Let Children be children and savour the lovely moments of childhood 😊
Children of this era are more inquisitive and smarter than yesteryears. While this does not necessarily mean intelligence, it is important for the elders’ community – parents, teachers and seniors included, to encourage the children to enjoy and live the moment. As the saying goes, let them cross the bridge when they get to it.
During the key stages of childhood, children are exposed to various tasks and actions like observing, learning, liking, enjoying, clapping, writing, public speaking preparing and what not! As parents and teachers, it is important for us to set the guard rails of behaviour and conduct but not forcefully try to put pressure on the kids which could have adverse long-term impact on their psychology and behaviour. Every child is unique and special and it is up to us to create a platform so they can work on their capabilities and skill sets and pursue what they like most and passionately work towards success. The key areas where we could help children are
a) Improving their self-confidence
b) Preparing them to handle failures in as much as handling successes as learning from failure is more important and valuable than building on successes.
c) Inculcate discipline and good conduct at all times as this will sow the seeds of lifelong value-add in terms of trust, integrity and discipline. Reiterating the values of discipline, punctuality, integrity and good behaviour is the key here. This would help them carve out a life that has the right mix of skill, talent, conduct and positive behaviour.
Keeping a tab on the child’s moral compass is important in these times where people typically start a conversation with the words, ‘to be honest with you’ as though they are doing us a favour in being honest. Such are the times we live in where technology has thrown open everything that we can think of. There is open and free access to virtually everything that is out there and therefore, it is important that we help children in differentiating the good from the bad, the truth from the myth and more importantly, the right from the wrong.
Teachers and parents play a very crucial role out here. While teachers help set the ring fence in terms of knowledge and behaviour, the parents play an equally important role in ensuring that the good work done by the teachers is not brought down in a matter of a few hours spent unmonitored on a tablet or a cell phone that throws up irrelevant pop-ups that are not moderated for content or morals. Charity begins at home is an under-stated adage that holds a lot of meaning and value in these unprecedented times. It is what we tell them, it is what we advise them, it is what we teach them and what we show them in terms of model behaviour- that would stand out from the plethora of things that they learn from reading and attending classes. What we see and observe gets registered much quicker than what we read and study. Have we not heard artists call out that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’? If that is so, the discipline and the good virtues that we demonstrate at home goes even further ahead. By observing and replicating, children get to learn and do, both at once and there is where you see the real value of positive reinforcement of core values and conduct. Tell them that it is okay to fail as long as they get to learn from it, do the corrections, get better and come out with flying colours the next time they are made to face such a situation. There is something for us to teach and for the children to learn and vice versa – in everything that happens at home – from getting the dining table ready for lunch to the time the dining area is cleaned up after lunch, from the time they are taught to draw art in oil pastels and perform craftworks to the time they clear up the mess after the task, from the time they learn to prepare a sketch for a story to the time they share the draft for us to review where we appreciate them for the good work, point out a few areas where they could have been better by telling them that while this is good, a choice of a different word could have improved the quality, the list goes on and on. The one common thread in all of this is the guidance that the parents and teachers provide and the environment that we help create where learning and development happens in one motion without any force or demand. While the teacher child relationship is crucial and revered, the parent child relationship is the key propeller in the journey as a moral compass is just as important as the other things that are learnt at school and elsewhere.
Teach them a proverb every day and call out examples and encourage them to demonstrate evidence of understanding with their behaviour. Roots become stronger this way. Carrot and stick approach works best according to situations that we encounter. While getting to know the ‘good’ is important, it is even more important to be aware of the ‘not so good’ as it shows them the route that is ‘not to be’ taken. In this era of digital disruption and technological innovation where accessibility to knowledge and ideas is instantaneous and real-time, the role that we play as parents and teachers is very crucial and cannot be over emphasized. There is a very thin line of difference that separates good from the bad in the society and times that we live in, even more so in the last year or so. Parents and teachers have swapped roles to a large extent as remote learning and remote teaching has become more of a norm. Do we need to change in this situation? Answer is a resounding ‘yes’ but there is no need for a paradigm shift after all, just a few minor tweaks to suit the needs of the times. Just awareness and realization matters. We will be amazed to see the positive impact on the self-esteem, motivation and confidence in children and ourselves.