Common Sense Vs. Brand Sense

Scene 1: We visited a friend’s home recently and were standing in the balcony looking at the road below. His 4-year-old joined and soon he was telling us about every single car passing by, be it Indian, imported, sedan, hatch back etc. Proud papa informed that sonny boy knows not only every car but mobile brand and also logos of all the airlines he has been jet setting with parents since he was six month old.

Common Sense Vs. Brand Sense - Kids Knowledge About Nature - Plants And Animals

I was suitably impressed with the gyan that the 4-year-old has amassed at such a tender age. The gyan session was interrupted by boy’s mother and we were called inside for tea. Soon the boy showed his skills on a gaming console reaching the highest level. I was not sure whether to be impressed by all this display of brand and gadgetry proficiency.

Scene 2: About 2 weeks later same friend called me in a state of panic it was about 6 pm on a Sunday, they wanted to know which hospital will have a pediatrician available. Apparently, sonny boy was playing in the building garden and in process of decorating a play house has broken some twigs whose sap has gone in his eyes causing great irritation and reddening. Fortunately one of the hospitals close by I knew had ER available on Sunday evenings also and the kid is fine now.

Now I am not going to talk about the parents not taking care of the kid as both the parents adore their son and are highly educated IT professionals. My point is something different, a kid who is smart enough to identify 50 kinds of cars and mobile phones and God knows 100 other things at such a young age has no idea about common plants found in our vicinity and the fact that some of them can be poisonous. This tells what we are teaching our kids and how alienated we are from Mother Nature.

Our own daughter only theoretically knew that milk comes from cow but for all practical purpose believed that it comes from poly packs. She was astonished to see the process of milking a cow during a vacation, when we took her to a nearby village to show her the rural India. Needless to say she could not believe when she saw tomatoes growing on plants and lanes of cauliflowers smiling at her.

That is the reality of our urban kids in India, they know a hundred things that I call information or data point but of not much use for them in day-to-day life. I am not sure what importance knowing 50 different car models at the age of 4 has, but definitely knowing what plant in the garden can cause itching can one day save the little one from a visit to the Emergency room and an afternoon spent vomiting and crying. Like they say common sense is the most uncommon sense.

I think as parents it is up to us what all we teach them, just like we are not waiting for schools to teach the kids about car models, we should not wait for teaching kids about some things in our surroundings.

I would love to hear your experience about such things when not knowing about simple day-to-day things around us have proved to be dangerous or painful for the kids. This should help other parents on Parentous.

Sasha and Prasad Np are proud parents of 2 girls whom they fondly call Princess and Pinkette. He wears many hats after taking a break from being corner office critter for a long time. He is now an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, traveler and a potential investor in start-ups with unique concepts especially if they are in travel related business. He blogs at Desi Traveler, and can be reached at Facebook and Twitter.

  • Sometimes we parents take things for granted … !! I have seen MAC-proficient kids as early as 18 months … !!

    • Hi Divya… that is exactly my point is not sure what use knowing MAC at 18 months is..but surely knowing what is dangerous when the kid is in garden will be of much use.

  • It sure is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children about Nature. However, the sad fact is that many parents themselves do not know a lot about Nature, having grown up in the concrete jungle themselves.

    • Hi Yamini… it all comes down to priorities and sensitivity towards nature, every body spends thousands to go out and see nature in wild, while not knowing the name of tree in our backyard…

  • I myself being a city bred girl wouldnt know my plants or nature. Sad but true. I have lived in concrete jungle for my whole life and so is my daughter. I wish to change that though. I would surely have to rely on external help for this.

    • Good point Sirisha… we city bred people take so many things for granted in there packaged form that we have no idea how they started life .. potato chips for example….

  • rachana sharma

    Well juxtaposition. The generations are going far from nature because of exerting all their energies in artificial and virtual 🙁

    • Hi Rachna… true to a large extent but we the so called educated people need to start the connection with nature once again…. it will help a lot in the years to come

      • rachana sharma

        Completely agree. If we did not initiate, the coming generations will have to learn it hard way…

  • Prerna

    It’s an interesting story and certainly a reality of urban life, this thought is certainly provoking and does help me to rethink, if as parent are we doing suffiecient…

    thanks for sharing this experience…

    • Thanks Prerna, I think as a parents we are doing a lot only we need to relook at what is useful and what is just bragging rights for us.

  • I can completely understand what you mean….. my son was schocked to discover that ‘chicken’ which he loves to eat is actually a dead bird…. 🙁

    • Hi Meena… Poor kid… now how do we explain the concept to a kid… for them chicken is those yummy pieces dancing with joy in the fast food chain ad… 🙁