Confused Parenting!

So I am confused. Which is nothing new really. But sometimes its just better to ask people instead of letting your mind conflict within itself. Then the nerves of the brain seem to go ‘dum dum dum’ like R beating her hands on the table as if she is playing tabla in the most nonrhythmic manner every possible!

Anyways I digress.

So I am confused.

R has been asked to get pictures of six animals with TWO lines each (teacher wrote in red and bold) information on the so called animals, for a class project on Wednesday.

Despite the non stop pouring rains, RD ventured out to get colour print outs of the animals I had downloaded from the net, yesterday. R and I sat down to write about the animals. I was supposed to write in rough and send her and she is supposed to paste the picture on tinted paper and write about it. So she chose giraffe, cheetah, elephant, monkey, deer and rabbit.

I asked her what she wanted to write, and except for confirming stuff with RD twice, she managed to come up with her own lines. Which I thought was great. You know how the mind of a 6 yo works.

Rabbit – A Rabbit can hop. A rabbit likes to eat carrots

Monkey – A monkey can jump from one tree to another. A monkey does things like humans.

You get the gist. Simple stuff which she knows already about the animals. And I must admit, I was pretty surprised and pleased that she made an effort to think on her own, despite my MIL prompting her stuff, she came up with lines on her own.

I wrote the information on all six of them in a rough piece of paper one after the other. I explained to R how she should paste the pictures and then write the information I had put below the picture. I also made her read it once so that she actually understood what I had written.

All this was fine.


Yesterday night, I got messages from her class Whatsapp group. Yes, there is a group and yes I am a silent member of the same. and no, the only reason I am continuing to be a part of the group is that if any day, the brat is unwell, I can get the homework etc from there. And yes, everyday there are some 40 messages from irrelevant forwards, to devotional messages on 109 names of Lord Shiva, to teacher bashing to jokes that border to being non veg. And of course, the homework bit. So I continue to be a part of the group.

Anyways, some parent in the group came up with pictures of what she planned to give her daughter.

She put up pictures of six A4 size papers printed beautifully, with the picture of the animal and four lines on it. Repeat, four lines. And it would because super easy for the child to just copy it on the tinted paper.

And these four lines included stuff like Tiger attacks its prey by ‘ambush’ or a group of cats are collectively known as Clowder.

Then I got a bit shaky. I showed it to RD. He shrugged his shoulders and told me everyone has their way of doing it.

But me being me, the confused soul, now is wondering

1. Should I do the same way for R? Taking pictures and print outs, so that it makes work easy for her?
2. Did I make a mistake by letting R decide what she wants to write. Should I have made her write stuff which will make her learn words like ambush and clowder?
3. Am I just being too easy with her? Should I be working harder on these projects?

Darn! This parenting bit I tell you.,…Its like a non-stop series of questions, muddling my mind!

RD, on the other hand, is the least bothered. He feels if I want to write 4 lines, I should, or just let her be if the teacher has mentioned only two lines…Gah!


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67 Responses to Confused Parenting!

  1. Santulan says:

    I wonder if the project is for the kids or their parents

  2. greenboochi says:

    Whatever R has come up with is awesome! For a 6year old to come up with such two liners – I would say great. Looks like that other parent googled for some stuff. Even I dont know what a clowder was until I read now. She is just killing the child’s imagination. I feel whatever you did is the correct way.

  3. Deboshree says:

    I think you did the right thing. It is wonderful that your little one made an effort to think. There is nothing better than independent thinking. I am sure it will be evident to the teacher too. You know, who actually did the homework she set out. 😉 😀

  4. Prachee says:

    I would have done the same RM…what’s the use of over-doing the things & confuse the kids..!!
    And pat R’s back on my behalf..she has come up with pretty good sentences.. 🙂
    Suggestion on Watsapp group – save the contact no.of one-two genuine ladies and leave the group.

    • R's Mom says:

      Thanks 🙂

      Aiyo..I dont speak to anyone at all in her school..they have already formed their internal groups…Well, I should just learn to ignore!

  5. Smita says:

    When you are this confused just close your eyes and think about me & Arnav

    – He doesn’t know his alphabets even now and I am not making any effort to teach him
    – He doesn’t do any craft and I don’t stress much on it….he is learning it in school so let him not get confused
    – I had once thought to send him to a drawing class but the teacher said we are teaching him in our way which is basically letting him explore and do whatever he wants with colors so I have not put him anywhere else.
    – I only read him books in the evening…nothing else

    What I surely do is close my eyes when people are bragging about their kids….They are doing it Good for them, mine is not good for me. We must remember that not all kids can be toppers and most importantly R will be more proud of her efforts because she made those lines and lets not forget she knows the meaning of what she has written 😉

    So chill da!!! You are doing absolutely fine as a parent!!! And leave that Whatsapp group….it is doing more harm then good for you!! Be in touch with one of the normal Mom’s from the group alag se 🙂

    • R's Mom says:

      You are such a cool Mom Smita…Thanks for the comment…now it makes me feel better…I am not the only one who is laid back eh?

