Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Catch them doing things right

Last month I read a book titled, Whale Done: Parenting.  It was a simple book but with lots of insights which speak of unconventional ways of helping children grow.  Earlier models and methods of bringing up children had a particular rationale and logic but this one advocates a much different one. The intention however is the same: help children grow into mature and sensitive human beings.

The book is narrated by a young mother who is also learning the art of training killer whales in an aquatic amusement park.  The lessons she learns at work with the gigantic killer whales she translates into helping her young son grow, with amazing positive results.

Here below are some of the points I found very meaningful and challenging too. The method the book advocates demands much of the parents but is indeed helpful for the children in the long run.
Right in the beginning, the parents of the small boy realise this fact:
He's trained us well (11)
Often parents think that they are the ones who are teaching their children, without realizing the fact that much before that the tiny tots have already moulded the parents according to their liking!
Approach the situation from the children's point of view. (36)
As adults we do the mistake of presuming that we are sole authority on children's matters.  We view it totally from our stand point.  It may indeed be true, but unless the child sees the point, it will only feel oppressed and compelled to do things which it does not want.  Looking at things as how children view them, even the attempt itself,  makes a huge difference in the way we approach the issues and thereby help children review their perspective.

The crux of the methodology is perhaps summed up in this phrase:
Catch them doing things right. (42)
Conventional methods stressed on being alert to the 'wrong doings' and thereby weed out by reprimanding or addressing those unwanted traits.  'Whale Done' method asks one to overlook the wrong doings, and focus, affirm and endorse the right doings.  It is another form of saying, help them do right by affirming the right rather than condemning the mistakes they occasionally make  (easier said than done, though). 

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