Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kids and Instructions

I've been waiting to write this post from a long time and finally got some time to do.

Of late I've been observing myself the way I give instructions to my 5 year old son. I give him an ice cream and "son, make sure you don't drop it on yourself". I give him juice in a glass container and "son, hold it tight, else you may drop it down and it will break". I give him X and "check if Y can happen" and so on. All of this happens unconsciously, no effort put.

While I think it is completely normal to caution him, the worst part I've observed is that I do it every time I gave him an ice cream or a glass of juice or ..., unconsciously. It is out of care, out of concern that he should not get messed up for sure, but when I put myself on the receiving end, I felt it is such a boring thing to keep getting instructed. And then, I made an effort to make sure I don't repeat the instructions. And guess what, it actually works. He definitely remembers it, he is cautious, he knows that the ice cream after a while starts dripping and takes enough care to not get messed up. If he can't handle, he seeks help. So, it's actually useless to keep telling him again and again. Of course, it is required if he forgets it, but most of the time he doesn't.

This observation not only made me relax but also helped me realize that he is growing up. He is not just five, he is old enough to do things by his own and I think I need to let him do it on his own terms. He may do it or he may not, but surely I don't need to police him every time.


Pradeep said...

Realization of our own "mistake" is anybody's greatest achievement. Thanks for the tip.

Naveen said...

I agree with you.
I would like to add one relevant point here. When we guide the kids or instruct them, we tend to be negative; telling 'don't drop it', 'hang in tight, you will fall otherwise' etc. As per one of the articles written by a psychologist, it's advised we talk to them in positive ways and not talk about the negative consequences which would occur otherwise. 'Hold the ice cream tight', 'Hang tightly to the branch to swing nicely' etc.

I read a nice line recently: 'When a kid enters our lives, we shouldn't teach. We need to learn' :)