Here are some thought-provoking happenings among young children for you: funny, shocking or stunning – interesting, nevertheless.
A mother had taken along her daughter aged 4 when she visited her elderly maternal aunt. The little girl had lost her maternal grandmother years before she was born. When she understood that the old woman was her grandma’s elder sister, she turned to her mom and asked, “But how could she still be alive? My grandma should have died only after her, because she was younger to this old granny!”
A batch of 3 year olds queued up to take a closer look at the video of ‘Solar system’ shown to them on the computer screen, “May I touch the sun, please?”, one enquired. Promptly came a hurried reply from a peer standing right behind: “NO! Remember, it is the SUN! It is hot !”
A child tried to fill his toy-bucket with sea water on the beach. He ‘failed’ to transfer the waves, every time. Back home, he insisted on his next attempt: Pouring in the ‘bubbles’ from the boiling water in to another container!
And there was this little one who pitied all children born to parents speaking languages other than her own mother tongue. Reason? She had thought that hers was the simplest and easiest one in the world! “how difficult it would’ve been for those children to learn their mother tongue…”
After listening to the story of the greedy man who cut open the goose that laid golden eggs but found nothing inside the bird, one naughty child commented: “I had wondered, too why we need to go to the barber from time to time, rather than….”
And what was your no-limit child’s wisecrack?
Recently I was engaged in conversation with an HR personnel (Human resources officer of a Multi-National Company). His job was to interview and short list eligible candidates through ‘campus interviews’ held for the final year graduate students in a variety of institutions – engineering, management, catering, finance… I expressed my surprise at the nature of his job, as I felt that he needed to be the Jack-of-all-trades! He gave me an amazingly simple reply. While the experts in the respective fields sat with him in the interview panel, he engaged in probing in to the most essential requirement of any employer: the candidate’s ATTITUDE.
Well, are you wondering why I am discussing this topic? This book is dedicated to the discovery, nurturing and blossoming of the unlimited potential in every child, no doubt. And the Recruiting Officer’s quest, I felt, could be met with satisfactorily IF AND ONLY IF the seeds are sown early- Childhood is the sowing season. Be it communication skills, in-depth knowledge of the area of specialization, leadership qualities, team spirit, planned approach, organised strategy, disciplined performance, foresight of probable results, crisis management, upkeep of success of the mission and POSITIVE ATTITUDE… Sounds too good to believe?
The molding of your child in to one of the most successful professionals or “the best” in his field depends hugely on the parental guidance and the school’s inputs. The flash cards that we have already discussed in detail would open the doors of knowledge to your child early, thanks to his early reading habit. He would certainly grow up to be an avid learner with a zest for creativity and innovation.
Here are some tips to enhance his observation and comprehension skills:
For a child of age 2:
If you are talking to your child about ‘shapes’, look for examples all around: ‘Circle’ will light up his eyes when you both see any object of that shape: Be it moon, a round-shaped biscuit, his plate, the Frisbee, the car’s steering wheel, tyres, eyeball, the shape of your mouth when you articulate ‘O’…
When it comes to ‘cars’, look for cars on the road, on the television, in the magazines, on hoardings, in his toys-basket. You may draw the out line of a car and ask the child to complete it with the wheels and windows. Though imperfect, the child’s “drawing” would please him thoroughly and kindle creativity.
For a child of age 3:
If you are initiating the child to reading maps, encourage him to visualize the surroundings in the form of an image, helping him to structuralize the idea. Make a little demo: hold an object (say a chocolate bar ) very near his face and gradually distance it away to the corner of the room. At equal distances, draw pictures of the chocolate bar as it was seen by the child’s eye. By the time the bar reaches the corner of the room, it becomes such a minuscule thing when it is pictured.
You may now draw a parallel between geographical areas and locations as seen from the aerial view which are presented in the form of maps in the Atlas. The next time
you take a see-through capsule lift,
you take a flight and your child sees the view of the city down below through the window,
you are simply on the 8th, 10th or even higher floor of a tall building,
you are on your way to a hill resort,
focus on enlightening your child on the concepts that he is being exposed to.
For a child of age 4:
If you are talking about the earliest inventions, discoveries and tools that man had first used – the wheel, fire and pulley – encourage your child to look for their relevance in today’s life. Watch him get filled with awe and amazement as he realises that even today OUR OWN LIVES would be thrown out of gear without these three gifts from the early man.
This time around, he will do the talking with excitement and oh- non-stop!
For a child of age 5:
If you are talking to the child about agriculture and irrigation, stop your vehicle by the country side and help him to have the feel of the farm. Gift a few pots of plants (of different kinds) and guide the child to sow seeds in one, plant a sapling in another and tie a thread connecting the creeper in the third pot to the window nearby. Let the child experience the growth process, firsthand.
By the time your child completes schooling, all that he would need is specialization in academics in the particular field of his choice.
Your hard work would never fail to pay ‘rich dividends’.
This book talks about an undeniable truth: ‘Every child born on this planet is a NO-LIMIT CHILD. And the topic in discussion now is whether we can make a child ‘NO-LIMIT’. Do you smell any contradiction? Or clash in ideas? Hold on.
