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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

No Time Table - Why I Chose To Set My Kids Free Of Restrictions And How It Helps Them Learn More



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I've always been kind of the odd mom out (not to say I'm odd in a lot of ways, and this isn't a surprise that I'm odd here too), and over and over again, I've been perceived as different from other moms, and I know that I behave that way as well.

But I do not regret it one bit. The biggest reason for my being happy about the kind of mom I am is that I can see for real that my kids are happy, healthy and fine, that they live with a smile and cry with their heart, that they can feel and understand their emotions, and those of others around them, and that they are good human beings, essentially.

I have always maintained that I do not want to restrict my kids in the many time tables set by society. And that involves the time-tables and set patterns created by school, society, family, friends, relatives, neighbours and everyone else out there. I do not believe that confirming to set patterns is what makes you successful, but I do believe that finding your heart's voice and following it is what makes you that person you really would want to be, and also be happy about it.

For the past few days, there has been an intense activity in the mommy groups of my kids's classmates, the topic being which kid studies how long each day and how much they all know. Let me state that these kids are 3 and 9 years of age, it is a time when their childhood is barely beginning, it is at that stage when it is budding, when it is time for their childhood, their dreams and their talents to be nurtured and honed. At least that is what I believe.

I gave up on everyday sit down and study for so and so hours concept long back. For my elder one, it is more of a learning through everyday activities and experiences. Of course it is important to follow certain patterns, such as studying for that test and knowing you have the answers and understand the topic, or being on time for that class submission. All of that is important.

But more than that, it is also important to have an open mind and free access to learning, as opposed to sitting down in one place and studying.

So, for instance, my elder one is a fan of various international culinary shows, and knows about a host of ingredients, cooking styles and global cuisine that I do not have any idea about. Of course she won't learn this by just reading a book. She wouldn't know how to crush that spice, or how to smell a particular herb and know if it is fresh and if it will make the best garnish. When she reads a menu, she knows exactly what she wants and what and how to order - and she is 9.

My younger one knows all about alphabets, numbers, colours, days of the week, month, shapes, poems, basic manners, etiquette, how to greet people and a host of other 'how to's' - and she is 3.

And I am happy. And I am proud. That all their learning is coming out of their own choice. That all they want to learn is out there, and that I am able to give them access to spread their wings and learn, instead of tying them down to one place and simply study.

The elder one wants to become a lot of things when she grows up, a painter, a writer, a storyteller, a pottery artist, a fashion designer, a chef, and so much more. And I am gonna be absolutely happy with whatever she chooses.

The younger one is too young to fall into this trap of worrying about 20 years down the line scenario right now. And I don't want to impress anything on her either.

Life isn't about just mugging up and learning to do your calculations and reciting some lines and memorizing dates and formula. I don't know what you think, but I think that life is a little and a lot more than that. It is about seeing rather than looking, of dreaming rather than just wishing, of fighting it out rather than giving up, of believing rather than criticizing, of trying rather than crying, of living rather than just surviving.....

And I promise, if I am not able to leave back anything else, I will still leave behind that glimmer of hope and dreams in my children's eyes, and inspire them from somewhere of never giving up on life, dreams, love and beliefs.....it's all so worth it.

- Debolina Raja

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And like I always believe in and say: 'Heal the world we live in Save it for our children' - MJ Happy Parenting!!!! Debolina Raja
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