“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think”- Margaret Mead
These words by Margaret Mead are so true to win the heart and mind of any guardian or parent. But if we ask these parents, that how many of them have actually inculcated this in their upbringing or in their behaviour towards their kids, I am not sure to get even a single hand raised in acknowledgement.
Whether we accept it or not, our Indian education system (be it private or government) is more of a robot processing factory than an institution imparting education. Kids in school are pressurized to follow the pre-set syllabus (which is much distant from the interest area or behavioral aspect of kids) and not guided to flourish in their areas of interest. Children are taught to memorize the concepts if they fail to understand it, only because the memorizing thing will earn them good marks in the school exam and then they can be transferred to another class with bigger and more complex syllabus. Have you as the parent ever wondered, that if (for example) class IV syllabus was not easy for your kid to decipher, how can he/she come up with class V syllabus? And you are distributing sweets on his pass report card. Shame!
The mentors of the children be it the parent, guardian, teacher or other elders should sow the seeds of curiosity, interest and thoughts in their kids from the very beginning. And then just wait and watch the wonders these kids will do as fruits of these seeds in near future. But first, you need to trust yourself and them. Kids from very young age should be nurtured in a way that their logical thinking and reasoning skills are polished. Let the children identify their strength and weakness themselves. Never limit their thought process and imagination flight. If you do so, you are actually armouring them with the potential to face any situation in a rational manner. And in a way you are bestowing on them your legacy of freedom to think.
But all this is easier said than done. So if we really wish our children to be socially progressive, then we should stop tutoring them what is ethically right and wrong from our perspective. Because this will be more of a hindrance than guidance to their growing talent.
Socrates said, “Education is a kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” And so education should not simply be a transfer of information (especially in case of moral values) but training to kids which will help them to carve their rational, critical and ethical expertise in the best of manner. Let them explore.
Here are few wonderful short liners every day to help you educate your kids with the reasoning skills. Through these golden words, tell your kids how to think (and not what to think):
- Choose your attitude the way you wish yourself to be expressed and the way you wish to be.
- What you perceive is what you will experience. Because your perception crafts your belief and behaviour, and your behaviour finally sets your experience.
- Value your life and value your potential to execute the task of your choice. Because there are many who are not such privileged as you are.
- Stay positive. Keep smiling.
- Time spent in anger, envy and resentment is irrevocable.
- Don’t waste time worrying because worrying is the most non-productive task one can do.
- Learn the significance of gratitude.
- Embrace change. Nothing is there forever.
- Understand the difference between being busy and being productive. The path between desire and goal needs to be filled with actions.
- Identify your priorities.
- If you do something, do it with devotion and enthusiasm.
- Remember, an effort does not cost you. Instead, it pays off.
- Listen to your intuition.
- Every failure or mistake is a step closer to success/ goal.
- Give respect to yourself and others.
- Remain a scholar always. There is so much one can learn always.