Excerpts from the book ‘Your Child is your Parent’ by Manoj J Lekhi.
HOW DO WE LEARN AND MEMORISE THINGS?
All our learning, all our memory, takes place through our five senses, namely, sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. The best thing that we as parents can do is to develop these five senses in our children from their early childhood. This is the most effortless way of teaching anything to your child.
- THE SENSE OF SIGHT
By working on developing the sense of sight of the child, you will find his ‘focus of vision and concentration’ developing tremendously. His observation will be very sharp and he will communicate very well with others. There are many games which we can play with the child to enhance this skill. For example, spot the differences etc.
- THE SENSE OF HEARING
Most often, we ‘hear’ but rarely ‘listen’. There is a difference between listening and hearing, and this depends on our approach. When we listen, we are completely with what is being said and not formulating an answer to the question at hand, whereas when we just hear, our mind is already planning on what to say next to the other person. Most of us only hear and not listen.
If your child were to listen and not just hear, his communication would be absolutely fantastic, which makes for good, healthy relationships in life. So, help the child develop its sense of hearing (i.e., listening). This can be done by familiarising the child with different types of sounds. Clapping, playing a variety of musical instruments and asking the child to identify the instrument are some examples.
- THE SENSE OF TOUCH
We touch, but we are not sensitive to the touch! When we bathe, we rarely feel the water falling on our body; when we shake hands, we rarely feel the hands; when we hug, we do so very shyly. Shake hands with, or receive a hug from, an officer from the armed forces, and see the difference. Their handshake, or hug, is for ‘real’, and you can actually feel the handshake, or the hug. Similarly, a child’s sense of touch needs to be developed so that he is able to express himself fully when he shakes hands or hugs another person. You need to help him fine-tune his sense of touch. It’s only then that he will be able to feel the slightest of breeze, and will begin to enjoy the smallest of things in life. When the child is small (under 6 years of age) we let him feel a variety of textures like floor, different types of clothes, and anything and everything.
- THE SENSE OF SMELL
If a child’s sense of smell is developed, he will be able to differentiate very easily between different types of food by their smells. The smell will tell the child that certain things are not good for his body, so he will not eat them. A heightened sense of smell heightens alertness and concentration in the child. This again is done by ‘kitchen visits’ or ‘garden visits’ and exposing the child to the variety of smells or fragrances and verbalising their names, viz. sharp, pungent, pleasant etc.
- THE SENSE OF TASTE
Similarly, if his sense of taste is suitably developed, his own body will reject improperly cooked food or fruits that have not ripened. It is important to introduce your child to all kinds of tastes to help him develop his sense of taste so that his own body is able to tell him what is good for him and what is not. The sense of taste is greatly enhanced by an enhanced sense of smell, and vice versa.
The parents need to help their child develop all his senses by taking him into the garden, allowing him to play in the mud, allowing him to express himself through painting and drawing, and by letting him into the kitchen to play with all the fascinating things there.
This will enhance all his five senses, thus increasing his memory to the fullest, and the child will be very close to God, that is, to nature, and will be able to experience and live life to its fullest.
All the five senses can be developed significantly in the first 6 years. Once again I am emphasising the importance of developing the above right from conception. Please share this knowledge with every expectant mother, or mothers of children below 6 years.
When you share it, it takes deeper roots in you and you will start applying all that you are reading and learning.
Remember, this book is a practical guide, and it is all about application. If you haven’t started to apply already, please start right now!
If we help the child to develop all the five senses to their optimum, he will become more spiritual and learn to appreciate the little things in life. I believe that spirituality is not about dulling the senses. On the contrary, it is about heightening our sensitivity at all levels.