The line between educating and set limits is very thin, and adults often surpass it. We think we have to teach everything to children. It is true that children have a lot to learn, but we can’t fall into the error of thinking that our way of doing things or seeing the world is better or worse, that is the only one correct.
The role of parents and teachers is not to create exact copies of themselves, but give children the tools with which they can develop their full potential. Educating means enriching, not limiting.
There are many ways to set limits…
Every time we scold children because they try to do things in their own way and teach them to do like we do, thinking that it is the only right way, we limit their creativity.
Every time we scold children because they made a mistake, we generate in them the fear of failure and lay the foundation for a negative self-esteem.
Whenever we label children, we take away a piece of their personality, restricting it to the expectations of the others, locking it into a box which turns smaller every day.
Whenever we claim that children should follow our steps, because we think it is the best for them, we quit them the ability to dream and pursue their goals.
This amazing video entitled “A cloudy lesson” turns into a very good lesson for adults. The video was made in 2010 by director Yezi Xue and lasts barely two minutes. It is very nice, and is an extraordinary story inspired by the relationship between a grandfather and his grandson.
Three important lessons that we can learn
1. There is no right way of doing things. Everyone should experience by himself and find the ways to feel more at ease and that best reflect his way of being. This is especially important in the case of children, because they possess a surprising creativity and if we limit it, will be very difficult to make it re-emerge. We can teach them the musical notes, but we should leave them compose the melody.
2. From the errors come great things. Mistakes are part of the learning process, so we do not have to fear them or give children a negative idea about it. For example, did you know that X-rays, penicillin and graphene, among many other inventions, were all discovered by accident or coincidence? Instead of preventing and punishing the mistakes, we need to encourage children to learn from them and try to discover the positive side. In addition, it is also a great mental exercise.
3. Support is crucial. If the grandfather of the video had scolded his nephew and not motivated him to make new clouds, the child would have lived this experience as a failure that probably would have marked his life forever, generating him the sense of guilt. However, support, confidence and love changes everything.