We made our children join schools and there are teachers to teach them as well as take care of their activities, then why we have to bother ? Is that required for us to care from our side (except food) ? Well, Learning from parents and the environment in which the kid raises are the first influencing factors in any/most child's life and so it's definitely required for us to attend and nurture our kids by way of proper monitoring and strategies, even if your kid joined a world-class international reputed school! There are several things that the children learn from you (parents) that they cannot learn from their teacher. Future of a child depends on what he/she learnt/did/exposed at his/her younger ages. So, after becoming teen/adult, the credits of whether the person is good/bad goes firstly to their parents!
Imagine the situation, where there are bunch of kids (not less than 10) in the class along with your kid, and do you expect a teacher to take care of children with special (individual) attention ? Even if they do, to what degree/level they can ? After all they are your children, and the care and the teachings that you give (that they learn from you) will have deep effects in their future.
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Problem is not with the saying 'Panditha puthra parama sunta' (meaning: children of a wisdom person is not wisdom) - real problem is with our thinking and the ways of being OVER-disciplined, high expectation and aspiring immediate results from them. Just because you are a well renowned person, doesn't mean that your child will get into wiki page in his/her school age itself. you shouldn't be in that perception. You know how much time it took to get to a stage/position, then why you're expecting your child to be like you, getting name at such younger age like you got at this older age? If you're a musician, you're child need not be a musician, you are a teacher, your child need not necessarily be the topper of his class. If he/she is much enthusiastic about your profession and is following your footsteps with interests, then that's really great, no worries. But if it's other way, then also, you don't have to worry. May be he/she will prove to be good in some other fields. You just have to identify what he/she is good at and tune him or provide resources/studies for that so that they would shine in whatever efforts they take in the future.
Forget about what your colleagues or outside world thinks about your situation or speaks about you and your child. Let him pursue what he/she is good at, rather what outside world is expecting based on your profession, based on your expertise rather than on actual fact of what the child is actually good at and INTENDED TO BE!
Imagine the situation where you have a petrol car and you try to use kerosene, thinking that it would be cost effective, gives higher mileage, easily available and so on. Do you think the vehicle performs well ?, do you think it will give the same mileage as you expected or as previous fuel (petrol) used to give ? The actual fact is, the vehicle engine will itself get shut down and you might not be able to use the car just because its engine is damaged. You have the choice of getting it repaired with some expense, but even after that, it won't be performing very well as it used to perform earlier (before damage).
Compare this example with your kids case! If you try to impose restrictions on the kid or ask them to take different path than what they are intended to be or wanted to be, then may be their system might function badly, or their output will be decreased to a greater extent, and remember, engine might have the option of getting repaired, but there might be cases where once the kids desire is broken, then his enthusiasm/interests cannot be revoked. So, please make sure from your end that you are not imposing any restrictions on them for good cause!
Now that I've covered some motto for this session, let me give the actual points that might come handy for you in nurturing your kid.
Create an environment for them
Environment in which they grow strongly influence their mind, thinking, decision making, career selection, belief about either men/women etc. If the environment is HUNGER-FREE, full of desire-fulfilment, full of comfort, no-punishments etc, then that is the situation where there is very high possibility of child getting spoiled or not performing well because of having no vision for future or no care just because they would be in a perception that you are always there for anything!
When the environment is like exposure to family problems, HUNGER, optimized/less comfortable scenario, with reasonable punishments, then he/she will grow well. Thus is the case, when they are forced to realize about the situation and also adopt to them. This will help them learn very quickly about their inner strengths as well leave them some vision on what they need to do. If you don't wish to expose your kid to hunger, comfort less environment etc out of parental love, then at least do the following:
Often take them to homage, or tell them how, many children are hunger, home-less, parent-less, education-less, leading a pathetic life etc. I've explained this in depth after two headings below.
Some parents restrict children from mingling with children, many times not allowing to play with them too. Actually mingling is required to certain level, but in controlled manner, I mean they should make you well informed with whom they are moving, what they are doing etc, so that you can analyse and tell them with whom to move and whom to avoid. Avoiding doesn't mean hating, but asking them to keep far .....like hi for hi and bye and bye....that's it.