      And nope, I am not quitting that Whatsapp group..what I am going to do is just ignore it 🙂

  6. Maddie says:

    Copy pasting and flashy presentation is all froth. How long will that other child remember the words clowder and ambush, unless she has internalised it? I think it’s important to make our kids think and be proud of their thinking. It makes them own their learning and in future their work. Starting the thinking process even if with simple things is the key to higher order thinking skills 🙂 Don’t worry, R will be fine. 🙂

  7. Maya says:

    When in doubt, listen to RD! Thassall! 🙂

  8. Visha says:

    Dont worry RM, you did the perfect thing. I would not change a thing, and like RD you too be bindaas re 🙂

    Most important thing here is R is ready for the class project, meaning your job is done 😉

  9. Zephyr says:

    Hey RM, if it makes you feel any better read what a very non-competitive mother had done when her brat had been R’s age give or take a year. Please don’t do the work for the child. Let her do it herself and I think she has come up with the best descriptions that a normal child her age would. I remember you commenting on this post of mine,which dealt with such homework given to kids.

  10. Gayathri says:

    Hi RM.. I think, may be a bit of both might be good for her. Since she wrote 2 lines of her own and since the teacher said just 2 lines, may be you can retain one line of hers and introduce a new line with some new words. That would help her learn new stuff at a smooth pace.

    Just my two-cents. 🙂

  11. ashreyamom says:

    hmmm.. when i myself dont know such words, from where will i write them?? i feel its better to write what the child understands than doing some copy paste from internet..

  12. No, RM, I think you are perfectly fine. You don’t need to write four lines when only two are required, and you don’t have to put in complicated words just for the sake of putting them in!! You let the child use her brains and come up with her own stuff – that’s brilliant!

  13. IMHO, you don’t have to give everything to your child on a silver platter. that’s only going to lead to disaster. Just give her that little push, and let her come up with the rest. That’s what is going to teach her to think on her own feet, right?

  14. I think you should let R write what she wants to…It is her homework, right? The objective is for her to learn, not to impress the teacher…Non veg jokes aside, teachers are not stupid – they can easily tell who has done the homework…

    • R's Mom says:

      yep…thats true…Amma was a teacher for over 35 years and does mention that she could immediately know whether the kid did it or the parent did it..and obviously the one done by the kid had a lot more attractiveness to a teacher

  15. RajK says:

    If I were you, I’d do exactly the same thing that you did. It was the kid’s homework, after all; not the parent’s! Please don’t doubt yourself when you let your little one do the thinking herself. That’s the best thing you can do for her!

  16. Mukund says:

    Lots of benefits in your approach
    1. R thinks for herself
    2. R can read out what she has written in class
    3. She is confident of explaining what she has written
    4. Teacher is not dumb (despite the jokes :)). Yeah, it is possible that a child knows what is a clowder, but if the said child had not exhibited such exceptional linguistic skills in class then the source of the writing is evident
    5. It is so much better to read the natural thinking of the child than the dictionary 🙂
    6. Most importantly, R will not grow up expecting that parents will do ALL her work

    To make you feel better
    1. You can be proactive and teach R one word a day. So that builds her vocab without killing her creativity
    2. Check with R and in case she develops a complex, explain in a non-antagonistic way that other people basically cheated!!

    • R's Mom says:

      Mukund..thanks a bunch for your lovely comment..yes yes and more yes..thank you so much 🙂

      and yes, I will definitely work on the last two points 🙂 thanks so much

      • Mukund says:

        Ha ha. I must also thank you for giving us a wonderful insight into your child.
        I have a daughter (here in Mumbai) who is 5 years old. And your updates on R, many a time, remind me that my daughter is “just a child”. In other words you give me perspective.
        But you also give me hope. Hope because even a year and a half later (as on the current date) my daughter will still be the adorable little kid and not be a Grown-UP girl. How I dread that day!!! I hope I receive fair warning and tips from you on how to cope with that.

  17. MR says:

    IMO you’re doing fine, I have A do exactly what her teacher says and all by herself, it’s her project not mine, i passed 2nd grade eons ago 🙂 its her time now and her ideas.

  18. mahabore says:

    I rather like your way where you let R do her own thing with the assignment rather than do it the way all the other parents in the Whatsapp group did it. End of day you want R to learn things, rather than just score good grades, don’t you !!!

  19. obviously, the activity was for the kid and not the parent.If I were the teacher, the lines which are more likely to be contributed by the kid will matter more than more complex one, unless I know for sure that I am dealing with a child prodigy 🙂

  20. pixie says:

    whatever you have done with her seems perfect to me.
    she wrote on her own no? That’s more important than you spoon feeding it na?
    hugs RM!

  21. Divya says:

    Dum Dum dum..i like that bit, which is every morning for me when my 3 yr old whines for 2 hours, for no reason. Any whoo…i think you should let R stick to her words. One, she will be extremely proud of the work she has done by herself and second, if she feels she wanted to use better words (ambush for 6 yrs old, really?) you can always encourage her read and learn new words by herself. And what is a clowder really, will Google it now.

