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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to Nurture Super Kids?

Ok, from the moment I read the article, I was waiting for Kiran to do a take so that I could link that and write something. She was also part of the BBC panel on this topic. A thought provoking post there if you could please go to the link first.

And my take-
1. Super kids are not kids who score A across or can do everything, every activity. Super kids to me are good human beings first. They first need to learn stuff like sharing, empathy, caring, feeling for others, understand emotions- whether happiness or sadness or anger. My proud moments are those little moments when one kid of mine brings a set of night clothes for his brother or puts his brother's shoes back into the rack, or stop my hand when I try to dress a wound because according to him I might hurt his brother, or when they insist that they must share the lollylops with their friends. Yes, these are my proudest moments as a parent, because some where I know their heart is in the right place if they are able to do that.

2. Superkids do not just do academics. They also play. They also listen to music, learn music, watch TV, dance, or chat or just do nothing. I believe that for an all round development, kids must be exposed to different types of activities. Otherwise they will never discover what they may be good at. Ojas dribbles the football like a pro. At one point we were desperate that he doesn't coordinate well. The music teacher almost gave up on Tejas but today Tejas has been asked to sing a few lines in the assembly. I don't care what he does there- but atleast the teacher found him good enough to sing in front of the school.
What I like about their school is that they insist everyone participates. Perhaps I did not have a good face, or maybe I was too tall, or fat or didn't have a loud enough voice... whatever maybe the reason, I was not part most stage functions in school. I am glad my kids do not face that problem. Next year the kids take up theatre & dance as co curricular activities. And I am excited about it because theatre or dance is such a great medium of expression, it enhances your comfort with your own body. To me it is not just about academics- it is more than that.

3. Moms of superkids feel proud about their kids' achievements but they do not believe it is a matter of life or death if they do not come first in a race or such things and they never ever base a promise of reward on that. Parents of superkids also feel proud of any other kids' achievement infact.
To me it is more important that a child is sportive and accepts the fact that others may be as good or better than him in some aspect. I will never tell my kid that you are the best. I always say that I am happy you have done well. Once when a child was going on and on about how he is the smartest in his class because he got so many stars, I had to cut him off saying that so did others. Everybody gets stars. The fact was that his mom made him believe that he is the smartest and others are not. Which in my opinion is wrong. Because then, these kids cannot take failure.

4. Parents of superkids do not compare- You first compare among your children, then with classmates, then neighbour's children in other schools....and so on- it is endless. To me what matters is that as an individual is the child meeting all milestones. I face a problem at home. Both my kids achieve their milestones at different phases. It is natural and unavoidable that I go on high alert and start comparing even though I make a conscious effort to not do it.
But it also helps in a way that I know where to put my efforts because I do not want them to miss a chance of enjoying a pursuit because they are ready to give up at this stage. Ojas hated reading. He would falter at even the simplest words whereas Tejas just amassed words into his vocab. I pushed Ojas relentlessly and today he is hungering after books. My main concern was, I did not want him to miss the joys of reading, which was the reason I pushed- I used techniques, I used word spotting games, I used kindersite stories to make it fun. Basically, I followed his style of approach towards learning.

5. Superkids do not always score 100% in school - my husband did not, and neither did he get recruited in campus- he is a CEO today.

6. Superkids are not bookish- superkids apply. Superkids do and learn, not mug up and learn. Superkids imagine.

7. And discipline- superkids are disciplined, not regimental. As a parent, I do not encourage missing school. Because my focus is on building a lifeskill of self discipline. Today you miss school, tomorrow you go lax in college because of your "chalt hai" attitude and later on you miss deadlines in office, and do not take your responsibilities seriously.

8. In Life, it is not enough that you are a gold medallist and all that. What is the life skill that you have imbibed at the end of the day? Who cares about a degree that is locked up in your drawer. What do people perceive you as?


karmickids said...

Loved it Itchy. Agree with every word. Chua is so going to come after us with knives.

R's Mom said...

Awesome, agreed to this..guess should take a printout and show it to that mom who irritated the hell out of me on how her daughter knows everything and mine doesnt even recognize alphabets at 2.5 years!!!!

Itchingtowrite said...

@k- aane do, hum taiyaar hain!!!

r- can her daughter pass class 10 now itself? pucho pucho....

Vidya said...

A wonderful post and wish the pushy moms get to read! Am seeing them all around me. Coaching with last 3 years question papers for 7, 8, and 9 yr olds! Can you believe it?! A child has to ace in school, has to scoot early in the morning for cricket coaching, attend the instrument class in the evening, weekend courses of Abacus, other workshops!! Has to get a double-star in everything- zero TV, no movies, no story books, no arguments, no play time, no life!

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Choxbox said...

the word ‘superkid’ itself is too stressful!

Deepa said...

Just came by your blog. I feel positive comparison really helps. My son got out of diapers because I used to tell him his best friend is out of it and she is as big as he and after a few days he just did not want any diapers.
Both my sons, are very opposite in their skills and attitudes and I always point out their strengths to the other and it really helps. My older one used to read by himself by 3 but my second one was so reluctant to try to read even 3 letter words. and I used to often repeat how his bro learned so many things on his own just because he was able to read and a few days my lil one sits with the intention to learn something. Else he always wants to play around.
But if you do a blind comparison, that is wrong. When you know the child's capabilities, pushing them a bit by showing them others who do it is okay in my opinion.

Itchingtowrite said...

@ Deepa- true but there is a fine line between comparing which puts down a kid and comparing which makes one aspire for doing as well as someone else. thats the balance we need to achieve

vandana said...

Agree to what you are saying totally..its more that getting a staight A's which goes on making a superkid.

Meenakshy said...

agree with all of it :)

gayathri said...

Happen to come across your blog.Your writing is intriguing.As I read your archives, I conclude that you stay somewhere in adyar.I am also a resident of adyar.Will follow your blog regularly.

Itchingtowrite said...

welcome here gayathri

Anonymous said...

Very well said! The part about being good human beings before everything else is so important. Whether the child gets an A or B is so irrelevant as compared to whether a child loving, sharing, caring or not.