Where is the BOX?
There's a new colouring book at home. With pictures of the completely coloured and the outline(to be coloured) by its side. Personally, I have never developed any liking towards such books. Because, if the end product is shown to a child and it mandates to be coloured in the same manner as shown, there is no creativity in the activity, we are not welcoming new thoughts from the child.
I never insisted DD1 to colour the picture as shown, nor, did she colour it the same way as mentioned in any of her colouring books.
As I put DD2 to sleep and stepped out of the room, I noticed DD1 happily colouring in the book that she just got from her school. I just watched her for some time. She started telling about what she was colouring, saying, there is a tree here and I'm colouring it black , here there is a building and I'm coloring it brown, there's another tree here, I am yet to colour it, I will be colouring it green.
Me: Oh, so this tree has black leaves?
DD1: Yes, because those leaves are all getting burnt, they just turned black .
Me: Is it?
DD1: Yes, there was a fire in the forest and the tree got burnt. There was absolutely no air at all. Hence, it got burnt and turned black.
Me: Oh! Fire? What about this tree? Does it have green or black leaves?
DD1: This tree will have green leaves. Because, this did not get burnt. This tree is getting lot of air, hence, it is not burnt. So, I will colour it green.
For us, the parents, it was just a black and white picture, which had to be coloured the routine way. But, for a child, who is left free to her imagination, who is not bound by rules and instructions, who is not dictated about what has to be done and how, the same black and white picture opens up as a creativity play ground.
Entire childhood is pressed upon to follow rules and instructions, to do as the teacher/parent says, to learn as told, to not question the existence, and, as a developing teen/adult, the person is expected to think OUT OF THE BOX. Where was this box during the childhood? Who drew the box upon a child's thinking? Is it not the teacher/parent who, in the first place, drew a box around the child's mind as to what she has to think and what/how/when she has to do certain things? Did the child ask for the box? Can a child who is set free, who is not bogged down with rules and instructions draw a box around her mind? NO.
If you wish your child to think out of the box, then, in the first place, do not draw the box for her/him.
Thinking is an individual experience, learning is an individual experience. Set the child free and see for yourself, the beauty that blossoms as days progress.