Parenting Random Ramblings

Am I Letting My Daughter Down?

My daughter started school in September. She absolutely loves it, bouncing there every single day (I do not exaggerate, she does literally bounce along the pavement in excitement and anticipation). I had expected that she’d enjoy it and take to being a pupil well, though I’ve been surprised at just how much she likes it, her eagerness to do her homework, and by how quickly she learns and absorbs things. But the thing that I hadn’t really expected and considered in amongst her starting school, were the comparisons.

I’m fortunate, or naive, or perhaps just not too bothered, that the school mums I’ve been thrown together with are rather lovely. I’ve not noticed any super-competitiveness yet, and we’ve been to a fair few workshops and the like together, and we’re there gathering at the gates every day, too. No, it’s just my own awareness that has increased, now that my girl is ‘in the system’ seemingly being assessed and measured all of the time, with levels of expectations placed upon her.

school bag and homework

She’s doing well with her reading and writing. I think being surrounded by books from babyhood and seeing me read regularly has made her somewhat eager to master the skill for herself, and she is now a voracious reader. So we read, and we read. She has a fair bit of homework, which she eagerly completes, and then on top of that, we read some more. I’m not pushing her to do so, she is desperate to do so. She wants to read everything that she sees. The other night, as I tucked her into bed, it was the washing instructions on her pillow’s label that caught her attention, and had her determined to read until I turned the light out on her!

With her starting school, I made a deliberate decision not to send her to any out of school activities, too, as school would wear her out, so I was told, but not my girl! So a couple of weeks ago, she started swimming lessons on a Saturday morning, and so far, is really enjoying them. It’s a real pleasure to see. So she goes to school, she completes her homework and she swims. But she has classmates who do far, far more than this. Should she be dancing or going to drama lessons, as she does seem to have a natural talent in these areas? Should she be playing a musical instrument by now, as I’ve no clue whether she’d be good at that? She’s mentioned riding, is that something we should be doing? Or Rainbows one night a week? Honestly, my gut thinks it’s too much. We have our evenings after school filled with playtime and giggles, and then she’s in bed by 7. At the weekend, after swimming now, we have time to have our family adventures, be they scooters in the park, exploring National Trust sites, playgrounds, duck-feeding or just arts and crafts at home. I’m loathe to eat into this time and have her taken away from us any more, but am I doing her a disservice? Is she going to be left behind? She’s a bright, confident child, with a mind like a little sponge, should she be being pushed more? Could she achieve more, and more importantly be very happy doing so? I do not know.

I’ve always been about learning being fun, so as long as she’s enjoying it and developing, that’s enough for me. It still is. I want her to learn in our every day chats, outings and activities, as much as in the classroom. She need not be the best at everything, and anyway, in my eyes, she’s always going to be the best, isn’t she? She’s well-behaved at school, kind to her friends, shares nicely, and has a go at everything that is asked of her. And she is smart, which is a bonus. It’s all I want.

I look at her, my beautiful daughter, and I am so, so proud of her. I do not want to let her down. I didn’t consider that I was, as she’s just a 5 year old, having fun, making friends, enjoying school. I don’t want to be pushy, but what if I’m holding her back?

She doesn’t have these answers, and if she could, she’d want to do every class in the world, as she simply wants to have a go at everything! But it’s up to me to work out what is reasonable, what is the right balance and yes, what can be afforded, both financially and also at the cost of family time together. And at the end of the day, she is just 5. And a happy 5 year old at that. Shouldn’t she be just relaxing and playing when out of school? That’s what my gut tells me, and she seems content, but then the doubt niggles, the comparisons rear their heads, and I start questioning myself all over again…

What do you think?

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

68 Comments

  1. Nikki Thomas February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  2. Potty Mouthed Mummy February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  3. You Baby Me Mummy February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  4. Catherine February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  5. International Elf Service February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  6. Amy February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  7. Kriss MacDonald February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  8. Karen February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  9. Cheryl | TimeToCraft February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  10. Amanda February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  11. Louise @ Birds and Lilies February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  12. MissPond February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 5, 2015
  13. Emma from LIFE AS IT IS February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  14. Laura February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  15. Hannah February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  16. Mummy to boyz February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  17. Beth Twinderelmo February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  18. Carol Cameleon February 5, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  19. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) February 6, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  20. Donna February 6, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  21. Zoe February 6, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  22. Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  23. Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  24. Louise February 6, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 6, 2015
  25. Iona@redpeffer February 6, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 7, 2015
  26. Karen February 7, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 7, 2015
  27. Stephs Two Girls February 7, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 7, 2015
  28. Julie February 7, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 7, 2015
  29. amanda February 7, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 7, 2015
  30. Cardiff Mummy Says February 7, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 7, 2015
  31. Tracey @ mummyshire February 7, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 8, 2015
  32. HonestMum February 8, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 8, 2015
  33. Emma T February 10, 2015
    • Jocelyn Reading February 10, 2015
  34. Louise Houghton November 14, 2016
    • Jocelyn November 14, 2016

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instagram