Have you heard of parents who sent their children to (almost) every conceivable classes that they can afford? And of how their 2-year-old can say their alphabets or know their phonics? Or how their 3-year-old can do this and do that?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer of “to each its own“. And I’m not against parents who take pride in their children’s development – afterall, we all are in our own way. I’m just wary of those who sees their children as tools to enhance their own esteem and pride.

Today, I was told that so-and-so’s daughter (who is almost a year younger) can recite her alphabets and Tang poems.

I’ve been at the receiveing end of comparisons and it does something to one’s esteem and therefore, I make a conscious effort not to compare him with anyone but today, I realised that I can’t stop comparisons even if they don’t come from me.

He is still at the age when he might not fully comprehend what had been said but in a few year’s time, would this comment make him wonder if he’s lacking? Would he start to look at himself in a different, albeit inferior, perspective? Would he stop and wonder what’s the point of learning Tang poems if they do not understand the meaning behind it or would he simply stop at the superficial significance of it? And what about when he starts school?

My heart grow heavy at these thoughts.

Is there any way out of this pressure cooker?

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