.

So, allow your child to learn, to grow, to think on their own. Too much of spoon-feeding is certainly not good for the child, and neither the mothers.

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58 Replies to “Spoon-feeding”

  1. You are so right Uma! We need to help our children to become strong independent individuals. Parents should understand that spoon feeding does more harm than help if done beyond a certain age and certain limit.

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    1. But aren’t the mothers required to break this norm, so that the child becomes independent ???

      Piyu, I was commenting at your post, while you were commenting here…I am just loving this vibes….first Nu, now you. 🙂

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  2. 13 years is a big age to do all this…As I mentioned earlier at 13 I could travel on my own..and that’s how my parents brought me up…to make me independent and fearless..after all hum sab is duniya mein akele hi to hai… 🙂

    I know too much philosophy but that’s the fact na Ums..

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    1. Such independence in your up-bringing has helped you more than it can harm, right ??? Why cant parents understand these things ????

      Philosophical Nu…. 🙂

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      1. that’s exactly my question-why can’t parents understand ?? I’ve seen as stupid things as actually spoon feeding a 6 year old …why can’t a 6 year old not eat her food by her own hands / spoon ? just because she doesn’t eat herself her mother offers to feed her and that too in front of the TV..the TV is the pre condition of the little girl that only when it is switched on she will eat the food..and the mother does that for her !

        Calls for an entire post on this I guess 😛

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      2. Yeah, even I hate the literal spoon-feeding…if a child is hungry then certainly he will come and ask for food and eat !! Some mothers make a big hungama of feeding !!!

        Who taught the baby to cry when hungry and suck the milk, to quench its hunger ????

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      3. that’s precisely my point too.. I too feel that the mother should let the child be for a day…the next day she will automatically come and eat when she’ll know that she’s not being fed on demand !

        Sometimes you’ve to be hard on kids..this will only pay later when they grow up…sigh only if all parents could realize this fact !

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  3. Absolutely correct, Uma!! A child has to learn to be independent and this can be instilled by parents when they are young.
    There’s an acquaintance, who sits with her college going daughter whenever she studies, though she is not able to contribute a bit in her studies. And also for long hours and odd hours (late nights or early mornings) during exams. The girl can’t study without the mother being near her!! I would say weird is the word!! Wonder, what kind of systems and rules people follow in their lives!!

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    1. See, this is what is called as parasite behavior !!! The mother has not helped the child at all, by doing this weird sitting with her at all odd hours !!! Why cant they help to build strong, independent individuals ????

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  4. SO agree with that. I and my bro eart on our own…while our aunts used to blame dad and mom for not “sitting with us to study”. and dad and mom always used to say: our studying’s been done. it’s their turn now 😀 😀

    It’s helped us so much, we can’t thank them enough! We were capable, independednt kid even from a young agae. Back then, aunts n uncles thouht we’d become wayward 😀 because we never used to tag behind our parents for everything. Now they complain that half the things we do, their kids dont. 😉

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  5. Loved this post, Uma. It’s a subject that I would love to write about too, but since I have no children I’d be accused of the sour grapes thing. 🙂 It’s idiotic what lengths some parents go to to make their children imbeciles and social misfits!

    Where can I mail you at – mail me at everydaygyaan@gmail.com please – have a request to make.

    Thanks.

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    1. Corinne, I really dont understand these parent’s attitudes in making imbeciles out of their own children !!! It totally irritates me !!! Sometimes, I tell them too – I am unable to stop myself.

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  6. My Mom was always there to help me and clear my doubts when I wanted, but she never imposed herself on me.
    So many times, when there was a break between two exams, I used to see some Moms who used to drop in to make their kids revise the lessons. And that used to be even for Drawing exams. Am not joking! I remember having seen a lady making her son draw a tree, sun and all that 😛 All this in that one hour, when I used to eat and play and have fun 😉
    And they thought I was feeling bad that my Mom was in office and was not there in that 1 HOUR to make me revise my lessons lol 😉
    How wil such children ever grow up?