Don't Punish/beat always for small issues !
Beating is required at times to remind him/her about the importance as well as give him/her some internal fear so that they would grow disciplined and understand why you are insisting on the issue. If not now, at this age, they will understand and realize about the importance when they reach maturity level or when they were about to do such mistakes for what you tried to punish. But it's not like you punish them often, even for silly things, especially when the child does the mistake for the first time. If they are doing again and again after your repeated warnings, then dear parents ..... it's time for you to get hold of sticks, belts etc (any standard parents weapons) :)
Watching TV (cartoon, Discovery etc) is not bad. Actually children develop creative ideas watching cartoons, and, of course little entertainment is needed for them to keep their minds fresh and active. Remember, boring minds will be dull. By the way, don't make them sit besides you when you are watching crazy, boring/dumb serials :P I saw many kids speak like adults, because of watching serials. Elder people at home have the habit of watching serials and making their grand children watch too! This is really bad and they will learn undesirable things.
So, for god sake or for my sake :P, kindly don't make them sit if any of you or your elders are watching TV serials. It's usual that kids sit in front of TV's and watches cartoons 24 X 7. Not bad, ....... but instead, drive their interest towards reading stories (story books), especially inspiring moral stories as was used to available several years ago, like chandamama, tinkle, champak etc, rather than giving some useless marvel kind of comic stories which might be thrilling but has got little or zero moral in them. Story (moral, short stories) reading at an younger age will have drastic impact/influence on the child. I'm sure it has, I can assure you!
It brings discipline, importance, ideas, reading interest and other interests to the kid, apart from delivering values and making child thinkable. Best pack of stories that I recommend which brings fun, moral etc are Akbar Birbal stories, Tenali Ramakrishna stories, Vikram Bethal stories, Panchatantra animal stories etc. Marvel comics are good for thrilling and fighting but they are just dumb and has got less moral in it! I don't think you should be allowing your kid to give first preference to these stories rather than the stories that I mentioned above!
Awareness about lives of downgraded people
Forget about kids, even we - the elders, learn bad things fast (and faster) than good things. It takes few seconds for a man to prove himself as bad but it takes several years for the same man to turn as a good human. And this (turning into a right and good being) can be speed up if supported by parents, in proper manner with proper support, moral teachings, caring etc. Expose them to the pains and sufferings of surrounding society. Expose them and let them understand how people (especially kids) are suffering even for a meal once in two days or so. Often show them the critical situations faced by many desperate people surrounding us, either offline or online. There are plenty of good documentaries that can help you in this regard including youtube videos. Take them often to homages, Ashrams for the deserted (abandoned children) and for physically disabled.
Let them see how people are suffering even for a meal, how they are lucky enough that they got family and care takers, how lucky they are that they are getting sufficient food, education, clothing, shelter etc. You need not have to point all this every time. Showing the above will itself create a thinking and realization in the hearts of the kids, whom will be moved by the stories and conditions of poor. They will soon try to realize the importance of having education, importance of parents and their teachings etc. This in fact will have a greater impact throughout the end of their life. Remember, there's nothing like being human, and if your kid turn as a socially responsible person, then their story would definitely turn as a inspiring lesson for the coming generations and thus they live long in the form of name and in books. What else do you wish ? :)
Enjoy the naughtiness
There is nothing like enjoying the naughty behaviour of your children especially when they are between the age group of 0 to 12. You should enjoy their company and of course THEY SHOULD enjoy being in your company. There is no point of having a kid if you are only worried about their future but not worried about their inner feelings, their social and moral developments etc. One need not be good at education. Like I always say, education is just one thing and there are several things that can help a person in their lives. Like sports, their creativity, their art, their imagination, their marketing and advertising skills, their speaking/writing skills etc. IITs are considered as top reputed institutes in India.
