This feature has been submitted by Ruchi Sally who is the managing director of the footwear brand Melissa India, and mother to a seven-year-old.
It is said, ‘The best work you will ever do will be within the walls of your home.’ Like any other doting parent, I believe that the most essential work we do is to bring up our children. I am a mother to a seven-year-old beautiful daughter, Heidi. I have always taken pride not just in her, but my unique parenting style.
I am constantly on the lookout for all kinds of ways in which I can nurture a sensitive and caring individual, who will be able to make a difference in this unpredictable world. I believe in adopting a holistic approach towards her education, because I want my child to think differently. She has all the freedom to take a call, when it comes to learning things. The more she finds it interesting, the better. It would help to focus better on the activity for a longer duration, if she finds it captivating and spends more time in understanding what it is all about.
I feel theoretical knowledge is very important for a child, but it isn’t enough to enjoy and navigate through life. I am a big believer of the fact that practical experiences do teach a lot and also work as an effective way to learn. That’s why I make it a point to maintain a good balance between her academics and extracurricular activities, which would in turn, add to her overall development and help her manage her work in a systematic manner.
Honestly, as a parent I do not want her to chase grades like crazy. I believe it is wrong to impose pressure on a child to be excellent at everything. I am someone who is absolutely happy, even if she gets basic grades and is actively involved in sports, digital learning, art, learning cultures etc, which she is doing already.
I have always wanted her to develop skills in something she has a real interest in, and is curious to learn. It is also a great opportunity for her to decide what really makes her happy, and I am very glad that she’s following her heart! She’s taking forward her interest in languages by learning Spanish, Mandarin and Hindi, apart from her first language. She’s also getting professionally trained in skating, swimming, tennis and gymnastics. Apart from this, she aims at mastering ballet and the guitar. She is also learning how to code at this very age.
Seeing this makes me so proud as a parent. When I see her indulging in these activities, it really soothes my mind. She is so detailed and focused that she never fails to amaze me.
While I keep guiding her on her personal development, I also encourage her to make her own choices. I believe in giving her personal experiences for better learning. The more she learns by doing things herself, the more she realises the difference between right and wrong. I think that’s the best way to educate a child.It also gives her a practical idea of things and a sense of appreciation, when it comes to making the right choices. Developing a conscience at an early age is very important, as it would also guide her ability to understand and perform accordingly.
My idea here is to also structure work for her in a way that she can use a little bit of creativity and innovation to enjoy and learn, without a sense of monotony seeping through. It’s a way of enriching the heart along with the brain.
All these experiences, I feel, are extremely necessary for her personality development and the best part is, it’s all her choice.
For me, it is important that my daughter is raised with a balanced outlook. It would give her the space to think and imagine a million possibilities, and at the same time provide her with all the knowledge. I feel it is essential to keep her occupied with things, which she loves doing. That’s because it would act like a guide in shaping her journey for her future endeavors and in the process, it is vital to acknowledge and appreciate every effort that has been put into achieving this outcome.