A toddler saw an ant coming towards him. He goes, picks it up and gets bitten. Immediately he starts crying. He had a painful experience. Next time he won’t go and touch an ant; for, he had a Learning.
Learning is an experience. By the time a child is of 5 years of age, he has learnt a great deal of things without anybody teaching him. He Observes. He Experiments. He gets an Experience. He Learns. He will never forget such Learnings in his entire life because he learnt it through an Experience.
Teaching is more like a process. We are taught different subjects in schools. However, there are some things that can’t be taught, but only Learnt… such as mannerism, discipline, etc. We see parents shouting at small children when he becomes cranky, adamant or demanding. The intention of the parents is to convey the message that ‘demanding is not good’. But the way it is conveyed itself is demanding. Now the question is – from where does the child learn to demand or be adamant?
Many a times, parents wonder from where their child has learnt to behave like this. Only if they would observe (like the child did) their own ways of talking & behaving, will they realize that they themselves were an ‘object’ for the child’s learning. Not realizing this fact, parents try to correct the child by scolding, punishing, ordering and expecting the child to change instead of the parents becoming a better role model for the child.
Another important aspect in parenting is, to facilitate Learning. We need to give enough opportunities to kids to explore things and improve their imaginations. For this, we should bring ourselves down to the child’s level and try to see what he is thinking. Often parents and teachers correct on some creation the child has done – like when they draw a cow and colour it green, or when they fix square wheels to a car using their building set.
First of all, the question is – is correction required here? Is the child never going to realize what is correct if we don’t correct him? What’s wrong if the child imagines something which elders can’t imagine? The damage done by correction, according to psychologists, is that, it conveys a wrong message to the child. And the message is – “I’m not correct”. With repeated corrections, his interest and confidence decreases. His imaginations reduces. And one day, his creativity gets killed.
The above could be basically summarized into two points:
1. Change yourself to a better role model with traits like patience, tolerance, empathy, etc instead of demanding the child to change.
2. Avoid corrective steps so that a child can expand his imagination.
Let not a child’s Learning be killed by Teaching!