Do you have the correct definition of LOVE? I believe that it just means with no strings attached. Well, you are so ready to give anything possible to your child, even beyond those cute special dresses, shoes, chocolates, toys and happy outings. You are already looking out on the internet, to find an answer to an ever-nagging question: “Will I make my kid THE BEST one?
You are learning to make “flash” cards. Choosing the little one’s favorite words and meticulously calling them out, making newer ones…..Then comes a comment (read ‘shocked reaction’) from a close relative with an astonished look: “What ARE you doing to him??? Are you MAD? Why don’t you leave him alone? Anyway, the poor thing has to put up with all this very soon, when he goes to school…..You and I, did we not come the “normal” way and aren’t we just fine and happy…?”
Gosh! The sense of guilt grips you and you start debating within yourself: Am I burdening the tiny brain? Should I do it at all…?
Well, the answer is YES and NO!
Yes – if you are stressed about teaching him new concepts and if you keep testing whether he understood it all up to your satisfaction.
No – if you both are relaxed and excited about the entire learning process: Every day, other than the few seconds of card-flashing sessions, you actually don’t allot time to “teach” him, you just keep supplementing and replenishing more and more information, enriching his earlier years. THAT IS GREAT FUN!
Well, let us talk about the RESULTS FIRST. (You need to know if it is worth all your efforts and time, isn’t that right?)
Your child gradually hones his listening skills and observation power. These are the main tools for a good memory. As he enjoys listening and watching new things, his attention span extends gradually. Staying focused comes to him naturally as his concentration levels reach optimum. Better power of reasoning blossoms next. The eagerness to know WHY and HOW opens the doors of knowledge, one after the other. KNOWLEDGE is the only weapon to wade off IGNORANCE.
What more does he need? Shaping his life the right way is a much simpler affair. Yes, Knowledge is Power.
Stepping a few centuries back, we will end up thanking Newton for wondering WHY the apple dropped down and fell on his head. The great scientist had the right kind of roots in his childhood.
So, that was about the positive side of the RESULTS of empowering the tiny brains. Is there another side of this coin? Obviously, YES! But, to be honest, this side is not meant for the little one. You have to be there for him on demand. He will tirelessly bombard you with questions and more questions: he is not just up and awake, he has been woken up to the pleasure of learning about the world around him.
Results analysed, let us discuss the PROCESS of learning now! (What a way to go about – all for the little one’s sake!) Remember, everything is PURE FUN. Let’s start!
With a one year old, for example you usually start the day with the mouth-cleaning session. Instead of doing it for him monotonously, PLAY a game of OPPOSITES, without letting him know it: Tell him that the toothbrush is an aeroplane flying UP and DOWN while you OPEN and SHUT the tap. When you wipe his washed face with the towel, it is not WET anymore but DRY.
With a two year old, the same brushing could be extended further: Ask him to show you all kinds of brushes he finds at home. Watch him THINK about it! Chances are that he might want to pick and show you the forbidden one – the toilet-cleaning brush! Of course, the hairbrush, bottle cleaning brush, paint brush and the collar-cleaning brush may appear sooner or a couple of days later, too..
With a three year old, you may go further and talk about tooth decay, bad breath and cavities and educate him about oral hygiene.
If you have all along been a good friend to your child, ready to share your knowledge at any moment of the day, your mission is a total success: While doing the same act of brushing, when your child has turned three, while you talk about oral hygiene, you can make him see reason (even as he sees his open mouth in the bathroom mirror) as to why you don’t want him to over indulge in chocolates. That is a lovely thing to do , instead of shouting at him or cursing yourself, failing to drive home the point.
Remember, brushing-session is just ONE EXAMPLE. Every moment that you spend with your child is worth in gold (or much more?!) – the most enriching and blessed hours of togetherness. You gradually sow the seeds of the “love for learning” in your child. It may not leave him rich and famous, necessarily. But he would, for sure, grow up to be a confident, wise and enthusiastic adult.
Need you ask for more? Have a lovely time!