The other day I was updating a parent about her child’s progress when one of my favourites comes and tells me, “Teacher, you don’t look good in dress (Punjabi suits). You look good in Jeans.” Yes, this is a 3-year-old guiding me on clothes that suit me good! Now how do you react to this? You simply smile and acknowledge.
A few days back, another kiddo comes and asks, “Teacher, on which joke were you laughing yesterday?” Initially I did not understand and on seeing a quizzical look on my face she added, “I saw you passing by my building, laughing, along with your boyfriend.” Again, how do you react to this? More importantly what do you reply? Whether I should tell the joke or clarify that the assumed boyfriend is actually not my boyfriend but my husband?
On both the occasions I was stumped by the little geniuses. You leave a bunch of them in a room without monitoring them and believe me you will be shocked and surprised to the core. Cross my heart, even Einstein wouldn’t beg to differ on this. Such geniuses they are.
A parent once told me that her kid, also one of my favourite, have great fashion sense. My mouth was in a perfect O shape for almost a minute and after regaining my senses I bombarded her with, “What did you say? What does Shreya have? A great fashion sense? What! Wow! And how did you realise it?” To which she smiled and said, “She just asked me to apply red colour nail polish which will match with my dress.” “That’s great”, I said and continued, “but that does not mean she has a great fashion sense”. To which she said, “She will develop a great fashion sense.” I thought of again questioning her with ‘How’ but simply smiled and left it.
Now, what does the above incidents tell us?
That the kids have asked/said those things out of curiosity or have simply said it, where the former is applicable for the first two instances and the latter for the remaining.
Also, in all the instances the kiddos are more attentive, observant and grasp things quickly, leave aside their impeccable ability to leave you high and dry.
But one thing that is different in the last instance compared to the other two is that the parent has generalised a simply said thing, having no strong base. This is where most of the parents make a mistake. A small thing said or done by a kid is generalised as something big, way too quickly for a child’s understanding and comfort. Leave aside the enormous pressure developed over the years as the child grows.
What is more important is to understand the child, how much attentive, creative and observant he/she is. Apart from that the learning skills; thinking caps, speech and language skills, visual skills and social skills also play an important role. But majority of parents fail to identify such skills. And even if they do, they fail to help the child develop these skills. More importance should be given to these skills rather than what he/she will become.
It is better to enjoy such innocent shocks and surprises from the children rather than giving them a shock or surprise about their future. Isn’t it?
Hetal Kachalia is a preschool teacher in the morning and a dotting home maker by the evening. She blogs at http://ponderingtwo.blogspot.in.