Few days back, I met one of my friends’ daughter. While I was talking to her mother, she came to revise her test syllabus. When she couldn’t remember same definition for the third time, I simplified it for her and asked her to remember that one. But to my surprise, her mother (my friend) said “No, she has to remember with exact words, otherwise school won’t give marks!” And I was truly stunned. Really, are we teaching our kids for marks? Schools and parents are supposed to focus on study in terms of knowledge and here we are, forcing our kids not to use their own words, their own language and their own understanding for marks! Then what is the meaning of study?
We are the one who stops our kids from being innovative, they can’t use their language to present the things because their language isn’t fully correct, they can’t use their own choice of colour because it won’t suit the theme, they can’t make their own craft because it won’t make it perfect and they can’t play the way they want because its not the right way to play. In short, we stop them to follow their heart, we stop them to use their mind and we want them to follow instructions blindly. Then how can they be imaginative? And without imagination all they can have is just books and rules. No freedom of thinking, no power on their own activity, no dream world, no imagination and result no Innovations.
Innovative kids are the result of our parenting style and surrounding environment. So, let’s discuss 5 things that really stop our kids from being creative or innovative:
- We want perfection: We own modern decorative house which shows who we are but we forget to show that we have kids too. Our kids are restricted to write on our beautifully coloured wall; they are restricted to stick anything in our house because our house is already stickered with decorative wall paper; They can’t draw on our wooden floor or our so called imported furniture; We have whole book shelf but there is no space for our kids favourite because it doesn’t suit with our rest of best seller books. So, point is, we don’t provide them anything to make mess and without mess no invention can be created. Instead of showing others how beautiful our house is, we should show them how beautiful our bonding with our kids is. Let our kids do all these things and let them make their own imaginary world. One day they will surely understand which thing belongs where but they won’t get this imaginary mind later.
Toys and Tv: We provide our kids lots of toys (in fact more than their requirements). Because of it, they don’t have to imagine the things which doesn’t exist. Tv shows provides all the cartoons with figures, so they don’t need to imagine how the garden looks like, how the princess Sofia dress or how the flying car gets wings. Everything is there to see then what will they imagine? Give them books so they can think and imagine the characters; encourage them to imagine normal house hold things as toys and allow them to play with those; give them robotics toys when they ask with the description but not before that.
- We Jump into their work: As I stated already, we worry for competition. We want our kids to win. We want them to get maximum marks. School always try to work on kids’ innovations but we parents take it personally to make it more innovative by interfering in their projects. We jump into their projects and do things by our own. We don’t allow them to follow their heart because we want to win. And for that we forget the actual reason behind the competition. Sometimes we become so crazy that what all matters is award, and for that we don’t even let our kids colour the sun blue because for us it has to be yellow! We don’t provide them platform to choose even a single colour then how can be they innovative? We must remember that “It’s for our kids not for us.”
- We become over protective: Its not always that we care for our house and our furniture but sometimes we stop our kids to explore for their own good too. (or at least we think that way) We don’t allow them to sit in dirty place because we are worried of germs, we don’t let them play with sand and rain because it can make them sick, we don’t let them cut with scissors because we think they might hurt their fingers and the list goes on and on. Well, to be worried for our kids is nature of every parent but at the same time to overcome our fears to set our kids free is a responsibility of every parent too. So, let’s overcome our fears, be safe but not over possessive and set our kids free to explore the world.
We restrict the environment to provide extra care: Environment also plays vital role in each and every innovative kid. Sounds rude but it’s true that spending time in day care or with baby sitter is much less effective than spending time with friends and family. Not just because day care and baby sitter are not enough educated but their duty is to take care of our kids and so they just try to fulfil the requirements regardless of kids’ interest. We parents let our kids jump on couch sometimes, we let our kids free to play with dishes while washing it but for baby sitter they cannot grant extra needs of our kids without our permission and so at the end our kids suffer. We think we provide extra care to our kids, but in real we put them in restricted world where they don’t have much to observe and learn. Well I don’t see the solution of it, as we have to do what we have to do but we can try our best to provide freedom to our kids.