How to raise an Einstein

What was the genius physicist's mother fretting about when he was a kid?

 |  3-minute read |   08-10-2016
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I gingerly glazed through the children’s CD section which inadvertently threw tall claims that perhaps by watching them, the child would become an "Einstein Incarnate". I cringe at the customary loads by which eager parents buy these expensive materials buying into the marketing gimmickry, playing puppet in the hands of the 20 billion dollar industry which boasts of higher purchasing power and returns each year.

They have been made to believe that the material is indeed investment-worthy, and if they were to somehow refrain their child from watching the said material, some mortal peril would somehow unwind.

"My children love it," an eager mother informed me as I bore a confused look unable to decide intelligently for myself. The ubiquity of the CDs somehow translates into the legitimacy of their use and thus starts the "savings wars" to procure the latest version hot-off-the-shelf.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time at all for children under two, despite the fact that the child seems perpetually glued to the CDs.

Studies have shown that television exposure at ages one through three is associated with attention problems at age seven. So, probably the only purpose they serve is that of a shut-up tool or an electronic babysitter at best.

At the behest of my amplified curiously I researched as to what exactly the real Einstein was doing at the same age and what was his mother really fretting about? What did she do to make him the "Einstein" the world would swear by some day?

To put a rest to my question I combed through the realms of information and discovered that Pauline Einstein née Koch was a quiet women with exceptional patience and love for music. She would play the piano whenever she got a break from her household chores which meant baby Einstein had more free time to explore and play games he invented with his sister which perhaps led to the development of his analytical and imaginative ability.

alberteinstreutersbd_100816023720.jpg Albert Einstein's  alienation from school due to a strict pedagogical style of learning perhaps made him fend his curiosity in a different manner. (Photo: Reuters)

His alienation from school due to a strict pedagogical style of learning perhaps made him fend his curiosity in a different manner by finding a teacher in Max Talmud, a Polish medical student who introduced Einstein to the realm of science and fueling his dream about the nature of light.

The role of his parents, who were perhaps busy working to make ends meet was thus that of a facilitator who did not disrupt the child or stop him, even though it would have been difficult seeing him struggle through the stages of learning.

The fact is that an absence of structure and form gave rise to the person of a far greater ability than the world could fathom. Parents all over the world want to emulate the model of Einstein giving little thought to the process or the circumstances which prevailed which made him who he was.

They like to churn up a readymade mix and gloat it down the throats of the tiny curious beings without paying heed to their natural curiosity and ability.

So, if you want to serve your child best and develop his ability, give him time to make up his own play and nurture his curiosity, for he might become the next big scientist who might discover the cure for cancer, or discover ways of cleaning the air faster than the pollutants can pollute it.

Don’t push them to become Einsteins, but just nurture them to be the best version of themselves.

Also read: Are you bullying your child at home?

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Madhulika Ra Chauhan Madhulika Ra Chauhan @madhulika_ra

Author, currently residing in China.

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