An ambidextrous person is someone who can use both hands equally well, whether to write or to do other things.

Okay forgive me. This article is not about raising children who can use both hands.  I did not know how else to say what I needed to say. The focus of this article is on raising children who are as good in the sciences as they are in the arts.

When my first daughter was eight years old she went on a school trip to Ghana. When she returned she wrote a book, a collection of stories titled ‘Lost in Ghana.’ It was a very good book and a lot of people could not believe that one so young had written such a book.  One of the many questions she was asked was why she decided to write. I will never forget her answer. She said:

“I have read so many books, I want to write so there can be more books.”

Today that girl is studying medicine. Yes, Medicine. Not Literature or Law or Mass Communication but Medicine. And she still writes. She is not an Arts student and never was.

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She has a brother who is a Musician and Actor. He is studying Physics. Not Music or Theatre Arts. They are five siblings in all and not one of them has an interest in studying the anything in the Arts; they all tend to hard core sciences. There’s one whose dream is to be an Astronomer and whose favourite subject is Mathematics. Sometime last year he went with me to a Book Reading Event. We were there for about 2 hours and in that time he had read more than five books!

Okay this article is NOT about my children, I’m just using them as an example of what is possible. Your children can be good in both Arts and Sciences.

How?

By getting them to develop a love for books very early in life. Children naturally grow up doing the things that they are exposed to. Except in a few exceptional cases, children gravitate towards the things that happen around them from an early age. If you check carefully, you find that most kids who read a lot had parents who read a lot. So what to do?

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  1. Start reading to your children from the womb. And this is not only for the ladies either. A man with a pregnant wife should sit down with her-or lie down with her very often, take a book and read to the unborn baby. It is scientifically proven that babies in the womb can hear.
  2. Start buying them good books before they are born or as soon after as possible. Start a library. Fill the child’s room or corner with good books. Good books for children abound everywhere. You don’t have to buy novels, buy them illustrated books with plenty of colour. Children like colourful things. There some books that are made with very hard materials like wood but which are colourful.
  3. If you can afford it buy or build a colourful bookcase. As the child gets older he will be naturally drawn to that corner of his/her room.
  4. Read your kids to sleep. Have a specific (or as near specific as you can maintain) bedtime, and a few minutes before that time settle down and take a book. Watch out for our article on reading a child to sleep
  5. Have a story-telling time. Children everywhere love a good story. Try to recall stories from your own childhood or create some from your imagination.
  6. Do not put a television set in your child’s room. Believe me there are no advantages to this. Create a reading corner not a TV corner. The things they learn in books will stick to their memory much more than what they watch on TV.
  7. Last, but definitely not the least, let your children see you reading yourself. They are more likely to do what you do than what you say.

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Once your children are hooked on books they are able to flow and function in any area. They will on their own discover the things they want to do and be in life. Science or Arts, they can flow effortlessly because their brains would have developed to a point where they can easily take in information.

A science student needs not be afraid of Arts subjects or vice versa. Book is book. All a child needs is to be comfortable around books.

So you want a child who is an all-rounder? Get them reading…

1 COMMENT

  1. Comment: Writing gives me Joy alot,have wrote somany book but haven’t publish them yet.but by His Grace it will come true.

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