Lessons in Raising Avant-Grade Kids
1. Encourage a love of Books:
Start as early as when the child is born. Start reading with bath books. Choose books for them to read till they are much older. Introduce them to different literatures. Go to libraries and book stores together. It has an association of warmth, intellectual comfort and learning. Add variety to the reading. Don't let them stick to one style or work.
2. Watch films and TV together:
We watch a lot of films and TV together. I watch some of their kids serials and they watch some of ours. We watch news, talk shows and it short of shapes her understanding more than any other input.
3. Talk regularly. Laugh, argue and allow dissent:
In our house there is a lot of room for dissent. We talk about anything and everything under the sun. Family, friends, relationships, mind games, money, religion, law, politics, adultery, controversies. With my husband, there are lot of conversations around finance, business strategies etc. Its a different kind of growth she will find herself in. Her ability to express has grown and so has her ability to articulate.
4. Teach them to put their foot down:
In our house, we tell our children to put their foot down for things they don't appreciate or like. It helps them to be not carried away by peer pressure when they are outside the home turf.
5. Encourage dabbling in all interests with no strings attached.
It's a part of self discovery. Don't choose an activity for them and make them stick to it. Let them dabble in an array of activities. It nourishes the mind and opens it.
6. Role model independence:
Always encourage independence by being independent. Children emulate independence by the very act of observation. Let them partake in these activities.
7. Role model strength:
Stand up to injustice when you see it. You are teaching them the the lesson don't take crap from anyone! Learn to walk away from power, money, and advantage that humiliates. When you are alone your head must be high. When people reject you, if you know you are good, the loss is theirs not yours.
8. The gift of being with oneself:
You can be alone without being lonely is a lesson girls must be taught. It builds courage and comfort.
9. Give back to society:
You have to inculcate this sense in them starting as a kid. My daughter did her first fundraiser at 7 when she asked her friends to donate to her cause instead of giving gifts on her birthday. Its a big thing. She has sold her art for chartity. I am sure this will go a long away for her to use her power when she grows up.
10. Establish the importance of EQ:
More than IQ, the critical element of success in today's world is EQ. Teach them to manage their own emotions. Teach them to practice mindfulness. Teach them to be here and now and not get lost in their thoughts. Teach them kindness and compassion. But most importantly, teach them to love themselves.