Experiences over Information

It is extremely important that we provide our kids with a life full of experiences. That’s the only way they would learn live and love to learn. Our sole priority these days seems to be focused on textbook learning. This is good from examination point of view but won’t instill in them the passion to know more.

Life is the best teacher and we (parents and the teachers) should act as facilitators and mentors instead of imposing ourselves on them. The schools need to understand this crucial aspect if they want their students to grow into enlightened citizens of the country. The world doesn’t need more bookworms. We need the future generation to be wise and to contemplate about the world from a broader prospective than through the pages of their books.

Take them for visits to museums while teaching history. Show them different topographic differences by arranging short trips to places, when you teach them geography. Organise debates or school elections each time you take up a chapter of political science. Let’s not make our kids couch potatoes. Let them move around, feel and experience things rather than just reading about them.

In my experience, a test is not going to prepare your child for a job, his hands-on experience certainly would. You should not be making your kids sacrifice dance, music or an arts class just to complete two more chapters of science. Don’t snub them when they ask you questions, just because you want to get done with your correction work. Encourage innovation, inquisitiveness and passion towards gaining more knowledge.

The children should not be reading and finishing worksheets after worksheets on different layers of soil. Let them sit outside and feel the soil. Let them see it with their own eyes to understand the concept better. Ask them to interview elderly people in their areas to understand the indian independence through their true stories. The students should be able to see a direct connection of what they study to their own lives.

Cramming up theories is not all, the kids need to be taught about applying those theories in their normal lives! When they see what they read, their understanding widens and retaining power increases. The teachers should use various kinds of aids in classes like real life objects or activities than just textbooks to make the learning engaging.

Parents, teachers and the school authorities should have a common goal for the kids. They should work as a team in offering their children the best of the experiences. It’s time we stop playing this blame game of whose responsibility the kids are or who’s supposed to inculcate in them the right values and knowledge. We all our accountable for the way our future generation acts and behaves. Let’s be one in nurturing them into humans who love and understand the world they live in. They should be made to work as closely as possible with real life situations so that they can deal with the actual problems efficiently!

I am not arguing against books. Theory is also a pivotal part of education but experiences make this journey worthwhile. There should be a balance between both the aspects so the gap between what they study and what they see gets reduced. Move them out if their cocoons and let them explore and interpret the world as it is!

Why can’t you grow up fast?

This question resonates in the minds of almost all the parents each time they find themselves squished under those never ending chores.

In my mind- “When will you grow up dude? So you are trying to put my tolerance to a severe test, aren’t you? Go ahead, I am prepared to rise to your challenge!”

Suddenly the reality stings and I find myself collecting his toys which are all over the place, dragging him towards his study table against all odds, ironing his uniform and like a robot I go on and on till he doesn’t sleep, Phew!

I don’t know what it is with these kids! They will always want you when you don’t want them. Was God really listening when long back, our parents told us that karma would strike us once we have kids to avenge on their behalf?

Each time I am about to read the first page of the book that I bought in the last decade, “Mom, I am hungry!”

As I play my iPod to unwind myself, “Mom, the wheels on the bus go?” “Round and round baby, now let me listen to something.” The first line would not even be completed, “mummy, the baby in the bus goes?” The only thoughts that are running across my mind as I put my iPod back in that drawer where it has been lying untouched since this little Meanie was born, ‘Are you kidding me? Why does this bus always start at the instant I think of stretching a little?”

The moment I pick up my phone to take a friend’s call, here we go, “Mom, assemble my train.” “Give me a moment darling, play with something else.” “Alright mom.” As I am about the take pride in the fact that he obeyed me in the first go, “no, I want my train right now.” It’s as if the avenger inside rose and nudged him to remind him of his mission!

If you are a parent and you don’t have help at home, you certainly deserve an award for working your fingers to the bone! I don’t have help either. I’ve taken a break from work because of my son and trust me, working at home is way too tedious. A lot of people think that women who are at home 24/7 have ample time to relax and enjoy themselves. Sorry, you’re highly mistaken! I feel like throwing a punch at every person who asks me about how I pass my time ‘SITTING’ at home all day.

Kids keep us so occupied that we don’t even have time to feel tired. How we crave for their naps more than ours! How I long for him to stay at his karate class for 5 more minutes. How I wish someone to volunteer to take care of him for a couple of hours so I can cherish that freshly brewed cup of coffee with some music and a book in my hand!

How I despise collecting those Lego pieces which pierce the sole of my feet wherever I walk in the house. Why can’t he just play with bigger toys, may be stuffed ones!

Every night I eagerly wait for him to sleep on time so I can watch at least one episode of my favourite show. I pat him on the back, sing lullabies and even recite stories in hushed tones but it’s as if he has forgotten how to sleep!

I do feel the guilt of thinking so but ‘Hey, I am a human being who gets tired, who feels exhausted and who deserves a day off from those robotic chores that never end.

I keep day dreaming about him growing up fast, those days without my home being in a mess and also those days when all I’ll do is what I want to or may be nothing. Such dreams are big time weight lifters!

To add to everything that I said so far, there is one more truth about how I feel and I don’t want to let go off that feeling. Each time he is not around, I miss him as if I’ve not seen him in days. Even if someone else is taking care of him so I can relax a bit, my mind constantly thinks of what he’d be doing or if he has been fed adequately! Even if I get a chance of sneaking out with my husband for a teeny weeny date, both of us can’t get over the guilt of leaving him. Kids are like that, when they are around, you crave for personal space and when they are not, you long to be with them. The need to love them and being loved by them is insatiable.

When he was born, I wanted him to start talking. When he started that, I eagerly waited to see him walk. Now that he walks and runs away from me, all I wish for is to pull him back into my lap and hug him and kiss him till my lips hurt!

The fact is that kids grow up too fast and we don’t realise it because we are over occupied in their errands on a daily basis. Once they’ll be all grown up, there’s no coming back which means no more ‘mummyyyy’ throughout the day, no more tight hugs and those endless chit chat sessions! They will have a life of their own in which we would play a small part. They won’t need us as much as we would want them.

Yes I want him to grow up fast but I don’t want to let go off these memories that I create with him everyday. I don’t want to miss his love 10 years from now, I want to live it!