Most of the parents put their kids into stress by joining training and coaching institutes right at the age of 12, and their stressful life continues throughout their education. Of course, many parents are successful in getting their children ranks to get seat in IIT. All is well, right ? now you know what the attitude and behaviour of these children are ? don't know ? Alright, check the below list where I pointed very very few points!
- Some children can't even speak, walk properly, don't know how to eat also! and mostly will be in other world (don't know which world!)
- Some got high analytical, remembering skills and are theoretical but mostly don't have common-sense
- Some give no respect to fellow, and are always in a state of pride
Guess what ? many of these people might not survive in companies, that's why, they usually end up starting their own startups etc.
Why I took strain writing all the above stuff ? that's because I want to convey you that your part is very important in shaping your kid!
Like I pointed above, common sense is very important for a child to grow as a successful person. Educate your child about some basic common sense in every day life activities like how to eat, how to respect elders/seniors, basic self defence steps etc. Educate them about environment, climatic conditions, how humans are responsible for the natural disasters happening around etc. Instruct them to be always be in saving mode, if not money saving, but resources! like saving electricity by switching off power appliances (light, fan etc) when not in use, saving/conserving water, how solar light is helpful etc.
If you have a girl kid, then it's very important that you turn them to be self defensive, thinkable, situation analysing etc by giving them tips and suggestion (now and then) on how to mingle, what to avoid, how to be careful, how to optimize, how to be brave enough to tackle situations etc. If possible, join them to basic self defence courses. Small small learnings brings big impact in their future, trust me!
Many of us think that gaming is bad, but in actual, they are mind boosters and I think they ARE REQUIRED. Proper selection of games is needed. There are some dumb games that your kid don't have to play. But there are some really really cool and mind boosting games that improve analytical, imaginative, derivative, problem solving, aptitude and several other skills. It Keeps your child active and improve fast thinking/response behaviour. Even you may try your hands on some games and see how relax you feel after playing some of them for some minutes. If you play everyday, then your thinking will and abilities will likewise improve, needless to say the benefits to kids.
Two very very bad attitude from your side that definitely spoil your child! be aware and careful
- Being Very very loose (not controlling your kid and letting them do whatever they wished even if it's wrong) till some part of your kids life (say until his/her 12-15) and suddenly turning to be more strict coz of netting seeing proper academic results, coz of getting complaints or not satisfied with the way they talk, the way they behave etc is a very very bad attitude from your side
- Opposite of above, that is being very very strict during earlier stages, teen turning very vey loose after some part, is also a bad attitude that might spoil your child.
In any stage of your kids life, have control over them so that they will always be disciplined at least towards you! I've seen many elders >60, still fearing for their parents who are not in a position to even lift a stick ..... forget about beating :P. Reason is simple, their parents consistent control and monitor/care over them! Be in moderate way of the above two attitudes. Agreed?
Dressing - stylish is ok - but culture shouldn't be neglected - at least from South Indian perspective, make them learn that putting bottu ( or sticker ......) is a culture!
Possibility of behavioural changes of the child when they are exposed to HUNGER-FREE, comfortable, punishment-less, take/buy whatever you ask, over-studying, pride, teacher/elder blaming type etc are listed below. The child may exhibit many or all of the listed behaviours because of the above mentioned issues. There are cases where the child might turn as right human even when raised in the above mentioned environment, but very rarely!
- Egoistic, full pride type
- selfishness (his/her work is their first priority no matter what consequences are - for example loss to others, no use to others etc),
- Not caring type,
- no respect to people,
- Less socialising nature, introvert (for always study type)
- Most fearing thing is some might turn up Pschycos :(
What can be done ?
- Monitor your child regularly even if you decide to put them in hostels
- Make him socialise from an earlier child age
- If you're child is arrogant and not like listening to you. You should be very careful and should take proper steps , even if it demands minor punishments. If you don't take steps out of compassion, then their future might not be good (may not be correct always)
- Let them play and mingle with children
- If you've daughter then make her defensive type ...... able to tackle/understand situations. Prevent over-socializing especially in their teenage.
- Counsel them directly/indirectly and understand what is his/her status, compared to back date
- Ask him/her about their small interests/hobbies and try to help them fulfil.
