What if??

What if??

“In school, we’re rewarded for having the answer, not for asking a good question.” – Richard Saul Wurman

 

Now that its sunshine time, Me and my boys are opting to walk more often to school and places nearby. This has opened up a whole new world of conversations adding to the otherwise non-stop chatter! With occasional references to the beauty of nature ,a huge chunk of their conversation are almost always centered around Legos!!and Lego ninja warriors!! A current favorite, that they just can’t seem to get enough of!! Since I  obviously have no idea about these tiny plastic figures and bricks , I can’t seem to be an active participant in their hot discussions . So when I am pulled into one of these exciting conversations, I tend to blurt out insane stuff about the esteemed ninja warriors ,much to the amusement of my boys!!!I have a looming doubt that they are secretly glad that mom is finally stumped at something!

Not wanting to miss out on wonderful conversations with the boys (actually due to my ignorance about the brick world)and to direct their mind to thinking beyond the Lego Ninja, I decided it was time to introduce a little game to spark up their creative minds and have a little fun during our walks. I believe creativity always starts with a question, “WHAT“. What is it, that we wish to create or solve? What, is the destination that ignites our creative journey. I knew a plain What was just not enough. I had to add possibilities to see their eyes light up! and so we started playing the ‘What if’ game.

Its a no brainer. You basically ask each other what if questions and watch your imagination take flight!

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.” — Albert Camus

 

Me :What if tomorrow all the grass turned purple!!??!!

Big Boy: I need time adjusting to that mom! I’m used to seeing green grass under a blue sky.

Little Boy: Could that really happen?

Me: What if???

Little Boy: All the birds flying in the sky will get confused and come down to explore purple grass.

Big Boy: What if ,upon exploring purple grass birds lose their power to fly??

Me: That’s a whacky possibility!!

Little Boy: Then who will bring down all the baby birds and eggs that are in nests on top of trees?

Big Boy (to little boy) : You are welcome to take up that job!

Little Boy: What if Dragons were real and they spat stars from their mouth?

Me: That would be an amazing sight!

Big Boy: If they agreed, we could use dragons instead of fire works! Less pollution! what do you say?

Me : I like your way of thinking.

By the end of the walk we had enough content to write a fantasy novel!!!

The what if game caught on like wild fire. The boys started playing it often among themselves and having fun thinking up the most bizarre things they possibly could!!!

Big Boy is busy preparing for an upcoming test, when out of the blue Little boy starts the game

Little Boy: What if you get zero on the test!!??!!

Big Boy: What if I shoot you back in time 65 million years ago right in front of an open mouthed T-Rex !!!???!!!

All I can say is , I should have known!!

You can play the What if game to generate ideas or even teach safety and scenarios to kids. For example, What if you got lost in a crowd? Or What if a stranger offers to drop you home? What if a stranger offers your favorite ice-cream? What if our neighborhood catches fire? What if you accidentally get locked inside a public restroom? It’s a more playful approach to teaching life skills and sparking their creativity. I would love to hear your What if stories in the comments below!

 

 

Featured image courtesy: pixabay

 

 

 

 

Self talk

Self talk

Of course I talk to myself. Sometimes I need expert advice-Author unknown.

Have you ever seen a young child talking to himself or herself? It is not uncommon to see young children indulge in self talk and sociodramatic play. They could go on and on for hours speaking on behalf of their toys , making up wonderful dialogs and stories. I have often wondered and marveled at this amazing skill which needs no teaching and transports children into a creative world instantly! Self talk is often dismissed as rubbish by adults and its valuable benefits are overlooked.

In reality Self talk or private speech adds much benefits to Children’s development. communication and language is the obvious foremost but it goes way beyond that. It has been proven that self-regulation, emotion-regulation, memory, motivation and of course creativity are all linked to self talk. If we  wait for a few minutes in the shadows and listen to the private speech kids engage in ,we can pick up many clues as to what their little minds are processing. Most of these dialogs are instructions to self or self-regulation in an imaginary situation. “Hey Spiderman! Don’t go near that huge fire, it will burn you!” at times emotional regulation ,”Don’t feel sad Ninja, you can win the battle next time.” It has been proven that self talk also enhances memory and motivation. ” Common Lego batman! You can do it! Just try a little harder.” Essentially children are teaching themselves social skills through indulging in self talk. With every new character, setting and story they make up they are exercising their creative muscles and adding to their creative skills.

If you are interested to read more about Private speech or Self talk, you can find information here .

As a curious mother I have enjoyed watching my boys create their own world and engage themselves in creative self talk but as they grew older and started school ,I noticed unpleasant language and unkind situations creep into their imaginary world. I knew interrupting them and correcting them would not be a proper approach and I had to find ways to introduce positive self talk which could add benefits to their developing social skills. The most simple, direct and outright way I could come up with to introduce this was to just model it.

If I was cooking with my boys hanging out in the background, I would talk aloud ,” Dinner is taking longer than I expected but I am going to PERSEVERE because PERSEVERANCE will help me accomplish any task. I just have to break up the task into tiny chunks so it feels EASY.” Or if I am upset with cars in the traffic I think aloud to myself  ,” Having to  wait in traffic is tiring me but I will divert my mind and listen to MUSIC because MUSIC CALMS MY MIND when I feel upset.” I feel self talk can be used in many more creative ways to decipher information and help with problem solving . Indulging in positive self talk can become a valuable tool for Self-motivation and to achieve goals!

 

Featured image courtesy: pixabay