Early Scope

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The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.
The way we talk about them becomes their life stories.


This beautiful quote, shared by a friend put me to thinking. Why is language so important? Why are parents restless to hear child’s first word, first sound, and first chuckle? What do we leave the child with when we reprimand them? What is it that we offer the child with our cooing and cajoling?


While looking for latest researches to answer to questions, I came across the TEDxLaunceston Talk by Derek Patton. Derek Patton is a child and family psychologist working in Melbourne. In his talk he shares an experiment using positive psychology and offers great tips for both parents and teachers to initiate a Language Intervention with the children.


Very simply, Language intervention refers to using our natural, everyday spoken language with a slight difference. That is we care to stress upon using more positive affirmations and virtues when we talk to our child. Practicing these speaking behaviors both at home and school enhances a child’s character strengths. For instance, when you see your child playing with other children collaboratively, use that as an opportunity for language intervention. Say to the child oh wow, that is very kind of you OR I am so proud of you for being so helpful OR oh! how gentle you are with the object etc.  Using these virtue words when the child is upset can be remarkable. On these moments, the child is reminded of his abundant potential and calms down. This is no way means that the child should un-acknowledge his emotion or disown their feelings but we are gradually teaching children to learn to gravitate towards virtues and savor its effect.


By doing this you have taught your child very important things. First, the child is now aware of their behavior and its impact on others. You have enabled an awareness of own Self and actions in them. The child knows the meaning and impact of being kind and gentle. If you keep using these words in various situations (at home or outside) the child develops an understanding of the concept of kindness. Instead of watching and imitating the other person, the child is creating and expanding his own definition of the virtue.


Second, the child understands that being gentle and kind (or any other virtue) is a capacity in him or her. For instance, if you wish to inculcate in your child the virtue of appreciating beauty and excellence in objects and people then a possible language intervention could be taking them out in the park/market or even your own house. Encourage them to hold leaves, touch flowers, watch birds, hold colored cloths and admire with them the beauty of those objects with words of appreciation such as wow, beautiful, so pretty, amazing etc. This simple act teaches the child to notice and appreciate beauty in all domains of life.


Third, if the parents and the teachers both use same words, the child learns that this behavior is valuable and hence would be intrinsically encouraged to be that person.


Thus, by using simple everyday words, you begin to create in your child a vocabulary of positive experiences and emotions.


References:

1.     The challenge of early conduct disorder: Derek Patton at TEDxLaunceston. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uptMwDiJn-I

2.    

      Character Strengths: www.viame.org


      Written by: Ms. Sugandh Gupta 

      I am a Delhi based Psychologist. I work independently with institutions to provide research based interventions and behavioral trainings in areas such as Self Development, Leadership Excellence, enhancing Mental Wellness etc.. I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

            

 

 

This year, Indians all over the world celebrated 67 years of Independence. Speeches were delivered in states as well as in communities by local leaders highlighting freedom struggle and notion of independence. Children as well as adults celebrated with kite flying, radio stations played patriotic songs while TV channels showed uncountable movies and coverage of war of independence. Some of you would have also read the story covered in daily newspapers while some would have opted to travel as this year’s Independence Day holiday marked an extended weekend, so why not whiz away with family or friends for a brief weekend getaway? All is well, since all is being done in the right spirit of independence of one’s own thought, desires and actions. 

 

But have you paused for a moment to reflect on the sanctity of the term independence. When you look around yourself while driving to your college or workplace or buying groceries from market, do you look at the child who is the rag picker, or the one who performs nautanki at the traffic signal and begs for alms. Or do you know people in your own family who employ a young girl or boy and make him do household chores while their own sons or daughters wile away their time. Considering this is all happening real-time, here and now in our society then whose independence are you truly celebrating? Can you be independent without emancipating the person next to you and further next to you?

  

This simple fact can be explained by the theory of domino effect. The domino effect is a chain reaction that occurs when a small change causes a similar change nearby, which then causes another similar change, and so on in a linear sequence. So if you emancipate your maid, or maid’s children, or the rag picker, or the car cleaner’s family or the office peon’s boy, you inevitably have initiated the domino effect! 

