As Parents, we teach a lot of things to our little ones. We teach them numbers and alphabets, capital and small. We teach them colors and shapes and nursery rhymes. We teach them the names of capitals, currencies and rivers of the world. We teach them about the presidents and prime-ministers and about Bill Gates. And then, we wonder, have we taught them enough ?
The answer our conscience gives us generally is 'No'. The world is competitive, and it is full of child prodigies. And we are only trying to ensure our offspring's secure, successful future. Isn't it? What we loose sight of, however, is the present.
A child learns. He is programmed to learn. He learns the numbers and letters and everything else by sheer curiosity. As long as you read him enough books on varied subjects, he'll learn. But there are indeed a few essentials that every child must know, and that every parent must take pains to teach their child. You might want to add to this list of mine according to your own beliefs. I believe, that a child must know :
- That He is good, and the world is good too. And that he is safe here, because his parents love him and ensure his safety. He must know his address and telephone numbers, and he must know how to reach his parents in case he needs them. He must know that he can trust the security person in the mall, and the neighborhood families etc. He must live with a sense of security. The ugly truth of life should be safely hidden from him for now.
- That all are equal. Girls are as good as boys. If boys are stronger, girls are smarter. That poor people deserve the same respect and dignity as others do. And that animals and plants have equal right to life as humans. I use this to propagate vegetarianism in my kids. But respect for life can be preached equally well in non-vegetarian families too.
- That etiquettes and courtesy are important part of ones' social life, and being a kid is no excuse.
- That world is a wonderful place with flowers, butterflies, fairies and Santa Claus. And the children are in this world to make it extra-wonderful. They are blessed with unique talents, gifts and potential , and they'll be given the environment to harness it.
- That no matter what, Mom and Dad will always love him, and will always have time to listen to him. He is the priority no.1 of his parents, and everything else comes a distant second. He can count on them.
- That Books are the greatest invention ever. They have the most wonderful stories and facts, and that his parents love reading to him. Once he grows up, he'll love reading too!
- That some things are dangerous and kids should not touch them- Wires, Iron, electric tools, Sockets. And there are other stuff that one needs to be careful with - Heights, hot food, knives and scissors etc.
- Every child, specially girls, must know about pubic and private parts of their body. They must be taught that it is not okay if someone touches the private parts, and they must immediately inform parents in case such a thing happens. The statistics of child abuse are alarming, and the victim's age is generally much lower than we can ever think of!
Remember, being the smartest kid in preschool is no guarantee of his future success. However, the gifts of a safe, secure and carefree childhood may go a long way in instilling self-confidence in your child, which is so important for successes of all kinds. Ofcourse there is academic stuff that a kid should know, and the net is full of sites for such an information. But then, there are some things that can not be taught in a classroom, and they are often, the must-knows.