‘Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.' - Walt Disney
Oh my, how profound is that quote, isn't it?
So, I learnt it the hard way and it made me change my perspective. My daughter started scribbling all over the walls and we never said anything to her. I took it on me to never scold her for that because it gave me some amazing results. Some very beautiful interpretations of her world are on those walls (come to think of it, you can always paint your walls again but she will never write for the ‘first time' again). Anyways, one day when we got back from work we saw crayon marks on our television screen. We obviously lost our cool. It took us days to clean the crayon marks. Soon after, there were nail paint marks on the TV screen. Oh dear, again there was yelling and crying. After some days, there were ball point marks on the TV screen. We started losing our minds. My mother told me, "Get her a black board. She thinks the television screen is a blackboard." Well, we never thought of that and soon we got her one. The scribbling on the TV screen stopped altogether.
Another time our woofer speaker started rattling. We got worried again. When we took it to the mechanic he found plastic alphabets and toy clothes inside the speakers. Guess why? Because our daughter thought that the woofer speakers with their central hollow part looked like the front load section of our washing machine and she had been dumping things inside them because she wanted to get her stuff washed!
We shared a nervous laugh and that's when we realized our world had changed.
Creativity is powerful and coupled with imagination it can create magic. But with so much media all around and toy laden stores, distraction is natural. How do we nurture their imagination in the case?
Let's see if we can try these:
- Inculcate ways to make observation a habit with kids. They see things around us more intently than us. Listen to them. Try to see what they see
- When they are telling you a story or narrating an anecdote their way, do not try to correct them. It's perfect the way they say and see it. Click here http://bit.ly/Appystore_ReadandListen to watch these stories with your kids and let them narrate it the way they want.
- Sit with them on the porch or balcony and point out the wonder of nature. Show them how to see stars, clouds, trees etc.
- They will ask questions as they grow older. Lot of questions. Try in your best capacity to answer them. Do not lose your mind else you may lose out on their attention soon
- You must ask questions to them too. What are they thinking, what they are making, what they are drawing, what are they seeing, and what are they feeling. Let them know you understand and not ridicule
- Read a lot. Read out loud. It will enhance their language skills, comprehension and structural thinking
- Encourage pretend play. Keep things near at hand for them to discover. Scarves, utensils, accessories, some toys, anything. Watch how they create their own narrative
- Let them go dressed as what they want. My daughter asks me seldom these days if she can wear her fairy wings to the supermarket. I have not let her for fear of what others may think, but you know what…tomorrow she will wear them and go shopping with me!
The need is not for them to get conditioned as per our world yet. It's instead important for us to explore their world of imagination, relive our childhood, encourage their creativity and help them grow into assured, inventive and confident people.