Teach children the Power of Observation

Observation is monitoring something and then think critically about it. In this fast moving world when we walk from one place to another without noticing anything at all. Sometimes we are not even sure how we got to that place. However, when you walk slowly, observing the sights and sounds around, you will start noticing everything like the flowers on the roadside, children playing, birds chirping and water accumulated in potholes etc. When you are willing to observe, you have to be open and receptive, and let your mind be curious.

Observation is a tough art to master for grownups, but it can be a lot easy if you start teaching at your children at a young age; it is easy to not pay attention to everything around. We always lower our gaze and walk to avoid eye contact at any public place and ignore everything around us. We do not observe and are not curious about the world around. To observe is to watch people, situations, and events, then thinking about what you see. The more you pay attention, the more open minded you will be. Our minds are not made to see everything, we only focus on particular thing and ignore other.

It is important to teach your children the art of observation. By observing, they will learn about the world and every aspects of life. It will help them to identify danger. It enlightens your child about the world waiting to be explored.

Being focused on a single thing is good for your child, most of the time and if they observe everything, they will miss the things that are important. However, parents can help train their minds to pay attention to important things at every new place they enter. Look around, figure out what’s important and what not, and point out the same to your children. Do it every time your child starts a new thing, whether you enter a new place, introduce a new hobby to them or learning a new thing, you need to train their mind to observe the important things at that moment. The best way for children to develop the power of observation is to teach them what to filter out and ignore to begin with.

Educate your children about all the senses and teach them to use it to learn about the world around them. Teach them to use their five senses for seeing, hearing, smelling, touching (if safe) and tasting (if edible). For example, Place 3-4 fruits, such as an apple, banana and orange, on a plate. Blindfold the child and tell to pick up the fruit, ask them to touch, smell and taste the fruit and make a guess about the type of fruit it is. Teach children that to observe something they have to see things from different angles, places, times and again. The longer they observe, the better the information they collect.

Whenever you are outside with your children, parents should use the power of observation with your children. For example, lets say the place is a restaurant.  Tell your child what you see “I see a chef cooking food.” Then ask your child to add to that observation with another one, your child might say “I see a little girl playing on the table, she looks mischievous.” Now its your turn, add some more words and more details in to the observation, “I see a waiter serving food to guests, it’s amazing, how he can carry so much in his tray. Keep taking turns and you will be amazed, how your child can observe, after a while they will beat you in the game.

Take your children to zoo or a park and ask them to say whatever they are thinking, out loud. For example, who the animals or people are, what they are doing, when do they sleep, what they eat etc. This is one fun way to become a master of observation. Slowly your child’s observation skills will develop and then later you can discuss the details about people’s behaviour.

Introduce different observation tools to your child like magnifying glasses, binoculars, microscopes, rulers, thermometers, stopwatches etc. Teach your children the uses of the tools. For example, ask your children to gather leaves from outside and ask them to draw a picture of one leaf using magnifying glass. Use games to enhance a child’s observational skills. Games like spot the difference, find the match and spot the stuff. There are many games/chats related to these themes available in the market/internet.

Encourage your child to take notes about their observations. Ask your child to write an essay of observations they did while on a school trip. It will enable them to remember important details for longer period. While visiting a event like marriage, let your child explore around and don’t force them to sit at specific places, give them motivation and space to observe. Answer all their questions and don’t kill their curiosity by denying.

You need a lot of patience to teach your child the art of observation, By teaching them this art you are preparing them for the adventure called life.