Let the child play!

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Every Sunday it is our ritual to play badminton. The community center we go to has four indoor courts beside each other. It is always fun to be there. Years ago I used to take the responsibility of organising the weekly meet up, book the courts, collect the money and even buy shuttlecocks. Now it is just us four, we go as a family. There are other families that come, other than one particular family who is our friend, we bump into different people each time, most of them are Indian families.

Last night we were out as usual. Three out of four courts were booked. Of late I notice my children play better if they get the one on one attention, so I decided to take one child into the empty court and let the other child play with P on the other court. We were beside each other. The other two courts had two fathers and four kids between them, training the children to play. They were sure better players than us and our kids. Sometimes it is a pleasure to watch them play, react so quickly and at the same time have their childishness and giggle or fight about a point.

Somehow last night put me off though with one of the father’s getting all serious with a 9 year old and a 11 year old about how they should not “play” on the court and be serious with their game. While my child and myself would be giggling away we would hear the father make serious comments about posture, and one straight move and how to smash it and how one should step back and much more.

As homeschoolers, I think it affects me when children are pushed for perfection in schools and then they come out to spend family time and they are pushed here too. I would love to see parents drop all this stress and let kids be kids and play and have fun rather than shout at them.

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