Shortcuts

No, I am not referring to the Bollywood movie to be released soon in the theatres. I am referring to the ways my son adopts for doing things, albeit, quickly and differently.

As part of the Montessori training that I attempt to impart at home, especially during the summer break, today  I got a sponge, a bowl of water and an empty bowl. I asked him to transfer the water from one bowl to the other using the sponge. After doing the exercise thrice, he said with his eyes beaming with naughtiness, “Mom if you want me to transfer the water from one bowl to another, I can just pour it.” And before I could stop him, he did exactly that.

Few days back, I drew a big triangle and said enthusiastically, “Honey let’s paint the triangle green using a lady finger. Will that not be exciting?”

 “Oh yes Mom, I love doing bhindi painting.” When he had completed half of the triangle, he said “Mom, this is taking too long. Why not use a brush instead?  We can complete this triangle faster and then do something else.”

Frankly I had mixed set of emotions: rejoiced for thinking differently; After all right now he can afford to have a carefree life.  He devises his own ways of doing things. He has a very strong mind of his own. Of course, I, as a mother, have encouraged him having his own mind, will support and nurture his talent and aptitude in whichever field he chooses to pursue.

However, I am concerned as well, for I know there are no shortcuts to be successful in life. He rarely likes to follow instructions and one just can’t make him do anything against his wishes. However, in a place like India, where schools have straight jacket curriculum, going by the rule, and creativity and thinking out of the box is not much encouraged in the old age schools, and given the fact he will be joining a formal school in less than a year’s time, I wonder what’s in store for him. Will he outgrow the urge to do things ‘my way’ by the time he is in primary school or even later like pre teens? Or is it a window to his personality and temperament?

Has anyone had this kind of an experience with their child/children?

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4 Comments

  1. Tana

    Indrani,
    It is indeed a joy to read about your son’s leadership, which is what I think this is. Yes, he will face difficulties in a traditional schooling system, but perhaps home can be a place to encourage his aptitude? I agree that teaching him not to take shortcuts per se will be a great thing to do, but not at the cost of making him feel that he has to follow rules that don’t make sense to him. Perhaps the best thing to do is to allow him to break the rules only when he can come up with an intelligent alternative that is not just about saving time and moving on to the next thing. Perhaps you can suggest: OK, so what other ways are there to transfer this water other than sponging or pouring? In this example, maybe he will think of siphoning some day, which will encourage him to be creative, while still not allowing him to take the path of least effort. What do you think?

  2. Khushi

    Indrani, I think he will do fine in a traditional school setting. In fact, I have great faith in traditional teaching and think that his creative thinking will only take him ahead. I was always a great one for taking short cuts – and that helped me do well. As for learning that he cant do everything ‘his way’ – Its part of life. I still fume about that, dont you? I am so proud of him for thinking of new ways and using his common sense. You are doing the right thing at home I think, and you can at home be a perfect foil to school.

  3. indrani

    Tana, thanks a lot for suggestions. will try doing them and exploring what else goes in his mind.
    Khushi thanks for the reassurance. Need it every now and then.

  4. Anonymous

    How cute! I think he may be ready for a little advanced problem solving. Next time he spills something, or you spill something, ask him ‘How can we clean it up’ – use the sponge and a container for the spill. Also use a mop, paper etc. That may be more fun for your logical guy. Montessori way includes teaching him to do chores. My kids learnt so much about self care and house care. Give him real porblems I say such as cleaning the table after meals, sweeping one area, helping you with real cooking. Maybe already you do this. My 2 p, make it real world.

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