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Learning before making them learn

How an individual learns is a very interesting process. This understanding is worth because in our times we try and make our children learn more ? as much as possible.
None | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON NOV 06, 2004 06:56 PM IST

How an individual learns is a very interesting process. This understanding is worth because in our times we try and make our children learn more – as much as possible. The logic is that it is mandatory to know more to survive. Yes, it is. But ‘what’ and ‘how’ are important elements.

The ‘what’ of what a child should learn does not seem to be a complicated matter. We know for most part what a child ought to know with regards to himself/herself, family, society, environment etc.

The problem arises when we decide the ‘what’ unilaterally. All children come with a potentiality of a distinct personality. Meaning thereby that they need to learn in a different manner. Different in ways and different in means.

Apart from the basic educational learning a child learns values, norms and principles of life. These ultimately define his personality and character. These are precious learnings in a child’s life.

The mistake that we tend to make often is that we try to teach these fundamental features also in the manner we teach maths, physics and history. No, they cannot be taught in that manner. In fact, they cannot be actively taught at all.

These are imitative learnings. They can only be imitative. If we want our child to speak with respect, we ourselves have to have that behaviour and that too with real roots. Behaviour begets behaviour. We tend to expect kind of a ‘perfect’ behaviour from our children and more often then not, experience something like ‘you also do it at times. So, why do you scold me for this’. Children remind us that we expect them to be someone extraordinary, someone who bypasses the natural learning and growing process. Resentment grows at both ends.

What gets harmed in the process? The element of ‘acceptance’ which is the core phenomenon in our making. Acceptance is that positive pillar which makes the painful journey of life easy. As I said, behaviour begets behaviour, acceptance begets acceptance. When we accept the fact that they are growing and will make mistakes before perfecting anything, they will also acknowledge that they should be economical in making mistakes.

Other aspects of parenting like discipline, counseling, advising etc. should not be laid to rest. They are the bricks which if cemented with acceptance will make a castle, a possibility.

Acceptance which is positive, interactive and active gives rise to faith and trust essential for affectional bonding.

Let’s begin with the ‘A’ in our lives and the dynamics will be what we have been hoping for.

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