What is Individuality?
This month we shall be talking about a philosophical topic, Individuality. Children, even in a single household, are not the same. Each has its own development needs, maturity level, and timing to achieve them. So, each child is diverse in its way. Different ways are sometimes used to describe someone, such as temperament, psychological, cultural, and geographical differences. However, during this task, we always try to think of ways that make that person or a child different from others, i.e., their Individuality.
Individuality is primarily due to the genetic factors and natural and human environment provided. The means and the processes that nourish children, including food, care, love, life skills, and academic development, play a significant role in the lifelong learning capacity of the child. A child develops as an individual with variations in physical, behavioral, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual maturation throughout its lifetime. All these forms of development are irregular but linked. For example, how a boy learns to walk, write, and do simple tasks like tying a shoelace, depends on who taught him, how he was taught, and what resources he was provided. These initial childhood experiences develop an understanding of how to express and communicate needs in society or the world. The verbal and non-verbal ways a person shares information is their ‘Individuality’.
A standardized education system provides a way to make sure that children in a country are developed in a similar direction so that they can fulfill the needs of running the system. Anomalies are unacceptable and discouraged in standardization, which may impact the physical and mental health of that child or adult. Hence, is having a standardized child development so bad? Not at all, as long as the educational system and society are open to owning the individuality of the child.
In this age of information, children are also intrinsically disconnected from themselves. The sensory overload has made them more anxious, uncertain, and insecure about their actual needs and how they can be expressed. For example, a constant fast-food chain advertisement on TV may cause a child not to be happy with the parents because they have refused to give this experience without explaining any reason. As parents and teachers, we are responsible for understanding children as individuals. Children are empathetic and intelligent enough to understand relevant and complex information, develop their insight, and decide. They need guidance about the possible ways to communicate this decision, and this choice shall be Individual to them. Such practices shall hone their decision-making skills in children without influencing their Individuality.
Photo Credits: https://seechangehappen.co.uk/individuality/