When your child comes home today – presuming today is a ‘normal’ day – try this idea and tell me if it was worth your time:
Greet your child with a smile.
Say ‘hey, it’s nice to see you’.
Offer a tall glass of juice and something crisp to go with it.
Say, “Lets play hookey, miss your hobby class and go to the beach.’ [Yes, beach; not mall /restaurant].
Then let your child choose a dress and it does not matter if the slippers / top / jeans do not match.
Take your child’s hand and run down the stairs. Let your child race you to the ground and win.
Then take a rickshaw / cab to the beach. Do NOT drive. It will leave your hands free to gesture and hold the bag that contains an extra dress in case you need it and a few mugs and old tumblers. Then tell your child that you’ve been wanting to do this for aeons and have not because of all the classes, your job, the interminable house work…
At the beach race to the water and win it – if you can.
Play with your child. Together, build a nice castle with all the mugs and tumblers you have brought along and do your best to do as your child tells you to do. Without fuss, or counter suggestions just do as you are told. Half hour later, when you have done well, wash up, and look for an ice cream. [No, one ice cream eaten happily and with you smiling and eating one yourself will not cause an attack of breathlessness and asthma nor will you put on any weight.]
Hold hands and together watch the sun go down into the sea.
In that crowd there will be only four beings: you, your child, the sea and the setting sun.
Come home, wash up, let your child be. Quietly get the dinner ready.
Aruna Raghavan along with her husband Mr Raghavan are well known experts in child development & education. They have helped set up 50 schools across India and Malaysia. Our unique education method, ‘Quad Seek’ was originally researched in USA and adapted by the Raghavans – the educationists, mentors & inspiration behind Lumens Schools. Read their story.