In an effort to optimize our standard of living, we do dare to alter Nature: In order to fight atmospheric heat, we condition the air and in order to withstand cold, we warm our immediate surrounding till it suits us. Most of us see the child as some such ‘commodity’, hopefully fit to bend to our ways. And we are certain that our ways are right and WOULD DO HIM GOOD without fail.
Well, the intentions may be noble, but often wrong. We just need to STOP conditioning the child’s brain and just let him be – simply himself. This does not in any way mean that the child can just be let loose and go astray and become uncontrollable, stubborn or violent.
Instead, the right way to help the child blossom into a NO-LIMIT person is here: Give him the right exposure, at the correct age. If “But how?” is the question that arises in your mind, I would suggest that you read other articles of this book for a thorough understanding. In families with more than one child, we often notice that the second born is almost always smarter than the eldest – more confident, more skilled and more eloquent in expression. I have observed that parent(s) of such children have actually been working really hard to mold the first-born , simply because he was the first to offer him a chance to do so. Whereas, the next child has everything ready, even as he is born, with all errors in child-upbringing already mended. He is all set to conquer knowledge from the time he is born.
Prior experience in handling the child has gifted him wiser parents.
Every element of adventure that arouses his curiosity gets introduced to him through all the activities of his elder sibling- academic, social, emotional, environmental, sports and games…
Are we heading to the conclusion that any child who isn’t the first-born stands better chance of being smarter? Sorry, NO! We are far from that in fact. I threw the limelight on the sibling(s) of the first-born in order to help you visualize what could go with the “making of the No-limit child”: Relaxed and wiser atmosphere to grow up, lots and lots of scope to learn (non-stop) in most effective ways.
This interesting incident happened in a family that practices religion. The mother was telling her 4 year old daughter that the opposite of “natural” is “artificial”. The little girl demanded the meaning of ‘artificial’ to which the mother explained with examples: “Mountains and trees, for example are ‘natural’. But car, pen, ice cream, ball are not ‘natural’, but man-made or ‘artificial ‘.” She was content with her explanation only till the little girl quipped : “Ma, how could we call anything ‘artificial’ or man-made? You have always told me that God made everything. Therefore there cannot be anything we can call ‘ artificial’.”
I invite you to join me in adapting this sweet little girl’s resolute attitude. Children are born No-limit, all by themselves. Our job is only to help them blossom.
Nothing less. Nothing more.
The entire world’s attention is caught by the day’s headlines, as projected by the media. In the recent weeks, there were also a few reports that are matter of concern to people like us. You could’ve read them, too or perhaps missed out on them. Nevertheless, I wish to discuss them with you.
The first one came from Berlin, Germany. It goes like this: A seven year old boy Mika and 6 year old Anna were neighbors and also great buddies. Their proximity never gave rise to any kind of suspicion. Naturally. All was well till the two families went to Italy to spend the New Year Day. The two little children were supposedly “in love” with one another. The movies that they had seen had led them to decide to “run away”. While the parents were fast asleep on January 2nd, the two stealthily packed off with some clothing and money. They had learnt that a ‘witness’ was mandatory to solemnize weddings. So they took the 5 year old sister of Anna and reached the Central Railway station by tramway. The cops on duty were intrigued by these unattended kids. They are reported to have offered chocolates to the adventurous children and got the ‘true story’ in return. Hilarious outbursts followed and the children were safely sent back to the custody of their dumb-struck parents, goes the report.
Unbelievable, but true.
The second disturbing report came from a city in south India. This time the news makers were all of twelve years. One of the three boys in question ‘ran away’ from home along with his friends, leaving a note. Well, teenagers quitting home may not raise eyebrows, simply because they give a sense of ‘deja vu’ to the general public. But the real blow is in the letter that has been left behind. It states: ” I am leaving home because I can’t stand the way I am being compared with my younger sibling and insulted beyond limits. I am taking Rs.20,000 with me. Please don’t worry about my safety as I have two of my friends for company. And also, don’t waste your time, money and energy looking for me, as I will be returning home after I turn 20 “.
The strange thing about this incident is that, the boys have not yet been traced by the police.
To the eyes of the general public, these two incidents are simply sensational and interesting. I firmly believe that we should see them as WARNING BELLS. Loud and clear.
There may be some among us who would wish to play the blame game – charging the media, movies or internet as responsible. Yet others may find fault with the ‘society’ itself. Some may point at the peers, neighbors or even the financial status of the affected.
No. It is the onus of the family, the parents in particular, to cater to the child’s emotional and intellectual needs, especially during the first seven years of the child’s life.
Such instances will remain sensational and interesting, as long as they don’t happen to our child. Parents and every member of the family carry immense responsibility in shaping the child in to a well- balanced adult. The school and teachers can only supplement knowledge as well as values.
Feeding meals to the child without the right proportion of nutrients will result in poor health in the later years, no doubt. But starving the fertile and virgin brains of young children or worse — feeding them with negative messages or ignoring their emotional needs would only end up in irreparable double damage– to the society and to the child himself.
It is up to the parents to choose. It is all right even if your child does not become rich and famous. Please take care not to mold him in to a dangerous terrorist, cyber hacker, social pervert, corrupt politician or notorious religious fundamentalist. These people are what they are today because their parents lacked the will to guide them to glory. Good luck!