    • R's Mom says:

      Aiyo hugs on the first line…happens happens..just ignore the whining okay :):)

      Yep thanks a bunch…Even I googled clowder *gives sheepish grin*

  22. vani says:

    Hi RM,
    I have subscribed to your blog and enjoy reading it so much. Commenting here first time. I sometimes wonder how most parents accept and act as though homework and school projects are for parents and not children. Im praying to find a school for my son which does not give any homework. Wonder when schools in India would change !

  23. anisnest says:

    Hugs RM.. I wish I had an answer for this but I am confused like you when such incidents happen at our household too.. These days I leave it to Adi as she is old enough to decide on her own (actually its a diferent story that she doesnt listen to me anymore. She questions me back as Amma, how do you know what my teacher told me? I know better about my teacher’s expectation. Leave it to me kind of attitude. So I stay away) But, still I get confused as I am as a parent not contributing much to her studies.. May be she would have done better if I had helped..
    I would say don’t look at this one project. Look at it as how you want her to approach her projects in future when she is on her own. Like how to search for details, how to better present and other how to’s. These are too early too. Mother’s can help only up to certain grades, rest is with the kids. I have come to realize this lately. Just teach her not to default any work and be punctual and sincere with her work.. This will help her in future. No worries.. there is still time darling.. Now relax.. Hope I am not confusing you more..
    Parenting.. Sigghhh!!!

    • R's Mom says:

      No you didnt Ani..infact I think you are a super cool mom…I guess even R will develop that ‘leave me alone attitude’ soon 🙂 But I dont think you should worry about her doing better if you had helped…when I met Adi, she came across as a girl who knows exactly what she wants, and what she needs to do to achieve she is a smart cookie okay??

      thanks for the comment, made me feel so much better..hugs hugs

  24. srividhya says:

    If I m in ur situation I would have been confused too.. better not to see others work. 🙂 You did a good thing by letting R to write. That’s the purpose of the assignment na?? I hope she would have submitted the assignment now. Hope things went well.

  25. Rachna says:

    R’s Mom, I am still writing that post on projects. Till now, all their craft projects or projects like the kind you mentioned above, I made them do it. It may not be as spectacular as the ones that parents churn out but frankly it does not matter. What matters is that they get to learn. I am amazed that teachers actually have no issues with grading such work which clearly cannot be done by a 6-year-old. You are doing fine!

  26. Deepa says:

    I think the most important thing here is that you role model very confidently that you and RD have faith in R’s imagination and thinking and now if you do a volte face and write up something just to ‘grab’ attention everything you’ve been doing all along for her independence and self esteem will kind of backfire.(ok maybe not with this single incident but you know how they build up over time….)

    As the mom of a 10 year old who’s gone thru three schools so far I now have a fair understanding and regard for teachers. I think they kind of have a good bullshit radar and can always sniff out the pretenders and insincere. IMHO in this case ‘clowder'(say what?!!!) and ‘ambush’ in a 6 year old’s world are clear pretenders.

    We’ve let V take in ‘rubbish’ projects of his into class for final presentations(he sucks at crafty stuff) knowing very well there would be museum worthy works of art presented by the other students and also knowing very well that had I taken a hand to his they would’ve been similarly lauded(I’m great at crafty stuff you see:-)

    You go girl.

  27. Ramya says:

    Forget the confusion RM. End of day its about the kid’s project and to test her understanding and improve her creativity. If you do it, there is no use. How else can you let her learn? You are on the perfect path madamji 🙂

  28. summerscript says:

    There is no confusion RM. Here R is doing her homework which is what the teacher wants! Chill.

  29. sjscribbles says:

    Had a similar homework situation with M , RM. He brought home a teddy bear called flora from school and had to write some lines on what he did over the weekend with Flora bear. We had visited a lavender farm over the weekend and we stuck a couple of lavender flower strands on the page and I was ready to read out the spellings so he could write the sentences he came up with. Just then J being J (lazy bum) asked me to go to the bedroom and get something. By the time I found it and came back to M. M had completed writing all the discussed sentences with his own spellings (obviously wrong ones).

    As a mom, I couldn’t allow my child to take the assessment book with wrong spellings in it (though he wrote it all by himself – spelt based on pronunciations). How will his work compare with all the other stuff other kids would’ve written with their parents help. J was proud that M did it himself (though spelling errors) and asked me to leave it as is. I was exactly as confused as you are RM. Same pinch.

    When I said “I’m sorry M, you can’t keep this page” He said ” Mummy I wrote it all by myself, don’t you know how hurt i’ll feel if you tear it off n throw it in the dustbin”. His words landed a slap on my face , RM. That’s it RM – I wrote a small note on that page stating that it was entirely written by M without parent supervision and left that page as is.

    But Me being me, couldn’t help sticking more lavender strands on the next page and helping him write the same sentences but now with the correct spellings.

    Hope what I explained makes sense , RM. Sorry for hogging space 🙂

  30. Sushma says:

    I think you the right thing. The project is for the kids. We just need to guide them and I think you did a terrific job of that.

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