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Blog - Make books your childs best friend

Make books your childs best friend
By Benny 9/11/2015 6:19 AM Comments

When an apple fell on Newton, it made him think and ask questions. Do you think only a genius responds like that? Have you ever heard a chattering child’s questions? How hot is it inside a volcano? How strong is a gorilla? Can an anaconda eat a blue whale? Every child is fitted with an armoury of questions – it’s just the way they are made. To a child, the whole world is one big, marvellous creation and no one knows better than her that the more you find out, the more questions you have.

 

Now, as parents, what do we do with those questions? Some parents are just too busy to answer them.

 

‘Not now Shwetha. Mummy is very tired’

 

Some try and deflect it.

 

‘Go ask your mummy’.

 

Some are too tired to answer at all.

 

‘Daddy, daddy…’ but no answer.

 

Several want to answer but don’t know how.

 

Mum scratching head …. ‘I don’t know…’

 

Each time your child asks you a question, it shows he’s thinking. His little mind has grasped various bits of information and he is trying to make sense of all that his mind now presents as facts. And no, you don’t have to know the answer to all these questions. But it is well within your ability to point your child to the right resources.

 

And what better way to do that than to have a good collection of books at home? A well thumbed encyclopaedia is an object that can bring great joy. Books on science or history or geography can give answers as quickly as a child can ask questions.

 

And remember, book combined with visits to the local museum or places of historical significance can be a learning combination that’s hard to beat.

 

If there is one gift you must seek to leave your child, it is the gift that teaches him to be a lifelong learner. A child, who asks questions and then actively looks for answers will not be easily fazed by facts, figures and school text books. A child, who finds joy in leafing through a book and finding hidden nuggets of information, digesting it and then asking more questions, will be an independent thinker. And our world needs more of them.

 

So the next time your child asks you are bats really blind, don’t look for the easiest way out. Instead say, why don’t we look in your encyclopaedia? Get the book down, sit down with your child and look for bats. Even if you don’t find the exact bit of information you were looking for, I bet you will have learnt something else for the first time. The time you will have spent  with your child, sharing his questions and his wonderment, exploring answers and working out rationale, gives him confidence in his own thoughts. He will not see himself as a jabbering nuisance but an intrepid explorer.

 

So the next time your child asks you ‘why do I have a belly button?’ don’t just tweak it and say ‘because it looks cute’. Instead say, ‘let’s find out’. Sometimes, even when you know the answer, say ‘let’s find out’. There is a joy that lies in finding out for yourself. Why deprive the child that?

 

Remember, that even in this digital age, books remain the superior choice. You can trust the child alone with a book, but you cannot with the internet. Flipping through the pages of a book, there is no safer way to spend an evening.

 

So what are you waiting for? Birthdays, Christmas or Deepavalli – books make the perfect gift. Your child is never too young to begin on his collection, so why not start now?

 

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