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    1. Art exam revisions ???? My God, crazy people !!! Of course, we need to guide them, help them when they ask for it, be there for them forever, but not forcefully, not over-riding their independence.

      It saddens me so much to know the fate of such mommy-dependent children !!! 😦

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  7. *applause applause* This is a topic close to my heart. I agree with every word of yours. But guess what Uma, so many mothers take pride in their children being dependent on them. Not on watching them grow up to be independent. 😦
    I remember the time I went to meet the Principal because my junior son had scored less in Math. He used to get a perfect score in one exam and very low in the next. The man asks me whether I am a ‘working’ woman. When I said I stay at home he asks me, ‘Then what is the problem?? Aren’t you keeping an eye on him??’ Please remember that here he was talking about my 17 year old son. I was so annoyed. He expected me to sit with my son at 17??!!!

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    1. Shail, Thanks !!!

      But isnt it sad that mothers want their children to be dependent on them ???

      LOL @ Principal !!! Even at 17 yrs, he expects you to sit with your son for studies, huh ????

      Once, when I went to collect my daughter’s report card – I think she was in her 4th / 5th grade. The teacher pointed out to me that her score has reduced that term and that I need to sit with her more. I told her, this is the transition period, where she is learning on her own and trying to revise her lessons on her own and all the marks on the report card is truly earned by her own hard work. So no need to worry about the marks – My daughter is fine like this. 🙂 The teacher was dumb stuck to hear a parent saying that she is not worried abt marks.

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      1. Haha! I bet the teacher was shocked by your reply! 😉

        I am a truly bindaas Mom. I expected them to take care of themselves. No fussing around. The only thing that they got to hear from me was that it was their life and they should make of it what they will as it will ultimately benefit them.
        I once happened to see my junior son (yes he again!) reading a comic kept inside a text book of his. I simply walked away, never said a word to him! 😉 It was up to him to realise how to utilise his time. This was during Board exam time. 😛
        The only thing I insisted (and never could get them to do it) was getting enough sleep. And they were like, ‘Mom you are the only one who says ‘sleep sleep’. The rest of the parents say ‘stay awake and study’!! 😆

        Now, whenever the topic of future partners comes up in conversation with other parents, even those who willing to give space to children, immediately change tracks and say, ‘No no no don’t give that much of freedom to your kids” Whoa!! What do they mean by that I don’t know.

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      2. I love this attitude of yours – bindass !!! And I too sound so much like you – the only mom to insist on sleep time. 🙂 The bindass moms need a special hug here… 😉

        Actually, my daughters read more story books during exam time !!! LOL !!! 🙂

        I understand how ppl feel like giving them the freedom to choose their career or partner !!! If we dont trust our child’s choice, then who will ????

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  8. Oh now here is a topic (rant) so close to my heart! Schools too push parents into helping (or is it doing) their kids’ assignments. I got coerced for a while and then I simply sat back and said NO. I refuse to do it any more …. and have not been doing them since the kids were in 7th. They need to attempt the work, sink, swim whatever!

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    1. Yes, Ritu, even I stopped helping my daughter with her drawings, projects much earlier. If she asks me to buy a specific thing, I’ll get it for her. But now a days, I send her to buy what she wants also. 🙂

      We need to assert the importance of independent decision making and presentation skills. 🙂

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  9. I totally agree with u on this, though my mom was a teacher herself but she never sat with us to do homework… she was around but IT WAS OUR RESPONSIBILTY to get it done… ofcourse she always made sure that she was approachable if there is a problem beyond us and I think that is what makes all the difference

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    1. True, approachable yet allowing independence to build – thats the way it should be. 🙂

      Am glad for such independence today – I had totally enjoyed and turned out responsible. And I wish the same for my daughters. 🙂

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  10. Awesome post Uma!! Totally loved it. I agree completely, there is no need to spoon feed children, they will do it ‘all by themselves’ (as my kid insists). And in my case, the question does not arise at all, because my Brat would rather do his work himself than take help!! The other extreme, if I may add 😉

