- Dr. Sapna Sharma
- 11 September 2019
Recently I received a question from a young mother. It said, “My daughter is 4 years old, and she has a sharp mind. What can I do to ensure she becomes active and her mind is sharpened further as she grows?
Of course there is no single answer to this question. Children are very different genetically and developmentally. However I tried to reply it to the best of my knowledge. I am sharing the same with you.
The best that you can do for your child is develop the habit of reading yourself if you do not read. Surround the child with books. Instead of telling stories get into the habit of reading to her. Take her frequently to book stores and explore all types of books with her as per her age.
Books increase knowledge but they also open the world to the children and get them to see and think of the world beyond their routine. Of course they develop good language skills and their vocabulary becomes global. It stimulates their imagination and fuels their thinking skill.
One distinct advantage of getting addicted to reading is that the person is never lonely. They always have a safe place with their books.
But remember children do not even like to play with expensive toys if they are left alone, so to develop the habit of reading you will need to spend a lot of time with her. Whenever she asks you a question you should develop the habit to say, "Let us find out the answer" and together check out the encyclopedia etc. This way she will learn that even when she is alone there is a place to find answers to her questions.
Love for books also keeps them away from gadgets, which certainly is an advantage.
Other than this it is very important to spend open, leisure time with the children where they can just 'talk'- anything that comes to their mind without feeling the fear of being judged or ridiculed. This should be time when you do not talk about studies. Even when she grows up there should be 'study' free time for both of you. Encourage them to look around. Point out things like the way the ants walk and just have casual discussion with them. Such things improve their curiosity.
And do not forget to leave a clear time every day for them to just play. If you take them out doors to play right from childhood they would develop a love of the same as they grow up. If you keep them engaged with gadgets so that they leave you alone, that is what they will get used to.