This is the age of information technology. Internet is the sum of all knowledge gained by humans throughout our recorded history, (of course except for those behind the scenes R&D and classified information and technology by NASA, Pentagon, big corporations etc).
Hence, this is an era of information overload. Every second our smart devices are bombarding us with tonnes of information. That is a lot more than what we can afford to remember. So are the kids. It is becoming increasingly difficult for them to cope with wide range of topics and information.
New subjects are being added to the curriculum. Lessons are becoming quickly outdated. There is an increasing pressure on children to remain updated. There is an ever increasing stress in the name of competition.
The question really is though…
Should we continue piling up the brains of kids with more and more information?
Human brain is not a memory machine. It is designed not to remember more and more things. It is designed to understand stuff, to relate patterns, to categorize information and apply that information. It is not a database, but a processor that lives on patterns of data.
So what we should be teaching our kids is concepts, not facts. Facts are today accessible at your finger tip. Siri, Alexa, Google all can give you facts in a split second. So do not overload the kids with facts. Instead help them understand the concepts and boost their creativity to do something cool. That is the only way to keep them relevant.
This is an era of Artificial Intelligence. Computers are becoming increasingly smart, while our kids are becoming dumb memorizing machines. But the fact is computers are damn good at memorizing stuff. So leave that to the computers, let the students bring out the creativity inside them. And that is possible only when we allow them to do so.
Teach young children not to memorize information, but where to find it and how to use it.
Make your kids smart by gifting them a Kindle,
do not make them dumb by gifting them a smart phone.
Encourage reading habits, it is a wonderful world, and they will be thankful to you for the rest of their lives. Those beautiful memories of reading comics, short stories, wonderland stuff, mythologies will remain with them for the rest of their lives. It is reading these stuff that encourages them to think big and outside the box. As they continue to read more and more with passion, they will also automatically remember what is important.
Every student cannot be a good painter and good mathematician at the same time. So do not pressurize a kid who wants to paint stuff into crunching numbers.
Expose children to different fields and then see which field they get interested in. Do not force your goals or wishes on them. Stop worrying about wanting to show case your children as topper in your friend and relation circles. Instead, allow the child to pursue his/her individual interests, no matter how uncool that field is for you.
What every parent and teacher should be doing to young kids is to expose them to a wide range of fields – painting, music, mathematics, space science, mechanics, gardening, art and craft, dancing, nature, computers, logic, riddles, farming, fossils, puzzles, sports, martial arts, indoor games, decoration, whatever you can think of. And then allow them to explore each of these fields on their own.
This will allow them to first recognize their field of interest. If right from the beginning if you make them focus only on parroting text books and scoring more marks, they will never even get a chance to know that a field matching their true passion exists out there. So never discourage a kid when they express interest in a field, just because you do not like that field.
Also, keep an eye to make sure they are not getting addicted to stuff like gaming. It is very important to go out and play, that is what human body is built for. Discourage them from becoming smart device addicts – messaging, gaming, chatting and so on. Make sure that they get a very good quality of sleep every day. Do not allow them to be up till late nights watching movies, gaming, messaging, etc.
Also every parent should teach their kids household work, yes house hold work. Do not treat your kids as if they are from some royal family and that it is demeaning to do small household works. That is the easiest way to spoil them. Instead, encourage them to join you and give you a helping hand right from a very young age.
Do not handicap your children by making their life easy. Else, they will never be able to do those, what you think to be small jobs, when situation demands in life later. After all, you cannot be guarding them for the rest of their lives. Allow them to be independent, free thinkers and to follow their passion.
Teach them that nothing is to be feared, its only to be understood. Motivate kids to go on untraveled paths, uncharted waters, unexplored landscapes, create new paths and be a different person, than to take the same old familiar paths and have no mark of their own.
What is the fun in encouraging your child to become just another doctor, engineer or software programmer.
Allow KIDS to pursue their passion, and they will make you a proud parent