At the sensitive age group of eight, Tudor Mendel-Idowu has been picked to try out soccer for no less than three Premier League junior groups: QPR, Tottenham, and Chelsea. This achievement alone would be adequate to make most fathers’ hearts burst with pride. But, unfortunately for Tudor, he seems to have a very good way to look before he meets the sky-high expectations of his challenging dad, Tolu.
He has not scored as well as his dad tells him he must have done. There is certainly little joy observed in working out routine Tolu However, 39, and wife Gold, 36, have organized for Tudor at their neat home near Wokingham, Berks. Not tea-time is a revision-free area even. In recent episodes, Tudor was deliberately pitted against his big sister Hazelle, 11, who was simply also in the running until she was knocked out last week, departing her sobbing inconsolably too.
Yet rather than commiserate with his child after a disappointing performance, it is Tolu, who declares that he finds the contest draining’ ‘psychologically. Indeed, in last night’s episode, Tolu admitted what we knew already. ‘It’s now obvious this is more of a competition for parents than clever kids’. Could you send your son or daughter to camp in North Korea?
Share Even for a nation well used to the mercenary exploitation of spy-on-the-wall television, this has raised concern. As you worried viewer described on Mumsnet, the series would more aptly be named ‘Lunatic Parents’. For it is all about the Eagle Dads and Tiger Mums really, who wish to show off how much work they have committed to their youngsters.
I had expected the sight of children as young as eight crying to prick the conscience of the commissioning editors. A vain wish, of course. At the ultimate end of every show, the five children with the lowest scores are delivered home. For next week’s last, they will be quizzed on their specialist topics, ranging from the periodic desk to the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
However, up to now the main role of children has gone to demonstrate the fall-out off their parents’ towering ambitions. Never brain the trapped-in-the-headlights terror of small children blinking under the studio room lights as they face interrogation on the podium. After all, as one mother, who plasters spellings all over the bathroom walls to prepare her child for that one round, declares: ‘If the child is successful, it’s the parents.
But extreme though this seems, Child Genius has tapped into an extremely dangerous tendency in parenting; the misguided belief that your offspring is a blank slate and if you hot-house them enough, you can be solely accountable for their success. Parenting is turning out to be a form of product development. Increasingly, we are dropping for the notion that if we cram enough facts into their little brains we can make sure they come out on top.
- The cream feels as though petroleum-based according for some customers
- Product development
- Enhances epidermis elasticity and moisture retention
- 1 – Coffee and strawberries
- Susannah says
- Using the spatula, dig out an appropriate amount of the jelly mask from the pot
The end result is a growth in depression and anxiety among a generation who believe they are losers if they fail or could always do better if they win. Like all offspring of pushy parents, who feel their family’s affection is depending on their success, children like Tudor are not merely weeping because they didn’t score well.
The first time Tudor genuinely smiles in the programme is when he gets 5 out of 5 in a test where he effectively spells dehydroepiandrosterone – a kind of human hormone the majority of us didn’t even know been around. Another poignant view has been little Curtis Elton’s crestfallen face when he doesn’t move muster.
Aged ten, Curtis, a little, wide-eyed boy, is used to being called another Mozart. His mother Hayley, 40, from Whetstone, North London, is the best Tiger Mother. A specialist pianist herself, it is down to her teaching that Curtis became the youngest child to ever pass Grade 8 piano two years ago.