Lets imagine if I say the word ‘child’, what comes to your mind? The possibilities are cute, sweet, smile, naughty, happy and so on. Now let's imagine if I say another word, ‘adult’, what comes to your mind? The possibilities of negative words! The shift from the positive words to negative words happened in no time! Right? Imagine as much we see a child with ‘positive words’ and an adult with ‘negative words’ (mean with apprehension) but there are no children bigger and beyond parents while they grow up. But the kind of questions parents ask children are of adults, for example, how was school today? I found it very difficult to explain to parents when some parents call me up and say, my child enjoys your Robotics workshop but when I ask him/ her about today's learning, he just avoids the question? This is exactly what I meant: a question for adults not for children. Perhaps I have learnt from my parents and other parents in the community when I grow up, how to talk to children? I am yet to completely master it!I continue to understand that good communication is harder than mathematics or something like that. Let me bring some of my observations -
- Set an example by practising what you say and mean. Become a real hero! Let me tell you a story, Prof Sanjeev Kumar and I were waiting to be picked by a cab to conduct training for differently abled children. The wait seemed too long in the scorching hot, dusty environment and growing impatient hunger. I was reeling from an utter mismanaged and disregard moment. To my inner turmoil Prof Sanjeev responded, "we want to make a difference to the children, not the organisers. Let their delay not stand as a wall between our desires and children's future." I had a valuable lesson to take: reactions can be negative but we need to respond positively. This thought helped me to pen a story for a book.
- Grammar Guru. Several times we spend too much time making things perfect. I am not here not to correct grammatical mistakes but we don’t expect a toddler or a child to say every word correctly. We are expected to accept the form of communication. As long as it makes sense and goes normalcy it's fine to accept.
- Rewards and Punishment. I remember my father ‘no’ was ‘no’ even in case I meant to cry or create a scene to attract neighbours. The punishment was quick (though some were physical) to add value in making demands. Rewards were par to the possibilities. My father could have taken a loan to buy a car or holiday but chose not to do so. This set an example to ‘live in earnings’.
- Appreciate outcomes. I remember after receiving my 10th board result in which I stood first in mathematics. I went running to my grandfatherly figure to tell him about the result. He asked me, how much did you score in mathematics? With a beaming smile and wide chest mentioned 96/100. He got from the seat and 4 short is not acceptable. I expected a pat on the back but seemed blown. After several years I realised that he was happy with the outcome but he believed I could get the remaining 4 as well. He was perhaps trying to push me to a newer limit. Maybe he was worried in case he had appreciated me as ‘Great Mathematician’ or so I would have taken the future less seriously.
- Forgive bad behaviors. My parents often let me learn my decisions. By doing so they gave an ecosystem that continues to expand self consciousness. That's one of the reasons I become very customer centric in a role of Sales and Marketing. I feel apologetic for the mistakes.
- Positive words. Letting the child use and learning affirmative words/ sentences. For example, don’t drive fast. Please follow the rules and enjoy your ride!
- Simple/Interesting Question. Everyone likes to win! Everyone likes to answer the question paper. Isn’t it? But several examination systems don’t believe in it and it's the same with parents' questions.
Let’s adults (grown up) not forget the journey we have taken from. Perhaps the rules apply to everyone. I feel it's easier to build an asset for children but it is difficult to make them an asset.
What are your thoughts?