Modern technology is often accused of making zombies out of people by hiding the complexities from its users. Buzzwords like ‘enhanced user experience’ is freely used by the manufacturers to showcase their products. No matter how complex the operations involved behind the scenes, companies make sure the end product can be operated with the help of a couple of buttons.
All that is very well from an adult point of view. But, scientists and doctors worry that hiding complexities from the user is resulting in a gradual stifling of creativity in young minds. Elimination of the need for independent thinking and its impact on decision-making is a far greater danger facing mankind. We are increasingly being served ready-to-eat food all the time.
If, for some reason in the future, should there be a food scarcity on a global scale, many of us possess no knowledge about how food is actually grown and might be forgiven for thinking that it is grown in supermarkets. We forget that the process of growing food is complex and involves specific knowledge about sowing, weeding, watering, and harvesting – to name just a few things.
Unsurprisingly, many among us today are unable to do simple mathematical calculations using pen and paper! Human brain thrives in the face of challenges – the more complex the better. It is designed for constant and creative usage which also prevents it from degeneration.
Apart from the anthropological and anatomical needs, the 21st century economy makes it incumbent upon its workforce to be creative. As the old economy slowly makes way for the new one, we have to be creative in our approach to problem solving and independent in our thinking. Let us examine then how to encourage children to be creative and independent thinkers.
- Encourage them to play with other kids in the neighbourhood. Interacting with other humans promotes the ability to respond to a given situation quickly. If your child gets bullied he will learn to deal with it in due course of time.
- Don’t rush to your kid’s help in cases where the problem is non-life threatening in nature. Children, given sufficient time and encouragement, are fully capable of solving it. The confidence gained, along with your praise should encourage them to think independently.
- Pick a suitable topic at random and ask your kid’s opinion on the issue. Discuss possible scenarios together thus encouraging your child to explain the reasons behind the views expressed. Earning parents’ respect can be a great morale booster for the child.
- Reading promotes critical thinking and makes children rely on their power of imagination. It encourages visualization and raises more questions than they can answer. This in turn will lead to an interest in research and further discussions on the topic.
- Introduce them to sports and outdoors. Sports makes them mentally tough and gives them the ability to assess their situation and take appropriate action. Love of outdoors opens up further avenues for their mental and physical evolution.
Finally, before you do anything else, make TV viewing a restricted activity. Children gorging on junk food and watching television all day does not make for a pretty sight. Once the idiot-box is out of the way, your child will have plenty of time on hand to put to good use.