I am sure all of us remember snuggling up to our grandmother for that one story before we finally decided to fall asleep. I still remember being transported into a world of make believe where I played with the ogres, the numerous animals and why, even peas! Yes, I still pass this story down to my daughters that I so very loved to listen to myself. However, one tends to wonder where and how these stories came about to be. I don’t think that is the point of concern here.
Listening to stories and wonderful storytelling together is an art. When the two manage to combine well, it tends to develop an unknown area of the brain that remain untapped otherwise. Give it a thought, how many of you even today manage to think through the situations that you are in from some or the other story you heard or read as a kid? I know a few friends of mine who actually tailored several excuses from RK Narayan’s Malgudi Days. Several may have used them in school time as well. It may be a different story that not all may have worked. But where did all of this come from? Your imagination capabilities!
The same goes without saying about the children of today. They are still raw, fresh and capable of being moulded. All of us run on an extremely busy schedule every day. Some of us live in nuclear families with double income and no elders in the house. Times have but changed. While kids earlier were considered as assets, today, they are considered as liabilities. We tend not to spend time in telling them stories when they are put to bed. It’s an overhead. They could read when they grow up; but then, it may be too late.
Imagination runs amok in the little minds of the kids best when they are in the ages 3-5. Kids pick up the hobby of reading around the age of 8, starting slowly with comics and quickly graduating to teen mini novels to full fledged adult sized novels by the time they are mid teens. The development that happens during the ages 3-5 is what is considered as your founding years. If these are strong, the kids would be able to sail through life, or so it is said. We often say that there is hardly any innovation coming forth from India. May be we are not spending enough time with the children, the future of tomorrow.
The next time you put your child to bed; tell him/her a story. Follow this for a few days and listen to the stories the child brings back from school or tells back to you during the night. You would be astounded at the vastness of their imagination, comparable only with the ocean. You would also notice that the child becomes a lot more attentive. This would also help you pass on the amazing vast information that has for centuries been passed by word of mouth.
Nirav Thakker is a father to two wonderful girls aged 4 and 2, full-fledged software by product and a gadget junkie. He loves reading and lot of storytelling. He has been blogging for nearly 10 years now at http://www.niravthakker.com/