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Eduexpress.in | Design thinking, kids & how to create a nurturing environment?

What is your purpose in life? This question comes like a shooting star and appears quite often in anyone’s life. For a parent or guardian, this question invokes a heavy responsibility and puts the focus on their kids’ life. This might be stressful for the adults, as often they seek a master solution for everything, that could be the problem. Actually, there is a way to get an answer to this challenge by using a design thinking approach.

design-thinking-kids-environment-marketexpress-inDesign thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test.

It involves five phases—Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test—it is most useful to tackle problems that are ill-defined or unknown. The overall goal is to identify alternative strategies and solutions that are not instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding.

Coming back to the challenge in hand, How do we make our kids’ future life more meaningful? We deliberate on it, in our own oasis or work with a silo mentality yet it seems daunting. Not only the parent or guardian is responsible for the future planning but also for many other things in a child’s life. Right to give them healthy food, a good environment, education and peace of mind. In this fast moving world, it gets even harder as priorities shift quite often for the adults. So one ponders on these questions, What are my priorities and how can I help my kids in their formative years of life?

Though we cannot get stuck in the routine, we have to make sure that we are with them and handhold as much as possible. Every individual is aware of the fact that spending quality time with their kids is an essential part of their development process. Spending valuable time is not just done to eradicate a kid’s loneliness, it has to be done to nurture and understand them in a close range. Try to rediscover, again and again, kids’ passion, likings, disliking’s and many things.

If we follow the first step of design thinking, i.e. empathise, we should show empathy in understanding the kids through our interactions and conversations. In this we should set aside our initial assumptions and try to gain or seek real insights from their behaviour and approach.

The master key to a child’s heart is with its parents or its guardians. Child often behaves lucidly and in a carefree manner in the surroundings in which it feels safe, therefore if one can build such an environment it would be a great step in the right direction. With that environment, they can take the first step which will involve few activities to collect valuable insights about their affinity towards certain things. This gets us into the next step, Defining the goals.

Clearly defining the goals that we want to achieve from our empathic understanding is the key. Once done we move to the next stage to ideate and develop ways and find/create alternative strategies.

Testing the ways and strategies can be done at their own pace, as a parent they can implement it as and when they feel it is right for their kid. They should note down the deviation, aberration in the kids’ approach and how they react to parents’ new ways and strategies.

A change observed for the same things should not dishearten the parent, they should accept it and take some cues with these questions – why, how and when. These learnings and small goal test results should form the basis for the next iterative process of their design thinking approach.

It is true that we cannot get the desired outcome or eureka moment at one go. Design Thinking is an iterative process. What can be done is to keep moving towards the set goal, to create a conducive environment to nurture our kids. Also, in the process try to discover or identify hidden talents or abilities of the kids. Keep looking.