I have been reading reviews on Amy Chua's book on parenting in a strict Chinese way ,which she herself has employed on her daughters. Adapting it might be a cruelty on tiny tots, but may produce better results.
Here's my take...
The world around us is so busy, even a 2 year old have a strict routine to follow starting off at his waking time until he is made to sleep. From hobby classes to the tuition, we have forced so much on them , that they seem to have forgotten the Hide and seek, Postmaster.. Postmaster and much more, which we fail to even realize. In metro cities like Mumbai it is a far sight to see kids playing and jostling at each other, (okay.. child kidnappers may be around) rather they stay in the four walls to restore their energy after school activity classes .
Now the question is, how they are regaining their energy, and the simple answer, which is practiced by most of us is by letting them some time to catch up their cartoon series while we take a quick nap . Neither the cartoon watching is a problem, nor the hobby classes, but surely the timing is. Poor kid.. he has no idea about the word hobby, and we the ambitious parents enroll him in one after the another .
The special bond between a child and a parent seems to fade because everyone is so busy. I happened to visit a friend of mine at her place. we were sitting in drawing room chatting and her three year old feeble daughter in another corner with her eyes glued on the television screen. I tried to talk but was left defeated , not been able to turn her focused eyes. In our old Doordarshan days everything was so balanced, we had enough time, time to watch, play, study and getting cozy with stories of our grandparents.
These days we are missing out the basic ingredient of childhood, the innocence in them, the free flow of their spirits, rather we make a deliberate effort to mature them and confining their minds. Let them go their way and have some space for you and for them too. Teach morals and values, time management to them and see how they will make you proud.