Are you raising a superhero or a facsimile of one?

Having a toddler around (who’s especially a Mini-Me) brings back memories of my childhood. Her actions help me connect the dots and solve some of my childhood mysteries.  

Staring into oblivion, she’s sometimes lost in deep thought. We (my husband and I) keep wondering what must be going on in her sweet little mind.  

While the upsurge in her vocabulary is through imitation, her imaginations are not limited to it. Her ingenuity reaches to infinity and beyond, and she entertains us with great panache. 

We’re amazed at how she picks up words and uses them in the right context. However, what amazes me more is when she finds a picture of a chimpanzee with its mouth shut, in her encyclopedia; and mimics the animations of that lifeless animal (FYI – It’s not a video). Isn’t that some real wit? Then, she looks at the barely visible picture of a hippopotamus with its body buried under the water and builds a story out of her limited lexicon and unlimited imagination – Hippo came home riding a bicycle and grandpa helped him get on to it, as he hopped up and took his seat.

There are endless daily stories to share, but that’s not where I’m heading to.
Here’s something that parents of young kids (including myself) should ask themselves – 

  • Am I trying to improvise their creativity, or am I entertaining myself with those shenanigans?
  • Am I encouraging them, or am I trying to suppress their expressiveness?
  • Am I stimulating their animations, or am I overpowering them with control?
  • Am I invigorating their strengths, or am I discouraging?
  • Am I creating a fun environment, or am I making fun?
  • Am I inducing boldness, or am I instigating fear in them?

Studies show that –

  • Kids who are controlled and overpowered are more prone to depression, because they bottle up stress for a long time.
  • Kids who are made fun of during their early childhood are more likely to become introverts, because they’re afraid that they’d be laughed at or scorned when they open up. 
  • Kids addicted to social media (without parents supervision) are more vulnerable to cyber threats, as targeting them is duck soup for the predators. 

While we cannot control what happens to their future, most of it begins at home. Whether it’s a tangible progress or a psychological damage, it begins with us – Parents.

Children are wired in such a way that their creative imagination has no bounds or limits. So, gear up to cheer those fancy shenanigans and light up a fire under their budding talents. 

Don’t try to hover over them or be a tiger mom (or, dad). Strive to see the best version of their original true self.

Let them find their own superpowers instead of wishing to be a facsimile of an unreal superhero.

If you have a toddler at home, you might find this article helpful – Activities to engage your Toddler.

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