If we can expose the children very young to various art forms – performing and fine art, indulge in simple science experiments, read read and read a lot of books, my experience in the last few years shows that we can facilitate development of a phenomenally inquisitive, bold, well informed child who challenges the world. I am experiencing a few at SPIC MACAY national convention @ IIT Kanpur.
Why as elders we need to be more involved?
Evolution of a human being is significant in the first 14 years of life. In the first three years the mental faculties develop to the extent of 80% of an adult; by age of 8 it reaches almost 90% and by 14, 98% of an adult. Rest of the life it is consolidation / building up on what has been acquired in the first 14 years.
So it is very important for us to expose the child to as many a activities as we can to stimulate various intelligences that exist in human being. Howard Gardner has classified these intelligences into 8 broad dimensions –
Linguistic – ability to learn and speak – Children have amazing capabilities to absorb. By age of five they can speak as many as 8 languages if we help. So read read and read variety of books – develops language as well as imagination;
logical and Mathematical : Expose to maths and logical puzzles, riddles – this can be done everywhere playing, cooking, driving….build felicity with numbers and logic
Natural – children play with dogs, only an adult stops her from doing so by inducing fear : expose to nature – trees, animals… go for walks, discuss about plants, play with animals…
Kinesthetic – Mind and body both have to be trained. More you train more fit they are : ability to utilise all parts of the body – play play and expose to varieties of games
spatial – colors, shades, shapes….. Have a painting corner with an easel and lots of colors..create a wall with bhoosa board one corner to the other in one room to display all the work of children..they will be thrilled
Musical – music stokes many of these intelligences and along with arts and nature explorations gives a lot of patience, empathy etc..
interpersonal – ability to thing and organize oneself…. by giving room and space to children to introspect and decide for oneself we facilitate it.. we can be with them to ask questions that will help them to arrive at their own decisions..
Intrapersonal – ability to interact and socialize with other fellow beings.. so create opportunities for children to interact….
Simply said as parents we need to create as many opportunities for children to explore than a uni dimensional approach..
So when we look at working with technology only… then a child is losing out on many things. Yes 5-10% of learning can be through tech-facilitation..
Indira and I try to facilitate Mallika by taking her out at least 4-5 days in a week…with exposure to all of the about said intelligences…
Apart from Mallika insisting on reading 10-15 books every day, and painting and craft works for a couple of hours; Maths and creative puzzles; impromptu music sessions with Indira, she indulges in Swimming almost daily, Music classes once a week, 3-4 performances every week; Bird and botanical walks a couple of times in a month; a couple of times in a year 4-5 day breaks for SPICMACAY national conventions; experiencing the wild and country side by road etc…
Yes she does spend 5-10 hours or so in a week with TV and Comp playing on her maths games, paint brush or going to her favourite websites of Disney, greeting cards making, story watching on Youtube etc..
Looking forward to your comments too for being a better parent.