A mother, not just retains her child in her womb for 9 months, but also is responsible for its initial education. Though the loving father is mostly around to supervise its growth, she is the first one to recognize special traits in her baby. May it be friendliness or sketching and not just scribbling on the wall? It is she who first identifies that her baby can paint in drippy water colours not going off the borders of the sketch. But, for any trait, recollection and retention power need to be reinforced. However busy she is the mother makes it a point to give her child enough time.
A mother sacrifices a lot for her baby. Shilpa Maheshwari, was a full-time HR professional. But since she had a baby, she is working part-time from home. Her 15 month old Gia has a very friendly nature. She is happy to play with everyone. She is very active and learns fast.
While Shaurya, Shilpa Pal’s 2 ½ years old son has a very good memory. She reveals, “I introduced someone to him recently and when he returned to our home after a few days, Shaurya recognized him very easily. When I introduce things to him, he remembers them later. Even if it is a hard word, he manages to do it well. That I think is a special trait.”
Kavitha Rai, who looks after Training and Development in the HR department of a company, insists that you need to spend time with your child to identify special traits in it. She says, “In the course of playing and talking with him, you see many new things your child does, particularly when he learns a new word or learns to identify a new object. So when you spend time with your child you can figure out and learn a lot about your child.”
It is important to nurture these traits. Also repetition is crucial. Kavitha opines, “If I want to teach him the name of a new object or want him to identify it, I will keep repeating it so that he gets familiar with it. A lot of reinforcement, much repetition is required until he starts recognizing the object and co-relates it with the name. That’s how he’ll learn. But the point is it should be done consistently. I mean if you do it one day and forget the next 3 days and then suddenly ask him about it then it won’t work.”
At the same time, Kavitha finds it important to “expose them to the outside world as well. As parents we might have this fear that when we take them out they might get hurt. I think the important thing is to let them explore and experience new things. We should take them to different places like the park, the super market and the vegetable market. Obviously when they see new things and people around, it will provide impetus to their curiosity and learning.”
And Shaurya’s Mom feels, “Today’s parents are into mall culture, where both of them are working and the moment they have time they go shopping. But we make it a point to take our son to a place like the museum, where he learns something. If we take him to the mall he is not going to learn much. A lot of time is spent on artificial activities.”
This article was previously published in Eve’s Times magazine and is reproduced here with the permission of the editor Swati Amar.