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Encouraging independent thinking in a child


Child Thinking Creatively

“What do you think?”

I was just eight years old when my father asked me this question one day. My mother had tried a new dish but it did not come out well. My parents were discussing how to salvage it. I just happened to be in the kitchen.

That is when my father asked me, “What do you think?”

I remember feeling so good that he asked me, a little kid. I do not know what I said but he seemed happy with it. He said, “That is an interesting solution.”

That “What do you think?” Has stayed with me since then.

I remember he used to ask my elder sister and brother too quite often “What do you think.” I never felt shy about my answer. It did not matter whether my answer was right or wrong or good or bad. It mattered that I tried to think of a solution or an idea.

This mantra is like a seed that you sow in your child. Then nurture it with love and encouragement. My wife and I have done this with our daughter; she was seven when we started this.

She has done better; she has started this exercise with her two sons (6 and 4), a “What to do you think?”

It is your turn now. Ask “What do you think?” to your young kid, or grand child. Or neighbour’s kid. And tell us what happened. We would love to hear from you.

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Sridhar Ramanathan is the Founder of IDEASRS, where he is also a Strategic Innovation Coach. Sridhar’s mission in life is “to help those who want to do things better and differently”. His work involves conducting creative problem solving workshops for clients, and buidling competencies in creativity and innovation. He also blogs at www.ideasrs.com.


3 thoughts on “Encouraging independent thinking in a child

  1. Arun

    That’s something which I very much in agreement with & have experienced too. My son is now eight years old & we have had tried this quite a few times in past, don’t remember when was the first, may be since he was 5-6 years old that time. Everytime he responded with very simple answers something that’s basic but we would have thought & left it, thonking it won’t help. Everyone should try it for sure :-)
    On an another occasion that I remember, once we went to Bata showroom to buy a new pair of shoes for him when ha was around 4 & half years old & going to UKG. After selecting a good one, he tried & we asked the salesman to make bill for it. We said he’ll wear this & asked the salesman to pack the old pair. Then when we started paying at the counter, my eagerly looking son asked, “Dad, when we already gave him the old pair in return, why are we still paying them?”.. Made me think on how to explain him.. :-)

    Reply

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