Dubbed as the "Man of the Century" by Time, Einstein is synonymous with genius and credited for the theory of relativity, photoelectric effect, Brownian motion and other scientific discovery.
On the occasion of his birthday, we thought it best to honor his memory by sharing some of his wisdom on parenting and on raising smart and happy children.
We are not here to say that all children should grow up to be scientists (like Einstein) but we do believe that all children should have that opportunity if they so choose. And we believe that we should nurture innovation and creative thinking so tomorrow's leaders are capable of solving their challenges and problems.
Parenting in the 21st century is an arduous task. We put too much pressure upon ourselves and there is tremendous pressure from external sources as well. Recognizing the important role we play in shaping a child's trajectory, here a few thoughts borrowed from Einstein:
Nurture curiosity - “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
The world is full of wonders. Young children are often full of awe of the things around them - they have endless questions and nurturing their curiosity starts with acknowledging their questions. We should not aim to give them ready answers but rather give them the time to think and reflect. We should cultivate in our children a need to investigate and find answers. And we should let them feel a sense of achievement upon every small discovery.
Believe in the power of play - "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."
The struggle is real. With constant conversations around what age our child learned to read and how young they learned to print letters puts tremendous pressure on parents to feed this "education" to our children. No question, these are important skills. However, we should not forget that making time for play is instrumental. Play has been linked to developing key skills that serve as a foundation for life-long success including imagination, problem-solving and communication skills.
Knowledge is experience - “Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”
By moving to real life scenarios, we encourage children to make mistakes, try new things and learn in a safe controlled environment. Merely imparting information does not lead to sustained knowledge. However, this type of "learning by doing" encourages collaboration and ensures a high level of retention. Children are able to learn at their own pace and this real experience creates knowledge that provides us with the deepest lessons.
Inspire with awe - "He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed."
Our ability to focus on moments of awe is a great skill. Amidst all the madness of school, sports and extra-curricular activities, our schedules are jammed. Take the time to think back to a moment of kindness or marvel at your child's creation. Show awe at the mundane - it will fill their eyes with wonder and hearts with love.
Enjoy it all - “I never think of the future — it comes soon enough.”
Haven't we heard too often about how time flies and how our children seem to grow overnight? With life racing by, I wonder if I have been paying special attention to the magic of their growing. Indeed, it is great to see them grow into amazing young people who inspire us everyday. But it is also a reminder about how time doesn't pause and that we should cherish every moment and enjoy it all.