How would you feel if your 13 months old kid starts climbing the stairs on his own, if your 15 months old knows the alphabet, A to Z, if your 17 months old can count till 10, and if your 18 months old can recite ‘Gayatri Mantra’ after you? Knock! Knock! All of it, without you putting in any deliberate effort. These may be very tiny things to take a note of, but for parents (and yes, both of them) they mean a lot.
W.E.B. DuBois says, “Children learn more from what you ARE than what you TEACH”.
So, if on a day you see your little munchkin saying ‘arre yaar’ then please don’t panic. They must have heard it from you somewhere. Today let’s explore a couple of options on how to trick your little ones. Yes, tricking today’s children is thorny enough, but there is no harm in giving it a shot. But, before we move forward, you need to soak in a few things.
Ever wondered why your zillion ‘NOs’ fail to make an impact on the young mind? Why, despite multiple attempts they tend to do what you don’t want them to do? Each time you say NO, you make a deliberate effort to teach them something. Contrary to this, if they watch you doing the same thing, where you involve the kids also, they adapt to things more smoothly.
For instance, preach them not to toss the toys all over the floor or get a stacking basket, put the toys inside it with their help, ask them to run around and collect all the toys except 1 or 2 they want to play with. Make sure you make it a routine to jointly clean the place. The practice will subconsciously make an impact and they will gradually understand that we are supposed to keep our place clutterfree.
Deliberate Efforts Vs Subconscious Teaching
The universal subconscious learning, that 90% parents experience, is, kids calling their parents by their name. It happens when the child listens to other family members calling their parents by their names and not ‘mumma’ and ‘papa’. It was indeed a unique experience, hearing our names from our own child. But that’s perfectly fine. It is a part of the process you cannot skip.
Another biggest struggle is to teach kids to greet. We tell them to greet the elders a thousand times but all our efforts go in vain.
Lesson learnt: Calling each other by their name is okay. But greeting and basic etiquettes should not be bared from your day-to-day life.
Reality Check: Start greeting the family members in the morning and before bed time. Develop new habits for your next generation to follow.
With Gadgets Vs Without Gadgets
One odd day my 17 months old started counting numbers while blabbering . Shocked for once, I started thinking where on earth did he learn that from? Another interesting thing was that he counted only till 8 and not till 10. So I assumed this must be from some YouTube videos he has started watching and in another one or two days, he will learn till 10. With utmost excitement I shared the news with his father in the evening and that was the face-off with reality.
Lesson learnt: Everything your child learns is not coming from YouTube videos.
Reality Check: First let's figure out why he counted till 8 and not till 10. That’s because his Pediatrician had prescribed 8 drops of Iron and Zinc each, daily, which his father has been giving from the time he was 3 months old. And my very talkative husband counts from 1 to 8 while giving it to him.
So, the child was listening numbers from 1 to 8, two times a day, without a miss.
Mother Only vs Collective Efforts
If you are being judged on the basis of how you are raising your child then just trust me, never ever let any judgmental fathead influence you. Why? Because no matter what you do, such people will never miss a chance to evaluate and censure your decisions. So when my little one started joining everyone in the family for the morning puja, I heard people saying he’ll be a pundit. But the comments did not bother me.
And much to our surprise, one evening we heard him saying ‘prachodayat’ repeatedly. When asked, we discovered that he knew ‘Gayatri Mantra’ and he recited it.
Lesson learnt: Never ever take anything for granted.
Reality Check: In the word of Zig Ziglar, “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” He heard it from everyone in the house, once, everyday and the collective efforts made the learning process simpler.
“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.” - Barbara Johnson
Why Yashoda is known as Krishna’s Mother while his biological mother was Devaki? Because Yashoda raised him like her own child. Because she was present in Krishna’s memories. So, make sure you do not miss out on that part. Happy Parenting :)