Considering that the answers linked above say that we should not force the child to learn something, I am concerned about my 2 years 3 months old toddler.

Her playschool teacher had given her a colouring homework which my child coloured incompletely. The child coloured only the eyes of the ant, not her body.

I told the teacher today that the child doesn't like colouring big areas to this that teacher replied the child doesn't have any problems in colouring big areas in the playschool since I hold her hand and make her colour that area and you should also do the same.

From: https://parenting.stackexchange.com/a/22442/2221

I think that a toddler is way too young for mandatory homework, so the first thing is not to worry about getting it done or doing it "right". It turns something that should be a pleasure into a chore, and will guarantee that she won't want anything to do with art in later years.

I also told the teacher that I can draw the object myself at home and have her colour it. She didn't want that. She said that the rule is to color what has been told, though she agreed that she will draw smaller objects for homework in future.

Changing playschool is not an option for monetary reasons as well as I do not expect any different treatment in other schools in India. Education system here is not very great.

Do I need to deal with that teacher about her holding the hand of the child and making her colour? If yes, how? If no, why?

Or am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?
P.S. This is the same child who coloured the goat, blue.

  • 3
    Welcome to the second stage of parenthood - where you watch how others (caregivers, teachers) interact and teach the child and have to decide when to interfere. And kudos for being such an attentive parent. Many would just choose to accept everything as given.
    – Stephie
    Oct 13, 2015 at 10:03
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    @Stephie And kudos for being such an attentive parent. Thanks to this site. Before I met this site I was like any other Indian who would merely compromise with the situation or do what elders say because elders are always correct (:rolleyes:)! Oct 13, 2015 at 10:05
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    It sounds as if the teacher is less worried about the colouring happening than about the child not following instructions exactly. Thinking about the play-school, would you think that that this may be the core of the problem?
    – Layna
    Oct 13, 2015 at 12:41
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    Wow I'm actually already amazed children that age get home assignments at all, but that's a cultural thing I guess. I didn't even think about coloring being such an important skill that you need to give homework about it :-)
    – Laurent S.
    Oct 14, 2015 at 15:16

4 Answers 4


There are several things that you could consider:

  • Do other parents feel the same as you do? How many other? Are you a majority? Or even a significant minority?
  • Do all the children get the same treatment? Are they all expected to colour at that age? If it was possible, would you really want your child be the only one not doing something? Won't that have negative effects on her - like feeling that she can not listen to her caretaker and not follow instructions?
  • Would you rather there was no homework at all? What age would you consider a good age to start getting homework?
  • Is the fact that the teacher holding your daughter's hand and thus forcing her to do something, or just that she has to do do it at all?

And now to answer your question:

Do I need to deal with that teacher about her holding the hand of the child and making her colour?

You might want to, but you don't have to. Your daughter is not in danger of harm, is not abused in any way, even though what the teacher does is, in my opinion, bad and unnecessary. Consider the consequences of dealing and not dealing with her, and then make a decision.

I would not intervene further for now, and await how the situation develops. Mostly because of how bad parent-teacher relation might negatively affect the child. If the teacher dislikes the parent, she may even treat the child worse than other children. She shouldn't, but it's possible. And, apparently, you have little power over the teacher, so it seems likely that you won't achieve your goal and will anger the teacher.

I feel that between the possibilities of disliking coloring and being left out and alienated by the teacher, the first option is better.


Do I need to deal with that teacher about her holding the hand of the child and making her colour? If yes, how? If no, why?

Let's assume that you do not confront the teacher, which is the default state at this moment in time. The likeliest outcome would be that the teacher continues to hold your daughter's hand for a couple weeks. No doubt there are other students in the class, and the teacher will not continue the hand holding indefinitely.

So then, what would be the impact on your daughter of having her hand held while coloring for a couple weeks? You know your daughter best, but most likely, it will have very little impact on her emotional intelligence, artistic abilities, independence, etc. Obviously, you don't need to follow the teacher's request that you do the same at home. By letting your daughter color freely at home, it might counterbalance the domineering effect of the teacher during school time.

Now, for argument's sake, let's assume you do confront the teacher. From what you've said about the teacher, it sounds like she is very set in her belief that this is the best way to teach kids how to color. Although you disagree, even if you provide her with tons of research, studies showing that we should let children color in their own way in their own time, etc., it's unlikely that she will change her mind. The outcome would likely be the same, and there is some chance that she will focus her attention even more on it if you make it a big issue.

What would be the impact on your daughter? There is a small chance the teacher will change her behavior and your daughter will be given the opportunity to color how she wishes and fill in the big spaces if/when she wants to. In my opinion/experience there is a bigger chance the teacher will continue to hold her hand anyway, and might even do it for longer since it will be brought to her mind more as an opportunity where she can show you or prove to you that she is right!

If it were my daughter, I would let it go, and not confront the teacher. I'd save my confrontations for bigger problems if needed.


Have you asked what the goal of the activity is? Is your child supposed to be working on her fine motor skills or her creativity? As a fine motor activity, colouring is fine. Even for following directions, it works. But if this is supposed to be a creative activity, it's a big fail. With the teacher stressing the hand holding, sending work home, and asking you to hold your child's hand to guide her, I'm thinking that perhaps the teacher has some concern regarding your daughter's fine motor development. In which case, she is right, somewhat lacking in creativity to foster fine motor skills, but basically effective. If this is all just busy work, or a sad excuse for "art", I'd say just drop it with the teacher. Save yourself for bigger battles. And ignore the homework. THAT is just ridiculous for a two year old. It cuts into her time for physical activity, reading, exploring her world, spending time with her loved ones, etc. Etc. Or, put it out so your child can choose or not choose to colour, if she wants.


Have you try to have a real conversation with her(more than 2 minutes)? Explain your opinion and listen her answer. Try to understand each other If you can't change playschool and can't make the teacher understand your opinion I think you will have to deal with it.

  • 1
    Welcome to Parenting! A conversation is a great start I agree. But if that doesn't work, how does the OP "deal with it"? :)
    – Acire
    Oct 16, 2015 at 11:41
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    Two ways : Do what the teacher wants or Don't but the teacher will probably not change
    – Deliss
    Oct 16, 2015 at 14:46

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