The learning process is most active during childhood. A child is consuming a lot of information, processing them, analyzing them, judging them, questioning them all at the same time. But we parents have our own idea of how our child should behave, think and learn. In the urgency of making children fall in line, we sometime block their thinking process. This is not good for mental health and intelligence of your child.
Let me explain a few instances:
1. Thumb sucking:
My daughter had the habit of thumb sucking between 1 – 2 years of age. While discussing this issue with my friend, he told – “Once she starts the process of thumb sucking, do not abruptly remove the thumb from her mouth and scold her. This is because, children often suck their thumb when they are thinking about something. You, abruptly intervening it, may block her thinking process. So, you do all you can to avoid starting of thumb sucking but once she starts it, wait till she stops it on her own.”
2. Waking up:
Children, once they start going to play-school are forced to sleep and wake up at specified times. This puts a lot of pressure on parents. Sometimes I myself end up shouting to wake my daughter up. It is not ideal. The child will be suddenly confused, her sweet dreams may get interrupted, so also her thinking process.
– Make sure the child sleeps 10 hours before her scheduled waking time. This is not easy. But plan well, avoid day sleeping or restrict it just to 30 – 45 minutes and persevere.
– Start waking her up 20 minutes before the scheduled time.
– Keep the voice as gentle as possible
– Talk about exciting thing that your daughter would be doing today – Like today we are going to the market in the evening, we are going to bring new pencil etc. So that the child is all pumped up and happy to kick start the day.
– It is also a good idea to keep her favorite doll beside her. When she wakes up, she can feel very comfortable to meet her doll. This will avoid confusions that a child usually goes through suddenly when she wakes up.
3. Answer them
Children ask questions. This is the way they fix missing pieces of information that they gather. Whenever they are asking questions, answer them logically. Because their tenderness, they may take a long period to frame their question. Give them their time.
Do not finish their questions. Let them finish them on their own.
Do not scold them for their queries. They do not know what is good and what is bad. It is our duty to let them know.
Make sure to give reasoning in your answers.
4. Listen to them
Children give a lot of hint towards their fear, guilty consciousness etc in their narrations. Whenever they start narrating about her school incidence, do not abruptly stop it. Listen to it in full. They may hint toward something that they are fearing to tell in open. This is especially true in incidents of child abuse, quarrel with friends, teacher’s punishment etc.
So make sure your child’s thinking process is not abruptly blocked by you. Let her think freely, let her gain knowledge from all directions.