Friday, August 07, 2009

Innvovation, Defaults,Failure,Accomplishment?

Again boils down to a SaHm talk. I have two boys again now they are growing and happen to be almost 3.5yrs and almost 5yrs.
Phew, I know well, how much time I give them, well, not trying to over achieve as a parent, but as a person who loves what I am doing. I love cooking, so the two boys though behind my back with me demanding a knife and chopping board, or a rolling pin and some dough, wanting to stir their own sugar in the milk, wanting to lay the table for meal times,as all this by themselves. All this I dont impose on them, but they love to play with mummy's toys. Like her kitchen, her computer and also her clothes :). Well, call it hands on experience with mom or call it exclusive mom time as well.

Making them take part of my chores is not an easy task, a lot of times I have pushed them away and a lot more times, they are allowed to be helping me with my tasks. Mess, chaos, fights are all part of this whole process, but I am human and am learning to deal with it, learn as they grow!.

As a child I was into all what my mother did and ended up doing all that my mother said. Hmmm, ofcourse at a point I did a lot of things behind her back to get my stuff done and missed on a lot of extra learning due to socio-economic conditions of that time.

Thinking back on my childhood, I grew up well and I am now happy and satisfied, but those desires of that extra learning I wanted to do, still lingers on, but now does not permit me, as its my children's turn to learn that extra!

Do we need those extra's??

Identifying what a child is good at and what he likes is a hard task. School is good for academic and competitive exposure. But again, the sportive competitive exposure is hard to achieve with the marking and ranking system the children have to go through. 10/10 the child feels he is the best. When he gets 7/10 the child goes into misery. The child feels he is working hard, but, still gets 7/10. Ufffff, this topic bugs me, but we need to enable the child to go ahead an accept failure. This kind of failure is hard to learn from due to peer and teacher pressure. It takes time. As grades are grades they cannot be tweaked. Innovations are not seen and heard by the teachers or students. Innovators (mostly who are avg graders) have to encouraged by some other means like sports, music, art or any such activity to enable them to identify themselves.

Accepting failure and learning from failure are two important concepts. Identifying a talent and nurturing it is even more important. Emphasis on academics and more also emphasis on all extras and to be best in all - I am sure can lead to disaster. There has to be a balance, that balance, and interest can be achieved when pressure on the child is less and a parent is stress free. This is not easy, it has to be consciously worked on. Life is a process of learning, so its takes time and effort to train our minds not to put undue pressure on our children.

Sports - well, trains the child be a sportsman. He sees the results of his action and is made to carry on playing for his next point, and the next and next and so on and on. Again it is result oriented, but he is working with a team, he is using his mind, he is using his soul to innovate a new technique to win, but is trained not to feel like a loser. Again, this did not come naturally to him. He had lost many times, and was nurtured by his mentor or coach to accept defeat and work on his defaults. This does not surely happen overnight, playing tennis, soccer, or any other game, involves a physical activity, which uses energy and makes his mind and body active. A sport or any form of physical activity is important for a child's development. Identifying the right age and time for the child to get involved is also important. Remembering that, pressuring the child to perform can deter the performance and increase the stress level for the child and the parent. So the child has to learn to have fun initially, as they grow nurture them to succeed and don't push them to be the best! Nurture the child with positive energies rather than stressful energies. He will learn to accept failure with ease.

The same applies to education as well - positively we have to teach our children to accept defeat, but work on the defaults to "not get the same "abc which he got wrong" right, but by allowing him to choose a way to make things right on his own. This comes by practice and time spent by the parents themselves, by being a stress free parent and not emphasizing the child to be the "best" but to "succeed". There is a difference in the two words there. Yes?

Back to extra's:There are many such extra activities like music, art, craft, which mold the mental ability to innovate. Innovation brings accomplishment. Failure/Accident leads to innovation. Failure without punishment and stress, can lead to innovation. Again, time spent by the mentor or the parent on nurturing is the key.

There is a difference in just following the keys to learn to play music and there is a difference in learning the notes to play music. (Sorry about terms used if ambiguous). Learning notes, is like learning abc, then you innovate new words like my children do and they think it has to be in the dictionary, I don't disagree with them, I tell them you have innovated. It could be gibberish to you, but oh well, gibberish according to them has got into the English dictionary. Well said huh?

Uff, there is something about different art classes. The teachers will teach you the stick method of drawing things and making new shapes. Why do they do that? To get and show results. To whom? The parents. Yes, parents wants to see results when the child is sent to art class. Damn!!!!!! I hate them and those teachers (pardon me for being so articulate) who teach that way and cant defend to parents that art does not bring results, it is innovation. Why do you think modern art forms were innovated? For wishful sales? Gives me a break?

Art has be from the mind and that which has touched the soul. To teach, it was to be story oriented, the child should be able to make a story and put it down on paper, that's what I call a art class. There you go, this teacher who has made the child say a story and put it down on paper in his own art, has made another innovator and the child feels accomplished!!

So failure happens, if you don't see ways to innovate. It is OK fail, but how else will you learn new ways to achieve, why do we have to follow a one threaded path when the string can be broken into multiple segments??? Think my dear friends? The human has the most advanced brain functions, so why not help our children understand that?

Keeping these terminologies in mind, like innovation, defaults, failure and accomplishment. All these things again don't mean, we push our children into being the best in tennis, best in academia, best in soccer, best in craft, best in art, best in music, best in singing, best in dance.
We all do like to shine and do shine when our time comes, but right now, our children need to nurtured and be themselves and learn. Expose them into activities of their interest and age. Children need to enjoy and not parents!

1. Parents need to identify their children's talent and initiate an activity for the children to learn and enjoy.

2.Parents have to nurture their children to succeed not be the best.

3. Parents have to give time not send away their children for activities to get time.

4. Parents need to be stress free.

5. Parents have to nurture themselves.

Parents you will feel achieved if you have seen yourself as an accomplished parent and this happens when you see your children growing stress free and achieved.


Jandy said...

yes, arch, once again you have articulated what's been on my mind. and thoughtit out so well.
it is important to let children develop their own levels of talent, and interests. It worries me mainly that we parents are trying to live out our dreams by pushing our kids into those areas. (example : X always dreamed of playing a guitar on stage, so makes her kid go to guitar class 3 days a week, and learn. Whether the kid likes it, whether it suits him, who cares? hes too small to know any better. his mommy knows best.) that's what really scares me.

Lori said...

I understand what you're saying, Archana. I believe in letting children learn from play and interacting with other people, because that's their most important school.

But on the other hand, I feel something of the other side too. Like I would have loved to have had the opportunity to study some music, or painting when I was a child. I don't know. I just think that children should be exposed to everything, so they can choose what they love and what they're good at. On the other hand, I also believe that if they are meant to do something, life will put it in their way, without our involvement. As parents, sometimes, we feel we have their lives in our hands. And that is only partially true, isn't it?

Archana Doshi said...

Jandy -We dont have to be scared as long as we are raising a happy child. Remember we are parents and we know as a sensible parent, we know when our children are good at something. So identify and nurturing is the key. Again without emphasis on trying to be the best!

Lori -I agree with you to most part. But, did our lives shape ourselves into what we wanted to do. I did computer science when I did not like it. Did not become an artist or a chef :). So I guess key is to help our children identify what their likes are. As they grow they will evolve with the options we had given them.