Begin typing your search above and press return to search.



Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  5 April 2019 11:13 AM GMT

We would all agree that a good mix of rules and non-critical, positive encouragement are essential for our children to grow up well. Just a bag of rules used all the time do not help, and neither does a total absence of rules, which often leads to a mayhem. If we look around us, some of the people we admire the most are creative and imaginative and they have succeeded in dazzling a lot of us by shining in their particular fields- be it music, arts, academics or sports. How did they get to be so special and creative? Where do they come up with those new concepts that dazzle the world? Is it luck? Do we have to be born with it? These questions are difficult to answer, but there are many ways in which we parents can help foster creativity and imagination in our children. One of the good and effective ways of handling the situation is letting our little ones experiment with their ideas and to get to their ideas we need to communicate with them.

The first step would be to expose our children to a variety of experiences. This helps them to understand the diversity of human life and the endless possibilities. One way to achieve this is through travel. It does not have to be foreign countries or even to faraway locations. Even if we just go out for a walk, we will find many things to talk about with our children, irrespective of how old they are. Books are an important contributor to exposure also-as many different books, stories and tales as possible. We should get them books that have a lot of pictures rather than only words because being able to visualize something spurs imagination, especially when our children are young.

The next step should be the encouragement of experimentation and risk. Our children should be encouraged to experiment and take acceptable risks (as long as no harm occurs to them or anyone else). When our little ones decide to try something, we parents tend to look at the downsides of it - “You could get hurt”, “It will not work”, “You could become sick” are the usual answers we have ready for them, and we tend to use them quite often. For example, many of us immediately run and stop our children who are playing in the sand. We counsel them about the dangers of germs, worms, sand getting into hair and eyes, etc. But playing with sand offers them a tactile experience that is not obtained elsewhere, and we often find it easier to forget our beautiful childhood memories about how wonderful we felt playing with it when we were kids ourselves. So, we need to be careful, but not only careful all the time. The role of parents should be to monitor and ensure that no harm will befall our little ones. However, it is important to remember that we should not always step in and try to prevent failure.

Allowing our children to experiment helps them understand their ability to handle situations. It also helps them realize that they need to look for options in their way of managing problems that they face. Sometimes they will find a better solution to a situation than we are managing and handling our way, and we need to accept and admire that. If we say “Oh I had done it the opposite way, but yours look better and I will now do it your way,” and really mean it, our children will never forget this encouragement. Sometimes it is necessary that our children do not think that their decisions and ideas are always right because they can never be wrong. Allowing experimentation also teaches them that sometimes they will fail and they would have been better off following the advice we had given them. This recognition that they are not always right helps them understand that sometimes it is good for them to remember to ask for another opinion or bit of advice, and we parents are not very bad at extending a helping hand! This way we create a non-judgemental, non-critical atmosphere where our children can be creative, different and take some risks, especially around people who will support them no matter what.

Next Story