Monday, July 9, 2012

Curiosity created kids

It's amazing how just being in the same room as some parents makes you want to pull your hair out. Every weekend and most weekdays we have a house full of other peoples kids. We are kid central over here. We are lucky enough to have a largish sitting room (by city standards) and I have no problem with nannies and mum/dads hanging out here, which is not the case in lots of NY'rs homes. 

However ...

If I get one more piece of assvice about raising  and specifically educating my kids I'm going to scream.  I'm happy with how my kids are growing. They are happy, polite, energetic and curious. I do not care that they are not speaking French, Mandarin or Spanish. They share and love easily. I have no intention of hiring a 'K-tutor' to get them into some $40K pre-K school! 

Call me a hippy but kids need to learn how to be curious first then educated. Otherwise you have a dependant and reactive thinker. I prize critical thinking above all. I want them to know why something is correct and not just recite the correct answer. Curiosity is not taught, it's encouraged. I bet there's a correlation between curiosity and empathy (or compassion). 

I hope the guys grow up to follow their passion whatever it may be. And have lots of grand kids :)


  1. I LOVE this post! I think the exact same way for my little ones. Let them be children. Let them find their own things that interest them, their own passions. I think that when we prod children into learning so many things at such a young age, we try to get them to be the people we want them to be, and not they people they are. Besides, at this age (3 on Thursday, gulp!), I would rather them refrain from hitting each other, have them say please and thank you, and have them feel safe and secure to explore the world around their own pace. They have the rest of their lives to have other people's expectations placed upon them!

  2. So true! Glad that you aren't trying to create a checklist for the kiddos to accomplish before they can tie their own shoes! :D

  3. This is why we don't invite people to our house! ;)

    Seriously, though, I agree with you wholeheartedly. There will be plenty of time to learn French and Mandarin (if the kids have such an interest), but you can't teach a 20-year old curiosity. Now is the time to encourage its development.

    So what can you say to these well-meaning but pushy, opinionated people? You can be obtuse and just say something like, "Oh, hm, that's interesting." Or you can be a bit edgier and say, "Well, that might be okay for SOME PEOPLE'S kids, but we have our own priorities for OUR kids." I don't know. Probably nothing will stop them. Just know you really are doing what is in their best interest (so I think!)

  4. Sing it, sister! I could have written this post.

    I am living in a society that is heavy on rote learning from an early age, and I can confirm for you that while they have a great grasp of FACTUAL knowledge at the end of secondary school (much better than Americans, sadly), as a people they are dependent and reactive thinkers. Entrepreneurship is rare here. And don't even get me started on empathy, because it seems to be MIA. You are oh so right in how you are approaching your kids' education.

    By necessity, we'll be putting our oldest in Spanish preschool (we're moving to a city with no English
    speaking preschools). Totally not a yuppie thing, though. Stay tuned for how it turns out!! I'm worried she'll find it scary.