I was working on my laptop at office on a Saturday afternoon. My four year old son Parth was in the office & was playing with the Markers on the White Board & felt pens on the chart papers. After a while I saw signs of emotional fatigue. So I asked him how he was doing and what he was thinking.
He told me that he was having a fear about not being able to write. He was worried about going to a Big School & not knowing how to write. He told “If I go to a Big School, how will I do writing ?”
So I said, ok lets rub the white board & write down what he thinks about this. So I made a figure of a child & named him Parth, drew a book in his hand, & made a sad smiley face next to it. Then I made a sketch of a Big School with buildings & a basketball court. I asked him to tell me more about what his fears were. He gave me eight fears –
- “If I go to a Big School, how will I do writing ? If I can’t write I will feel bad.”
- “If I go to Big School & I take work from the teacher. If I don’t know writing how will I do the work?”
- “In school when I want to do things of Big Boys, then they tell me that I cant do, but I want to do it.”
- “If I go to Big Office & Papa is not there. If I don’t know what to do, how will I find out what to do.” He then illustrates by pressing a button on the laptop and continues “If I press one button on the Laptop, what happens. How will I know ?”
- “If I am going to school with my brother, and I teach him something wrong, what will happen?”
- “If I remain small & my small brother grows up & Papa / Mummy have not yet been born. If I have to go to office, what will happen?”
- He sees a lot of use of Chart Papers in the office & stuff’s written on them during meetings. So he perhaps thinks that he needs to practice on them. So he says “ If I want to use Chart Paper, but Mummy does not give me, I will feel bad.”
- “If I am in Bangalore for work & my house is in Dubai, then how will I eat my food?” When I told him about the restaurants in Bangalore, he asks “If I am in Antartica for work & my house is in Dubai, then how will I eat my food?” He then expresses his concern “I will have to eat fishes and everyone there will be an alien!”
By this time, when all the fears are out, he is already playful. So I drew a picture of an infant & called him small Parth. I told him, that when he was very small, he did not even know how to speak or to walk etc. I asked “How did you learn to walk?” So he says “I Tried Tried Tried Tried Tried, & then I learnt how to walk.”
So I asked him when he fell down while learning to walk did he have any fears. He again repeated “I Tried Tried Tried Tried Tried, & then I learnt how to walk.”
So I asked him if now he knew how he can learn to write. He again repeated. “I will try try try try & try & then I will learn to write. ”
Then I asked how he felt & he said “All is well”. I wrote it down on the white board and I asked if I could make a smiling face near that. He let me draw a smiley.
He learnt the idea of making pictures to express himself, while he learns how to write.
So the lesson learnt is that even a small child as young as 4 years also has a need to find his own answers & not being told about the answers all the time. He has a need to be learning how to stand on his own feet. All we have to do is to be the catalyst & ask the right questions. They will find their answers. When they find their answers, they own the ideas & then they are excited about using their new found ideas. No one wants to depend upon anyone, even if the ‘anyone’ is an expert, experienced & knowledgeable person. So it doesn’t matter how smart or intelligent you are, in relationship, its never about you, its always about them.