Guidelines on choosing programs

Consuming vacations in attending camps/ classes can be taxing for parents and child. Moreover getting enrolled for a wrong choice of camp can be overwhelming. Find out how to choose a suitable program.

Holidays means more learning in various programs. while the intentions are to keep children busy productively, the whole concept of classes and camp can be nightmarish for some kids and parents too. Some insights on choosing programs

1. Exposure not expertise

Use programs as a way to give exposures not make experts out of children. Many of us in our enthusiasm of putting the child in a class start focusing on the result too much. This takes fun out of doing something. Eg: In may swimming classes children go through a harrowing time, just because the coach wants the child to learn some swimming by the end of the camp. At young age, it is our belief, that child need to be exposed to various kinds of activities – like music, dance, sports, etc. They need not become champions nor a show piece in social gathering.

2. Continuity Vs trials

A lot of parents get dismayed that their children start a class and then leave it. It is perhaps very natural for a child to show enthusiasm at the beginning and later on, based on any reason, the same gets dwindled. Apart from monetary loss, many a times we start blaming the child for this. Just a reminder of how many times you as an adult have started something (say exercise – morning walk) and given it all up :-). It is very natural for all of us to shift focus midway – remember whatever exposure your child got is good for him or her. Let not continuity become a torture, yet if child is willing, go the whole hog.

3. Self esteem is critical

In the eagerness to teach, to show results, a lot of classes actually harm the child’s self dignity, putting them down, comparing different children, holding competitions that only show a child what worth he/she is not. While we do not intend to be critical of other programs, we are just too sensitive for a child’s self esteem and hence are highlighting this aspect as a key aspect you should look for in the trainers / teachers.

4. Popular is not always the best

We all know it – yet we run after it. We know that what is popular isn’t always the best. The quite lady who runs a simple painting class down the lane might be much better than a branded high profile class. A glossy packaging does not ensure a glossy quality. Hence the onus is on parents to look beyond the brochures, physical space and international affiliations (read packaging) and actually understand the conceptual depth of the people who would be running the programs.

5. Am I learning too

Finally its too easy to put the child in the pool and then shout instructions sitting outside the pool. Its more inspiring (to the child and to yourself) that you too are inside the pool, you too are learning, you too are drinking water and choking, et al. So if you are going to put the child into some classes, see if you can sign up yourself for the classes too. Its not necessary that we learn the same thing, we could ourselves join another class, but when we start formally learning something, it brings a lot of humbleness into us, a lot of acceptance of errors and discomfort that learning brings, and a lot of respect for the learner’s efforts.

Highly recommended!  

Consider doing nothing, spending time with family, travelling, being with self during holidays.