Friday, June 03, 2005

A road to nowhere?

This morning, my husband and I were discussing the spelling bee. I said, what is the point of going through so much stress. And he said, the money-minded guy that is, well, he did take home 22,000 bucks. My thoughts on this, which he ultimately agreed with - what is the point in learning up spellings of words you are never gonna use? Those kids are so talented, but they are so stressed, the parents go through so much tension, to what end result? So, they won some money. This has become a sport, as ESPN acknowledges.

When I read this blog on msnbc, I felt an empathy to this person. If the kids were to get some useful knowledge, like in a geography bee or a math or science quiz, which (probably) he/she could use in furthering his/her education, then all this can be understood. To my practical mind, it doesn't make sense. I don't like stressing kids to such things. I still remember how I felt before my exams. In fact I still get nightmares that I am appearing for an exam with zero prep. It can be traumatic. Now if it is like this for a person who considers herself above average in studies, can you imagine what these kids go through?

If it is done as a lark, a quiz is fun. Consider this one or this one. I had no problems with either. But when you have to do it under pressure, it is not fun (at least for most people). Some people thrive on competition. But we are not talking about those. The parents tend to force their kids into doing all kinds of things which might not always be welcomed by the kids.

For some, every issue is a mountain, every mountain needs to be scaled. We need to watch and understand what our kids enjoy and help them nurture that.

Saying all this, I guess I do tend to expect certain things from my kids. But the minute I realize my kids cannot handle that, I will step back. I have promised myself not to forget how it feels to be in the spot here.


Kaps said...

I too feel that kids will be facing lotsa stress by taking part in the Spelling bee competition.

It is better to concentrate more on knowledge / fun oriented competitions.

Chez said...

100% True. I'm tired of acknowledging this in everyone else's blog *sigh*..

Spelling Bee contest degrades the human capabilities to become a miniscule regurgitator, rather than making them thoughtful scientists.

Ram.C said...

"My husband and I" - That is a revelation to me....

Forcing the kids to study a lot & diversify into different activies, has become a fashionable talk nowadays.

Even during the hot summer, I heard many kids were sent to several classes during the last month's holidays.