My child is bad at studies and yet, he outsmarted the neighbour’s class-topper kid at chess.
Up until a few years back, the entire neighbourhood looked up to that one kid who always scored the highest. Their story would be repeated across households every time a kid brings home an answer sheet.
“Why can’t you be more like Neetha’s child and score full marks?”
Over the last few years, there has been a paradigm shift in this perspective. Gone are the days when academic capability was the only metric by which a person’s worth was measured. Today, the primary focus group of this study are kids. And kids today, are accomplishing feats that may seem impossible even to adults. Entrepreneurs, engineers and change-makers… So, what can You do to bring out the innovator in Your child?
1. How do they Learn?
Do marks and test reports really matter to you? Do you lose sleep over your child’s test scores or are you just worried about the second-hand embarrassment? Either way, these metrics have simply become just one of the ways to gauge a kid’s capacities.
“Wow. How did you do that? Did you learn this trick from your school books?”
When you see them do something they haven’t done before, asking them a question like this would encourage them to think about where they picked up the skill. This will also give them a link between what they learn and where it could be applied in real life. This is also a form of Experiential Learning.
2. They love stories. Not lectures.
Your child’s mind is like clay. It’s easy to leave an impression on it, one that can last for a very long time.
When you tell them about your personal experiences, they subconsciously take up hidden lessons in them. This happens the most when you talk about your failures and mistakes at work, or back in your school/college life as it helps them to relate to you. It also shows them that it’s okay to fail and what matters most is that they learn from it.
3. Openly talk about Innovation.
In today’s world where things are changing by the minute, staying updated is a necessity to survive. Compared to the parents’ generation, kids have an easier time with this. So, it’s okay to talk about the newest discoveries and inspiring personalities but remember not to overload them with too much information. What’s more important is that they are able to understand, analyse and make the most out of what they see and hear.
4. Ask their opinions and genuinely consider them.
Children don’t always go to their parents with their quirky doubts. To foster an environment where they do, they should understand that there are no stupid questions.
Asking them their opinions on things is a very good way to go ahead about this. Discussing the “Why?” or “Why not?” on any of their suggestions and thoughts creates a space for them to curate their thoughts and get clarity. It also builds their curiosity to probe the matter deeply and to stay ahead of these discussions.
5. They need their space.
With kids shuttling between schools, extra classes and tuitions, their dependency on the teachers has reached alarmingly high levels. Their brains have been tuned to not think beyond the boundaries of their subjects.
To change this, they need some time to themselves where they can explore their passions and for this, they need access to the right tools and materials. These may be gadgets that enhance their creativity or projects that nudge them to acquire new skills and sharpen existing ones. Through a process of continuous analysis and criticism of their actions by themselves, they learn and grow.
Innovation keeps changing every moment. All that is required to keep your child ahead of this is unlocking their innate curiosity. This will open up their minds to newer possibilities. As the world heads towards innovating together, a bright future is evident. Therefore, helping your child to play their part in it is essential.