Hello family, I hope everyone is doing great today?
In my last post, I gave a tribute to the United States’ 241st independent celebration & a few of my Canadian friends thought I was partial…LOL!!
So happy 150th Canada Day to you guys, hope you had a blast on the 1st of July.
Now that I am at peace with my North American pals, lets continue on our new series “Cultivating leadership skills in our kids“, in my last post I talked about management & raised 2 points ( positional & chore management).
The main reason for these points was to ensure that we develop a sense of responsibility in our kids.
I got a feedback from one of my colleagues who didn’t feel a 100% convinced about the age-appropriate chores & felt “setting the table” was a bit difficult for a 2-3 year old considering that “they are not even tall enough to reach the table”.
Now my colleague’s point is valid, but remember that the essence of chores is to develop that sense of responsibility.
At 2 my daughter knew she had to set the table ( with the table mats), remove it after eating & put them in the right place for the next meal, she was small at the time, but she got help from her brother to do it & she knew that to be her job.
A similar thing was done in their school, I remember when they were in kindergarten, they were encouraged at the beginning of each term to come with a flower or plant in a pot ( with their names on the pot), it was their job to water the plant every day & they got awards at the end of the term based on the state of their plants.
My kids were excited about it every term.
Talking about schools, I learnt that in Japan,children are in charge of cleaning their schools ( toilets, canteen, library, classes, etc), this action helps to develop in them the sense of responsibility & team work. I wasn’t surprised when a report came out about how the Japanese fans cleaned up after themselves during the 2014 FIFA World Cup hosted by Brazil, that sense of responsibility had become a habit & tradition for them.
Today, I will dive into another area of management, which is Knowledge Management.
A lot of parents in the 21st century are really concerned about the wave of information that is available out there & tend to shield their kids from it to the best of their ability.
I find this to be counter productive because one way or the other, these kids will learn about the same things from others & it might be with a tainted perspective.
I’ve discovered that its better for our kids to learn about such things from us ( delivered in an age-appropriate manner), than learning it from outside.
As we all know kids have very inquisitive minds, their minds are like a sponge ready to soak in & absolve a lot of things. One of the key things to cultivate at an early stage is their love for reading, this ties back to the first point of modelling as your kids will love to read if they see you reading & its fun to you.
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” -Margaret Fuller
My father had a library in the house when we were growing up, lots of encyclopedias, literature, history & music books while my mother had science, mathematics, puzzle, games, etc.
I grew up on Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series, so I naturally developed that love for reading & today I have a whole room filled with all sorts of books & I still love reading like 3-4 different books at the same time.
It was natural for our kids to just copy the same thing, we kindled that love for reading by starting with bedtime stories before they sleep, there are a lot of good story books that helps & engages their imaginative minds & as parents we have to be ready to answer their questions. They will have a lot of questions.
There is that tendency as parents to shut them up, believe me I have had my share of that. When they ask WHY? instead of saying Because Daddy say’s so!! Try to explain it in a way that will keep their minds engage.
For example, my son asked this question about apples when he was about 4, he goes “Daddy why do I have to paint an apple green or red all the time?” I said “because apples are usually in those colours, some apples are green while others are red”, I thought that would end the discuss, but then he asked, how do we see colour?
As an engineer, I knew the technical way to explain this, but it will not make sense to a 4 year old, so I said “Do you know that the Rainbow has so many colours? He said yes, then I explain to him that light has so many colours like the rainbow & when it lands on an object, the object takes in all the colours & rejects one. The one it rejects is the colour we see on the object, so an apple absolves all the colours of light except green for some or red for others.
He understood it & was quick to rationalise it to other items in the house ( brown carpet, orange plate & fork), but after a few minutes he came back to ask about the colour white & black. So I explained that you will see the colour as white when the object rejects all the colours & black when the object takes in all the colours.
Give your kids access to books early & allow then to ask you questions.
Today my son has his library of books, he is on ” Big Nate & The diary of a wimpy kid series” by Jeff Kinney & the Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon, we ensured that he had a book as part of his birthday present & my wife shops for books on a regular basis for him to read during his summer break. My daughter is on Disney’s Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse & fairy tale stories & she will be picking up on her brother’s books as well.
As they grow older expose them to reading newspapers,solving puzzles, playing games like Chess or Monopoly, listening to the news ( both local & international, we do this every morning as I drive them to school) & ultimately the much dreaded INTERNET.
I always let my kids know that there is a lot that Daddy & Mummy knows but we don’t know everything, so when they come with tough questions, we say “This is a tough one, let’s learn about it together” & most of the time we go on Google & do a search.
As my son got older ( from about 8 years old), I allowed him access to the internet ( but using my account, so I can monitor everything) & this has opened up his mind much more. I recall when I got him a set of roller blades for Christmas about 2 years ago & he asked that I teach him how to use it. I said, “Daddy doesn’t know how to roller blade, but let’s check on YouTube & see what we can learn”.
We watched some videos together & then I left him to watch more in his room, about an hour later, my son was going up & down the house. A few weeks later he was stable & ready to go outside, now he is an expert & shows off to his friends in school.
That experience opened him up to possibilities beyond his imagination.
Remember children learn more from what they see than what they hear.
Are you restricting information from your kids?
How best are you cultivating their reading habits & inquisitive minds?
We will go deeper in Knowledge Management in the next post.
This is my snippet, I AM SHALOMESQ!!!