- Involve your child more in hands on works like building things, writing, drawing/painting, collecting things, making posters on social awareness etc
- Save your anger and don't turn your work tensions or anger towards others on your child! It's the worst thing that spoils your child! be careful.....!
- Forgive small mistakes and with smile, tell them that it is not proper. After all, they are children and they don't know what is right and what is wrong, unless somebody (especially you) tell them.
- Help your child select/choose career/stream of study by considering his/her interests (by then you must have already known about your child), by asking him/her what they wish to do, and by putting your own analysis of what is best for them based on your experience with them.
- Properly communicate them that something would be a better choice to them by telling them directly their goodness in that field or subject. Just a smooth recommendation from your side that will help your child think for himself and accept with what you suggest is right to a greater extent!
- Think several times before joining them in hostels ! (I explained regarding this (in depth) at the end with a real life incident of my friend)
- Take them to historic places, museums, art galleries, science fairs (check if their school has these facilities - if not, you may consider planning for outside trips). Do this often to boost their observation as well as make aware of outside world.
- Introduce them to INTERNET, but make sure that you monitor what they are doing.
- Ask them to start learning computer programming and see if their interest turns towards coding!
Let him/her learn priority things rather than brilliant things! Like don't ask her/him to learn driving, instead ask them to learn swimming. Some thing similar to this, make his focus towards priorities again not forcefully but through proper explanations and examples.
Remember - children DO LISTEN to us when said properly, nicely, and of course in caring way. So, if you try this from your kids kinder age, then his chance of growing as a better person will be very very high. But if it seem like your kid is turning like NOT-LISTENING type, and turning like 'what I wish is needed for me in any case' by way of crying, not listening to your kind words, skipping food etc, then definitely you need to do some extra effort of beating them or punishing them mildly !!! Small small punishments are of course required in many cases. You don't have to provide them whatever they wish like if they demand chocolates for every hour, you know the consequences, so at situations like this you need to show your control over them!
Answer their questions patiently
Don't be rude by overthrowing their doubts. I saw parents getting irritated with their kids queries. Don't discourage them and make them stop questioning. Questioning is an art and especially children learn from the answers that they receive for their doubts. Remember that the doubts they are ask are natural and not just asked for name sake. So, you must try to answer them even if it seems silly question. It might be silly to you but must be a great learning to them. The more doubts they are asking, the more intelligent they are in thinking, and you don't have to suppress that behaviour of your child like I said above.
Introduce children to Ted talks, and involve/take them to expos (like robotic expo, science/book fair's etc) - Drive their interest towards several of these activities so that they keep themselves busy with creative, self-motivating, inspirational, thought-provoking, and any mind-involved activities largely spending much of their weekends with these activities (apart from playing with you or fellow children).
Here are some activities that you can ask your kid to do
These activities are helpful for you to understand what your kid is good at so that you can provide more resources related to that for your kids development. These activities are helpful for your kid to understand what he/she is good at, what options are available (making them do many unknown activities will expose them to those new activities, so that they come to know about that as well as their interest level towards it).
- Paper crafts,
- Pencil drawings
- Sketch and color drawings - (Ask them to draw with pencil/sketch/pen by giving them a simple picture, and also ask them to draw something that they know or some kind of scenery out of their imagination)
- Ask them to write answers to your own questions. Question examples - what else can we do after using water bottles (multiple uses) without throwing, what can be done with used news paper
- Give them writing exercises. ex - Ask them to write about their school, write about their trip if any, write about their friends etc. Ask them to write about a lesson (say a chapter in English lesson) in their own words. Review what they did and appreciate them even if there are some mistakes or faults. Thereafter suggest them improvements what can be added, what shouldn't be added, how to write etc. Now ask them again by giving different situation.
- Constructing things with Lego, builders etc
- Make them focus more on pictogram, image based questions, puzzles, maths (basics and geometry), shapes, colors etc.