 

When Pt. Nehru gave his famous speech tryst with destinyhe outlined for us a path to recovery, reconciliation and reconnaissance. Considering that August 12 was the International Youth Day and India is the youngest nation with 43% of our population being in the age range of 13- 35 years by 2020, each citizen of independent, urban and educated India has a moral responsibility towards ensuring that the cake of independence is divided as equally as possible, that the rights of every child are duly taken care of, be it reservation for economically weaker section in schools, right to free and compulsory education or abolishing child labor practices. All of these initiatives are only a success if they are supported and facilitated individually and independently. 

 

After all, everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way and this is the beckoning call for our nation’s growth and our society’s well-being.

 

Written by: Ms. Sugandh Gupta 

I am a Delhi based Psychologist. I work independently with institutions to provide research based interventions and behavioral trainings in areas such as Self Development, Leadership Excellence, enhancing Mental Wellness etc.. I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

 

 

 

Early childhood care and education is rifled with interest as well as concern for both academic scholars and general public at large. In the social milieu of India, a child’s birth is prescient by parents deciding upon their preferences for playschools and public schools. This process is now ordained in the contemporary urban culture characterized by double income, nuclear families.    


As universally understood, education is about creating a system that allows the child to grow in the desired state without holding him/her it within societal conventions, rules, ritualistic practices or mechanistic methods of pedagogy. As per Census 2011, India has more than 158.7 million children under the age of 8 years. The first three years of life are a period of incredible growth in all areas of a baby's development. A newborn's brain is about 25 percent of its approximate adult weight. But by age 3, it has grown dramatically. Hence, the thrust on acquiring learning in school is essential but family is the first social environment that the child experiences. This environment holds the key to several opportunities of learning and development for the child itself.


 Few everyday possibilities are suggested here that parents can practice to help children get off to a good start and establish healthy patterns for life-long learning.

 

1. Babies produce lots of sounds and noises and one of the best ways to connect with them is to be imitative i.e., reciprocate similar sounds and noises to them. We may dismiss this as baby talk but these sounds are treated as conversations by children and they feel that they are being heard and acknowledged. As parents we just fostered the sense of personhood and self-identity in our child.


2. Use fun and creative ways to introduce your child to his or her environment: Everyday things at home can be used to teach children. For instance, tomato can be used to teach them color red. A glass of water can inform them about warm or cold temperature. Let the child meander through spaces and learn through curiosity.


3. Sing, dance and teach: Babies are energetic, so why not channelize it well? Singing and dancing tap into the sense organs of children which are uninhibited in early years. Jump joyfully, squeal with them, and use your hands or things like bottles, spoons, fruits, etc. to teach them numbers. Encourage them to explore, touch and feel everything they see and hold. This will also enhance their motor skills.

 

4. Let your child be the scientist: Children enjoy being strident by playing with objects, and see what happens while throwing them on each other. They may even hold a fly without feeling an ounce of fear. Let them be. Be around them to ensure they are safe but also allow them to explore at their leisure. Support them but do not finish the task for them. For instance, if your child is building blocks but the top block keeps falling because of wrong positioning, then patiently show the child what he or she may be missing and wait until they do it themselves. Their joy and confidence will be insurmountable when they successfully accomplish it.  If they don’t put the block in the most appropriate manner, do not worry. It is fine! If the child is happy with what s/he has accomplished, as parents we should not be too fastidious. For now, perhaps it may be imperceptible to us. Ensure that the child finishes his task completely with unfettered guidance and support from you. This shows your child’s intellectual ability, creative thinking and problem-solving skills. 


These are some of the creative and engaging ways that parents can use with children to explore their own natural world. 


Written by: Ms. Sugandh Gupta 

I am a Delhi based Psychologist. I work independently with institutions to provide research based interventions and behavioral trainings in areas such as Self Development, Leadership Excellence, enhancing Mental Wellness etc.. I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.