Nandini was very happy that day. Her 6 year old darling daughter Ananya got first prize in dance competition organized by her school. Everyone including teachers, friends and family members were congratulating them. Though it was just a school competition it is the first time when Ananya performed on stage and won the prize, so everyone is very happy for her. Many of them personally talked with Nandini & Amar. They all encouraged them to search dance academy for Ananya.
Amar and Nandini used all their sources, searched many websites on internet, went through the reviews and finally decided to take Ananya for demo class in a dance academy situated in nearby locality.
Ananya was very excited to meet her new dance teacher and make new friends. Place was a mini hall and at first sight it looks crowded. Teacher welcomed Ananya and Nandini in great enthusiasm and asked Ananya to stand in row with other girls of her age.
Nandini waited outside in corridors and watched teacher performing some elegant steps and asking students to follow her. She also watched Ananya trying her best to adjust her moves and follow the steps.
Overall it was a good learning center with affordable fees and both Ananya and Nandini liked the teacher. Nandini specifically asked Ananya two - three times about how she felt and sensed she is ready to go. Finally she enrolled her in the same academy after checking about safety and security there.
To make Ananya attend this activity regularly Nandini had to adjust her work timings accordingly. On some days Ananya was not in mood to go, wanted to stay back at home and play with her toys, sometimes she is not feeling well and sometimes Nandini couldn't manage her office works. Amar, tries to help them out in such situations and do the needful. With all these efforts Ananya was improving in her dance and this was the only thing for which her parents Amar and Nandini kept on doing all this juggling. But one thing they noticed that Ananya hardly made any friends with other girls in the center.
After a month Ananya came from school and started saying in nagging tone that she want to go to the same center where her best friend Priyanka learns drawing. Nandini at first listened her and promised to enquire about it with Priyanka's mother. After two days Ananya asked about it again and this time she was throwing the entire tantrums. Finally Nandini called up Priyanka's Mom and enquired about it. They attended demo class and this time Ananya was more exited as she was going to spend some more time with her best friend Priyanka after school timings.
Nandini's struggle added up with this new activity and now four days of week they both were very much engaged in all this activity routines. This pattern continued with other activity centers. After some days the initial enthusiasm fades away and all the excitement present at the joining was gone. Although Ananya improved in her skills, fun part of the activity seemed reducing as days passed and Nandini felt stressed out with all the time management.
Nandini had nice tuning with her friends, specially with mothers of Ananya's friends in school. She decided to talk with them about this activity routine and wanted to know how they manage all this.
So she initiated this topic in the group meet and found out that everyone is struggling to manage this type of activity routine. Some of them had some help from other family members, some of them chosen not to engage their child with more than one activity... some of them said school's extracurricular activities were enough and some of them decided to use vacations for all the activities.
Nandini thought about all the aspects of this children activity routine topic and decided to invite all her friends for fun meet up at her house on weekend.
When all of them came Nandini told them about her idea.
She said, "how about we start our own activity center ?? "
All of them gave her surprised look in a moment.
Nandini continued and explaining the details...
"We know that all of our little ones are very active and creative. They are always charged up and excited to try out new activities. But to teach them with same enthusiasm we need experienced, caring and more than that a teacher who can connect with them instantly. Although we have many small - big, reliable, professional or homely feeling activity centers at almost every corner around us.. it is very difficult to choose right activity and learning center for kids and maintain routine. Sometimes you have to manage time and sometimes you have to consider child's liking and fun part of it. The whole process is time and energy consuming with minimum results in skill improvement. In many cases it is very difficult to know the child's real talent and we have to keep giving various types of inputs to them till they respond with flair in one particular stream.
So what we need to do is before going to the activity center we can start our own activity meet ups at our convenient places and timings. Our school schedules will always match so we need not to worry about it while planning our meet ups. Many among us have learned various types of arts, skills and sports that we can teach them one by one, in a creative and fun way. We can also include our family members and invite them to teach. Specially grandparents who can connect with the children instantly while teaching them carefully.
This will limit the crowd automatically and already existing friendships between our children flourish in more beautiful bonds. No doubt that in future our kids will require more expert teaching in their chosen skill or art or studies. But in this way we can effectively teach them while having fun, giving creative inputs to their running brains, in a healthy and safe environment for their physical growth, by nourishing their lovely friendships for emotional balance and let them share and work in teams to make them socially responsible."
After listening to this a big smile flashed on the faces of all the mothers... they all realized how helping each other as friends can simplify complexity in parenting and they joined hands together, children joined them at the same time and Nandini's house brightened up with happy and cheerful faces !!