By the way, keep your kids super thin ...... ya, you heard it right, I mean super thin, not like skinny bunny .... but thin enough to keep them active. Don't show your care in terms of how fat you make them turn. The more fat your kid means doesn't mean the more care you took. Okay, I agree, the you took more care, but you cared for turning them lazy :P
Don't you agree ? Remember parents, its easier to gain weight any time later but it's difficult to loose weight once it picks up. You might know this fact very well. I guess, now you will agree with me.
Hostel joining ?
(A small real life story of my friend)
Many parents do the MISTAKE of joining (throwing ?) their children in a reputed hostel at an younger age (even before their 2nd class), thinking that he/she would grow disciplined, would always be engaged with studies, might get good communication skills, or just because both the parents are working and they didn't get time to look over their child. This, I think, is very ...... very bad idea and might result in bad future for their children. If not true in all cases, but there are several stories of children getting spoiled and negatively depressed (many more to say) around us. Let me tell you the real story of one of my friend, currently doing research at IIT Madras, although not from the same department, but we joined together.
He hailed from a small village of Bihar, and their parents along with their relatives and village neighbours, all wished that he would turn up as an IPS officer or kind of Indian service related officer in higher ranks, who can serve the nation just like some of his family elders did. So, since that village doesn't have proper study facilities, their parents and relatives decided and joined him in a sainik school as a hostel resident, far from his home. My friend (being a kid) was wondering what is happening with him as he was just in his 4th class. He said he missed them a lot and went into negative depression many times, cried secretly in bathrooms etc.
His grades was good before he entered hostel life, but immediately after joining hostel, he was one among the bunch of students getting least scores. His parents was called and questioned by school authorities, and their parents/relatives saterd pouring fire on him saying that 'you are draining all our hopes, we are spending on you even if it's beyond our limits but you are spoiling all the plans .......' and so on. Imagine, what a small kid (who is hardly in his 10's) can know all about this ? why someone has to have that much high expectation without knowing the interests and skills of kids ? Those are play class ages and if you expect them to be in IIT level at their 7th standard (or so), then ya ...... may be chances are there to become a highly talented children but, likewise more chances are there that he/she will become mad! trust me, not all can survive that intelligence and load at that small age group.
Education is required, I agree, but most importantly moral values, culture and of course common sense is required for any individual to lead a successful life. Ok, sorry, let me get back to the story. This kid (my friend) started even more naughtier and dumb day by day. And yes, let me tell this too! This kid along with his two other intelligent kids made their minds to leave the hostel and ran away ....!!! sad, isn't it ?
He explained to me that they planned for several days and one fine day, they ran away from the school play ground while in PT period, without any ones notice and disappeared in the nearby forest which led to a hill. Their plan was to cross that hill and reach a nearby town (that they remembered while coming to school from home), and with the help of their savings, which they thought would be sufficient to get train tickets to their home (he said that they actually had money that could have bought them some choclates :P).
See, how depressed the kids must be....... that they took risk of leaving the school by themselves. Ok, they travelled some 20 mins, and he said that they can see their school and play ground with children playing, just as the size of ants! I mean they ran to a far distance. Then these intelligent kids stopped and one of them (not my friend :P) started saying that 'if we get caught, then we will have to face lot of punishments .....' and like that they started discussing and without any thought or without even knowing what they are upto, started running towards their school, and within few minutes after lots of hits with trees and after getting wounded by way of falling several times while running back, they at last reached their school ground and joined the others silently.
That's the story, and I have to tell you this to remind you the thinking of children. Their mind are faultless and innocent and they do what they think is right. They don't realize that something is wrong unless they realize themselves after they do or someone tell them smoothly. Although, not everyone are able to understand, but this is what most kids are at. So, next time, when you think of putting your kid in hostels, think twice, thrice ....... hundred times or even thousand times before you do!
That's it for today, hope you didn't get bored with my lengthier writing. Actually, I have two selfish reasons for writing this particular article.
- I want the environment around me to be positive and successful so that I can get inspired by it and do more! This is possible if today generation is growing well in responsible manner.
- Writing might make me a better person!
See you again.........!!!