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  11. u knw.. i was spoonfeeded till I was 12 years old. The class where I was left alone to read and learn.. I got Ist rank 😀 hehehe and everybody at my home was amazed rather shocked 😛

    I sometimes feel the freedom to learn the way you want also matters a lot. You as an individual have ways of learning/doing things and if left unattended, can explore ur creative and innovative side too 🙂

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    1. Gud one Vineeta…goes on to prove that the brains work better and happily, when left alone and is not spoon-fed !!! 🙂

      Absolutely right about enhancing creative skills, too !!! Isnt it what everyone what their child to be ??? Then the parents should allow them alone.

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  12. My aunt was telling me recently that she does this to her daughter.
    Makes her sit and study for 1 hour everyday and explains stuff to her and make her do math and she’s started to develop an aversion towards stuff.
    Keeping a check on her syllabus/ homework etc is alright. But the kids are too young to be tortured.
    And the schools demand it. So parents have to give in. I wouldn’t blame you as much as the system I guess. (Very TZP kinda dialogue! 😀 )

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    1. Nivs, do you mean to say that becos of the syllabus, the parents are forced to sit ??? Its a wrong thing, to think like that.

      Its better to allow the child some independence from very young age, to make them understand the responsibility behind it. Constant supervision, comparison are not worth in the long run. Let your aunt leave that child.

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  13. Same here Uma. My brother and I werent spoon fed at all; even if there was a little attention, it was for me !! 😀 😀 I dont remember my dad sitting with us for studies; he never even knew when our exams were !! 😀 😀 😀 Mom didnt have enough education to train us also; but I remember, inspite of that, she still wrote questions for me in a separate book and get me answer them after I finished learning. then again, thats it ! They would ask us to study when we are loitering around, but never forced us. They would let us watch TV whenever there was a fav show, even during exams that is 🙂 Its because they knew what we were capable of and had confidence in us.

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    1. Great !!! Just love the acceptance of capabilities and allowing children to grow accordingly. 🙂

      Am glad of the freedom given to you by your parents !!! It still allows you to go after your heart (singing) !!! 🙂

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  14. A very relevant topic Uma…..maybe bcoz I am going thru such a stage now. The past year I have been distancing myself and it sure reflects in the report card :-(. But I keep consoling myself tht it is better to see less marks in the report card in the 4th std than in the 8th or 9th :-P.
    I personally know woman who are obsessed with their children studies & I very carefully keep in touch with them….they give me all the news u see and I faithfully pass it onto the kids 😀

    Once again….a great post Uma :-)!!!!!

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    1. Nancy, you are doing exactly the right thing. Dont bother abt marks now or ever…they are not the deciding factors of the career.

      And once the child finds the studies interesting, automatically learning curve progresses. Have patience.

      Thanks Nancy…I am happy to be able to relate with mothers like you !!! 🙂 Happy parenting. 🙂

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  15. Wonderful post Uma
    I have two very independent boys who can do everything from cooking to home repairs. I never spoon fed them. even as little kids they had to do everything by themselves. thats howw I was raised.
    spoon fed kids make bad adults .

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    1. Thank you !! 🙂

      If you have not raised them so well, can u leave the house to them, when u went to ur mom’s house to recuperate !!! Hugs to you !! 🙂

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  16. Uma with my sons I let them handle things on their own as I was never bothered abt the rat race to numer one rank!But as my daughter found the constant school changes tough I was pushed to sit with her as teachers and family mebers felt she needed it!I hate the pressure it brings to our rship! I have decided very firmly not to do that next year-Crossing fingers and toes!

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    1. Yeah, Indy leave her to study and do things on her own. She’ll be fine. 🙂 She’s a lovely child.

      This is the kind of pressure mothers are subjected to. We feel so much responsible for the constant school change and we try to justify, by taking their school pressure on us. Instead, we should guide them to handle the pressure.

      My elder one is in her 8th school, since KG !!! 🙂

      All the very best to you and the dawter of yours. You both will be very happy !!!

      Like

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