Encouraging the inventive spirit in your child

Belle's Clock
Belle’s Clock

It all started because my brother’s house needed a new clock. However, the clock was simple. It was “boring” in the words of my sis-in-law.
So she tasked my niece “to do something with the clock”. Very often we hear of parents, especially mothers telling the children what to do.
“Can you help me look after your younger brother?”
“Hurry up! We are late!”
“Aiyoo…Why did your school teacher call again?”
“You better study hard. Else no future. It is very competitive you know.”
“You better study hard. Don’t be lazy. This year is your PSLE.”
“You are so big already. Why can’t you keep your room clean?”
and so on…

So often, parents, especially mothers try to “nag” their children on to the right path. Parenting a child is never easy. There are countless bad habits a child can develop if left to his own devices. A parent’s role is to guide, correct and encourage the child.

In her book, Marilee G. Adams shared on how when “You change your questions, you change your life”. In the book she shares that ‘”Questioning” is a skill rarely taught in school, but doing it well – that is, asking the right questions of the right people – can radically transform attitudes, actions, and results. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life provides easy-to-learn tools that can make a significant and immediate difference in people’s business and personal lives. Written as an engaging fable, it inspires readers to take charge of their thinking in order to accomplish goals, improve relationships, advance careers, investigate new territories, and in general gain greater life satisfaction. This book explains how to “be your own coach,” outlines the author’s Question Thinking Model, and lists the top 12 questions for change. Real-world examples provide practical models for applying the principles in a variety of situations, while a Choice Map is a useful visual tool that demonstrates that everyone has a choice in every situation, even if it is not immediately apparent.’ (Source: Amazon.com)

I agree to a large extent. Question Thinking is a useful communication tools that challenge our assumptions.  Are we in a Judger mode or Learner mode?

Basically it is important to question our assumptions. Stop the blame game when things go wrong. And take a step back to re-look at things again.More importantly the parent child relationship grows when the parent allows the child to “meddle” around. Like in this case, the clock. My niece is quite creative and good in art.

The result? A beautifully crafted and unique Ikea clock piece. When posted on Facebook, there were a couple of buyers. Of course, all these are the “fan” club of my niece.

Some points we can learn from this simple joyful event:
a) Turn a problem into an opportunity for your child to help you
b) Recognise the talents that your child have – what do they do well in? What do they particularly enjoy?
c) Encourage your child to try and innovate eg in this case, what is the worst case scenario? Probably an ugly clock 🙂
d) Share the small achievements of your child

When a child receives recognition that she is good in something, her confidence grows.
In my earlier post, I shared how crushed my niece was when she heard that she could not enter the School of the Arts.(SOTA) (Post: What’s your PSLE score?)
But who knows, she could be extremely talented in Art and turn out to be a superb designer or artist:)

Fruity Clock
Fruity Clock

And by the way, I shared this piece of fun news with a friend and here is the result of the work she did with her children.
Another beautifully decorated Ikea clock!

Perhaps we can modify Ikea’s tagline to : You don’t have to be rich to be inventive 🙂

Useful links:

What’s your PSLE score? 

Change your questions, change your life – by Marilee G. Adams

The 5th Discipline: Peter Senge

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